Located on the Absheron peninsula, 25 km north of Baku, Nardaran is a quiet town built on a steep slope, near the town of Mashtaga (notice that there is another town called Nardaran, some 10 kilometres south of Siazan).
It is politically part of the Baku city-subdivision and treated as a suburb. Unlike the rest of the country, which is considered religiously progressive, Nardaran is a center of conservative Islam in Azerbaijan. Nardaran's name come from Persian: Nar (Pomegranate) + Daran (trees) "Place with Pomegranatetrees".
In Soviet times it's prosperity stemmed from a flower growing, but after independence most greenhouses were abandoned and the local economy has not yet recovered. To compensate for this Nardaran is home to a small fleet of sturgeon poachers. The fishermen survive from the illegal fishing of sevruga, osetrina and the huge beluga sturgeon. They mostly fish within 12 miles of the beach during the cold season, suspending curtains of gillnet on the seabed 100 feet to 130 feet down. In the warm season they move to cool waters more than 300 feet deep.
The best known sight in Nardaran is its 14th century castle, located in the northern extreme of town, with a round tower surrounded by walls. The round Nardaran’s tower is erected 700 years ago. The construction inscription engraved the name of the master - Mahmud Ibn Saad. It stores a print of sanctity; pilgrims are frequent here because Makhmud Ibn Saad in fact, the master of this construction was constructed two unique mosques: Bibi-Eybat and Baku Molla Akhmed.
Near the castle you can enjoy a nice view of the Caspian. Also interesting is the small and very ruined caravanserai.
Nardaran is a labyrinth of dusty streets, Koranic slogans painted on the walls of the houses. It is a place of very strong Islamic faith. Unlike elsewhere in Azerbaijan, it is not rare to see a woman wearing an Iranian style chador, the streets have a plethora of Islamic slogans and the town has a large madrassa. The main mosque, dedicated Rehime Khanim, a wife of the 7th imam is an important pilgrimage destination for Shia Muslims. There are several other mosques, the most imposing being the Aga mosque, with a castle style minaret and a beautiful blue dome.
Other interesting info on Absheron towers and castles: