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30 km from the center of Baku, on the southeastern outskirts of the village Surahani on the Apsheron Peninsula, is situated the Zoroastrian temple Ateshgyah (translated as "the House of Fire", "the place of fire").

The temple is famous all over the world for its unique natural phenomenon, like burning natural gas outputs (gas, breaking out, starts burning in contact with oxygen). The temple is a pentagonal structure, consisting of 26 cells and щту room, surrounded by a crenellated wall with an entrance portal located above the guest room - "Balakhane."In the center of the courtyard is located the rotunda of the temple-altar, where the unquenchable fire is burning. Near the temple there is a rectangular pit, where the bodies of dead Indians were burned in the sacred fire.

The temple in its present form was built in the XVII-XVIII centuries, but the history of this place goes far back into the past - about the beginning of our era on this site was located a sanctuary of Zoroastrian fire worshipers.

They burned everything that could prevent the victory of the Good. They led an ascetic lifestyle, lying on quicklime, carrying chains that could weigh up to 30 kg. In the mid-XIX century, due to the displacement of the ground, the output of the natural gas there stopped. THe pilgrims took it as a punishment from the gods and left for India. As a place of worship, Ateshgyah existed until 1880, when the last priest left the temple.

After the restoration in 1975, the temple was open to the public as a branch of the State Historical and Architectural Museum and was named the Palace Complex of the Shirvanshakhs. Today it is one of the most visited monuments, and it is poular among representatives of different religions.

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Language: English