Shirvanshah Palace was built in Baku in the 15th century for the rulers of Shirvan in connection with transferring the nation's capital from Shemakha to Baku.
The complex includes the two-story building of the palace, the tomb, the mosque, the divanhane, the mausoleum of Sayyid Yahya Bakuvi, the bath, the eastern portal and the gate of Murad (16th cent.). The main building of the complex is the palace, which was started in 1411 by Shirvanshah Sheikh Ibrahim I. After his death the construction was continued by his son - Shirvanshah Khalilullah I. The laconic design, sunny tone of smooth surfaces of the walls, terrazzo lattice - shebeke of the upper windows and window slits of the lower floors of the building give it a unique expressiveness. The two-story building of the palace consists of about fifty different rooms of various sizes and shapes connected by three narrow spiral staircases. Of the 25 rooms on the second floor only 16 have survived.
The ground floor of the building (27 rooms), which was used by servants and for the storage of domestic supplies, has been preserved exactly as it was built in the 15th century.
The severity of the facade facing the front yard is different from the richer interpretation of other households’ buildings. Near the palace there is a mosque.
Under the stalactite belt of the minaret is the inscription which reads: “...the greatest Sultan Khalil-Ullah I ordered the construction of this minaret. May Allah exalt the days of his rule and reign. The year of eight hundred and forty-five (1441-1442). Almost all the palaces of the Middle East had special facilities for the reception of ambassadors and the meetings, which were called “Divan-Khane” (State Council).
Divan-Khane of the Shirvanshah palace complex is one of the most beautiful architectural monuments of Azerbaijan. The slender portal, which served as the main entrance to the Divan-khane is decorated with stalactite semi-dome richly ornamented and inscribed. This portal is considered the most beautiful not only among the monuments of Baku but also among similar monuments of Iran and Asia Minor.
In 1964 the complex was declared a museum and taken under state protection. Since then this unique monument of Azerbaijani architecture is one of the most popular tourist sites.