NAKHCHIVAN AUTONOMOUS REPUBLIC
Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic (NAR) is located in the southeastern part of Azerbaijan. Nakhchivan is separated from the rest of Azerbaijan by a narrow reach of a foreign country - once it became possible due to the conflict of Russian and Persian imperial interests. NAR is located on the southern slopes of the Daralaya Mountains and southwestern slopes of the Zangezur Mountains.
This is a mountainous area - over 30% of its territory is located 600-1000 m above sea level. The tallest mountains of the region are Kapudzhuk (3904 m) and Ilandag (2385 m).
The Autonomous Republic features rich deposits of marble, rock salt, limestone, plaster stone and unique mineral waters - Sirab, Badamli, Vaikhir, Nagadzhir and Gizildzhir. There are many underground waters and the region is known for the advanced craft of kagrizs construction (kagrizs - unique underground water tunnels). Kagrizs were connected to the ground by footsteps; in some, the water was simply diverted to the surface (like in modern aqueducts). Craftsmen of kagrizs construction (kan-kans) have preserved their art to the present day.
The climate in the republic is strongly continental; temperature varies from +43C in summer to -30C in winter. Humidity is low. Flora is represented by beech, oak, walnut, willow and wild pear; there are many herbal plants. Fauna includes bears, wild boars, foxes, hares, wolves, stone martens, bezoars and Asian mouflons; birds - Caspian snowcock, alpine accentor, crag martin and rock partridge.
Along the state border with Iran and Turkey flows the Araz River. Aside of it, there are about 40 other middle-to-small rivers (Ordubadchai, Alindzhachai, Gilanchai, Nakhchivanchai, Arpachai etc.). There is also an incredibly beautiful lake called Batabat with so-called "drifting islands"; there is an artificial lake used for the drainage of the Babek and Dzhulfa districts - it is located 1500 m above sea level, near the village of Gazanchi.
There are numerous ruins of ancient towns, towers, fortresses and mausoleums remained all over the region. This land has always been attractive to invaders because of both its important strategic position and natural deposits.
In the 4th century BC, Alexander the Great sacked and burned out the whole region. After that, Nakhchivan was annexed by Persia. In the middle of the 17th century, the Nakhchivan Khanate was formed; however, at the beginning of the 19th century the khanate was incorporated into the Russian Empire.
The city of Nakhchivan is the capital of the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic of Azerbaijan. It is located on the right bank of the Nakhchivanchai River, 1000 m above sea level, 560 km from Baku. Its population is estimated at 364500.
This is one of the earliest large cities of Azerbaijan and the ancient East. The history of the city dates back to the earliest ages. Archeologists have found objects of material culture dated to the 2nd-1st millennia BC.
The residents link the history of the ancient settlements in the area of Nakhchivan with the legend of the biblical patriarch Noah, who escaped the Deluge. His ark is believed to have collided three times with mountain peaks of the Lesser Caucasus before mooring at the mountain and one of the peaks even collapsed (the mountains of Agridag, Balaagri, Ilandag, Lalngez, Gapidzhik). The residents believe that after the Deluge Noah lived and died here. Not so long ago were alive the old men (agsakkals) who assured that they knew the place of his grave. The story is so popular that the renowned painter Behruz Kengerli painted a picture of the same title - "The Grave of Noah".
The earliest written source to mention Nakhchivan is the works of Ptolemy (2nd century). He mentions Nakhchivan under the name of "Nahsuan". In medieval Arabian sources, the city is called "Neshava" and in the works of such renowned authors as Muhammed Nakhchivani, Hamdullah Kazvini, Katib Chelebi and Evlija Chelebi Nakhchivan is respectfully called Nahsh-i-Dzhahan ("The Beauty of the World").
The city is located on the crossroads of ancient trade routes. Once it was a part of one of the states of ancient Azerbaijan - Athropatene (4th-3rd centuries BC). In The Early Middle Ages, the links between Nakhchivan and the countries of Asia Minor, Middle East and Transcaucasia became especially close.
The city's wealth and geopolitical position became the reason for frequent raids from neighboring countries. As a result, Nakhchivan was often destroyed. However, the city was always rebuilt to become even more beautiful. For instance, in the middle of the 1st century AD the city was sacked and destroyed by the Byzantine Emperor Iraclion the 2nd; it was frequently sacked during the Mongol raids; it became a permanent conflict of interest between Byzantine and Arab Caliphate. In all times Nakhchivan was one of the key cities of different states - the ruling dynasties of Sadjids, Salarids, the capital of the Azerbaijan State of Atabeks Eldegezids…
In the 12th century, the population of Nakhchivan was estimated at up to 2000 inhabitants. The city enjoyed high level of trade and was famous for artisans and craftsmen: weavers, jewelers and glass blowers. However, the city was particularly famous for its architects of the famous school of Nakhchivani architecture. The volume of construction works increased substantially. According to travelers, medieval Nakhchivan housed a cathedral mosque, a large madrasah, which became a center of Muslim enlightenment, state buildings and palaces of aristocracy. Written sources mention "20 thousand houses, 70 religious buildings, 20 caravanserais, 7 baths and a few bazaars".
French travelers Pierre Chardine and Dubois de Monpierre and British traveler Porter noted that this was a splendid city with well-preserved architectural monuments of the antiquity. Turkish traveler Evlija Chelebi was enchanted by the city's baths with the water pools daily scattered with rose petals.
In the 15th-16th centuries, Nakhchivan was a part of the Azerbaijan States of Garagoyunlu, Aggoyunlu, and, later, Sefevids. In the 17th century, it was incorporated into the Chukhursaad Beglarbek ruled by chiefs of a military Turk tribe called Kengerli. The 18th century saw the foundation of the Nakhchivan Khanate. In 1828, according to the Turkmenchai Treaty, the Khanate was incorporated into Russia to become the center of a Russian uyezd of the same name later. In 1924, the city became the capital of Nakhchivan ASSR.
This ancient city features unique culture with the local cuisine being its inseparable part. For instance, this is the only place to possess the secrets of "Alana" - specially dried peaches filled with powdered nuts with sugar or "baligaynag" - special omelet with honey, and many others.
Nakhchivan is a homeland of the 12th century's great architect - Adzhemi Ibn Abubekr Nakhchivani, who built the Mausoleum of Yusuph Ibn Kuseir (Gumbez Atababa), the Mausoleum of Momine-Khatun and a portal with minarets for the Juma Mosque It is generally believed that with the Mausoleum of Momine-Khatun Adzhemi painted a picture of its era. It is not a coincidence that the mausoleum is decorated with an inscription "We perish but the world stays; we die but the memory remains". Geometric and epigraphic patterns decorating the mausoleum are made with utter precision. They resemble a shining turquoise - the most popular gemstone in the East.
This is a homeland of the famous scientist, statesman, writer, philologist, author of the first Farsi-Azeri dictionary (about four thousand words), Hindushakh Ibn Sanjar Ibn Abdulla Nakhchivani (13th-14th centuries). His son, Muhammed Nakhchivani was a renowned finance statesman, who wrote a book on taxation (13th-14th centuries). The list of famous figures of Azerbaijan born in Nakhchivan also includes Kelbali Khan Nakhchivani and his son Gusein Khan Nakhchivani, a renowned military commander; Dzhamshid Nakhchivani - a prominent figure of the 20th century; Dzhalil Mammadguluzade, a classic, Hussein Javid, a romanticist poet and playwright who became a victim of Stalin's repression, painter Behruz Kengerli.
Nakhchivan is a homeland of the national leader Heydar Aliev.
In present Nakhchivan, close attention is paid to the development science and education. There is a university, a branch of the Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences, the Academtown. Schools are not set aside, too - old schools are being restored along with building of new ones - e.g. a large, finely equipped school n.a. Heydar Aliev. The city houses the Palace of Culture, Dramatic Theatre, Puppet Theater etc. The finely equipped Olympic Sport Complex has been built recently.
