The exact date of construction of the Maiden Tower is unknown. In the 12th century the Maiden Tower became part of the defensive system of Baku and was the main stronghold of the Baku fortress - one of the most powerful fortresses of the Shirvanshahs. But later studies of the Maiden Tower completely refuted all previous assumptions about its defensive purpose. In the XVIII-XIX centuries, the Maiden Tower was used as a beacon. On the facade of the tower from the entrance side there is a stone with an inscription in Kufic handwriting which says: «The Tower of Masud, the son of Dawood.» Since 2010, with the aim of popularizing the Maiden Tower, the International Festival of Art «The Maiden’s Tower» is held, in which artists from various countries adorn the tower with mock-ups.
A better translation of Qız Qalası would be ‘Virgin Tower’, alluding to military impenetrability rather than any association with tragic females. It was certainly an incredibly massive structure for its era, with walls 5m thick at the base and an unusual projecting buttress.