Museums - Carpets Museum, Historical Museum
The city also houses the memorial museum and mausoleum of Husein Javid, a writer and playwright. There are also a number of historical monuments in the city - "Imamzade", an architectural complex, the Juma mosque, "Zaviyya" mosque, "Pirgamish" mosque, "Khan Evi" bath, "Ismailkhana" bath, the Mausoleum of Yusuf Ibn Kuseyyir and the Mausoleum of Momine-Khatun.
"Grand Nakhchivan" Hotel
Fourteen comfortable rooms with all conveniences
Address: 1, N. Aliev Street.
Tel: (994136) 4-59-30, 4-59-32, (99450) 311-59-42
Finely equipped hotel with 21 rooms
Address: 15, N. Aliev Street.
Tel: (994136) 5-53-83
The district of Ordubad is bordered by Armenia on the north and east and by the Islamic Republic of Iran on the south. It is located in the eastern part of NAR.
The climate is contrast - cold winters, hot summers. The flora and fauna are rich and the air is exceptionally clean. Many herbal plants and fruits grow in the district. There are many historical monuments dated to the Bronze Age: stone sculptures of rams, remainders of ancient settlements dated to the 2nd-1st millennia BC in the village of Sabir, ruins of the ancient town of Gilan by the village of Aza, medieval buildings in the villages of Kilit, Velaver, Ailis, Aza, Kotam, Bilev and Vanand. There are also ruins of the ancient town of Anabad, the Shahtakhty Tower near the village of Andemidzh, mosques of the 19th century, a mausoleum of the 14th century in the village of Der, a bridge (1826) near the village of Aza, ruins of a bath (14th century) in the village of Der and many other monuments.
On the Gamigaya Mountain, 60 km to the south of Ordubad, there are unique petroglyphs dated to the 3rd-2nd millennia BC. There are thousands of drawings picturing people, domestic life, and hunt, real and fantastic animals.
The town of Ordubad is the administrative center of the district. This is the second largest town in Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic. This town has been known since the 12th century. It is located 850 m above sea level. For its ancient history, the large number of historical monuments, the exterior almost untouched by new buildings and the preserved domestic life of its residents, the town has been named the State Historical-Architectural Reserve.
Its monuments include the Juma Mosque with unique arched recesses of the elevation, the Dilbar-Mosque, the Afgan Tower and an eyvan of the 18th century, numerous ancient chashme (buildings near springs), the Geysariya indoor trade complex with round domes (19th-20th centuries), an ice-house and mosques of the 18th century, two-storied madrasah and many others.
One must see Ordubad to recognize the beauty of this small town, which preserved a genuine taste of antiquity. Unbelievably big and old plane trees, nearly 8 m in circumference, make up a "roof", under which people gather for leisure conversations. Unique mosques, ovdans, kagrizs - everything here has a special touch. It is a town where modern inhabitants preserved the beauty of traditional national ways of life.
The town houses the Museum of Regional History with splendid collections, a theatre, the memorial museum of Ordubadi, a writer and the founder of the historical-romantic genre in Azerbaijani literature. Under restoration is the house of Yusuf Mammadaliev, an academician, one of the first presidents of the Azerbaijan Academy of Sciences, the founder of Azerbaijani oil chemistry, a bright, creative person whose part in the Azerbaijan's great contribution to the final destroy of Nazi invaders during the WWII is exceptional.
Lodging in Ordubad can be provided by local residents.
The district of Dzhulfa is located to the east of Nakhchivan city. It is dry, hot in summer and freezing in winter. Total amount of precipitations is about 220-600 mm. There are rivers of Alindzha, Gardara and Araz (along the border with Iran). Very beautiful and unique are mountains along the road to Dzhulfa: the geological factor (the composition of layers, age etc.) has influenced their appearance - the mountains resemble huge, dome-shaped, fantastic structures.
The mountains of Dzhulfa are forested, with beech, hornbeam, oak; fauna includes wolves, foxes and hares.
On the bank of the Araz River, there are remainders of ancient structures. These are a caravanserai (13th century) - one of the largest on the territory of Azerbaijan, and the remainders of a bridge dated to the beginning of the 14th century, built by decree of Nakchivan Khan Khakim Ziya Ad-Din. There is the small Gulistan mausoleum (13th century) near the village of Dzhuga and more mausoleums near the village of Der (particularly well preserved is the Tower Mausoleum (15th century). There is also the fortress of Alindzha (12th-13th centuries) and a number of other monuments and ancient ruins.
There are many springs in the area (about 40). One of them, located on the slopes of the Daridag Mountain, produces about 500000 liters of strongly mineralized water annually.
The town of Dzhulfa is located on the bank of the Araz River, on the border with Iran. Located on the opposite bank of the Araz River, almost symmetrical to the Azerbaijani Dzhulfa, is its Iranian namesake. In the past, there was an ancient caravan route connecting Persia with Shirvan, Georgia and Dagestan. Now here is located a border checkpoint.
Lodging is available at the "Araz" hotel near the railway station. There is also a restaurant. Meals are available also at the "Gulistan" restaurant and "Eldar" Cafe.
The district of Babek is bordered by Armenia on the north and by Iran on the south. Northern and southeastern parts of the district feature mountainous landscape, while southern and southwestern parts are predominantly lowlands.
The tallest peaks are Kechaltepe (2740 m), Garagush (2617 m) and Buzgov (2470 m).
The district is rich in mineral springs (Sirab, Gakhab, Vaikhir) and deposits of rock salt. It is traversed by the Nakhchivanchai River and its branch called Dzhakhrichai; there are reservoirs - Araz, Nekhra, Uzunoba and Sirab.
There are no forests. Native industries include wine, grain and melon growing as well as cattle breeding.
Located on the area of the district are such famous archeological monuments as Gultepe and Gultepe-2 along with the ancient ruins of Abasabad, Vaikhir and Aznabyurt.
The town of Babek is the administrative center of the district. Until 1978, the town was called Tezekend.
The district of Shakhbuz is located in the northern part of Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic. This is a mountainous land. The tallest peaks are the Salvatly (3160) and Kechaldag (3115) mountains; there is also a mountain pass called Bichanak.
Like the rest of the republic, there are many underground waters, including mineral - Badamli, Batabat, Karvansara and Bichanak. There are also deposits of brimstone, construction materials and peat. The district is traversed by the Nakhchivanchai River and its branches - Kuku, Shakhbuz and Salvarty. Lakes - Ganligel, Batabat.
The mountains are heavily forested.
The town of Shakhbuz is the administrative center of the district. An interesting monument sometimes called "The House of Farhad" (on behalf of the Nezami's "Farhad and Shirin" poem's key character) has been found on the outskirts of the town. In fact, this is an ancient "house" of rather unusual shape - four rooms with "verandah" carved out in the mountain walls. Archeologists have also found the ruins of the Shakhpur fortress, bearing the name of an ancient ruler. The name is believed to have transformed to "Shakhbuz" later.
The village of Garabaglar houses a famous mausoleum called "Garabaglar". The village is covered in gardens with ancient but still operational kagrizs located in the foothills of the Zangezur Range. There is also a system of fortifications with towers and water supply systems evidencing an ancient origin of this settlement site. According to one of versions, the mention of "Garabaglar town with 10000 houses, 70 mosques among which 40 are with minarets" regards the present village.
The town of Shakhbuz is the administrative center of the district. Lodging can be provided by local residents.
There is a resort called "Badamli" (1400 above sea level), located near the mineral water bottling plant of the same name.
The district of Sharur is located in the western part of the republic. On the south, this area is bordered by Iran. Northern and western parts of its territory feature mountainous landscape with the Daralaya Mountain Range. The tallest mountain is Galingaya (2775 m). The climate is semiarid; in winter, the temperature rarely falls below 30 C, in summer, it does not exceed 260 C.
Local rivers are branches of the Araz River (Arpachai etc,). The waters of Arpachai are used for drainage, facilitated after the construction of the "Arpachai" reservoir. Local fauna includes mouflons, wolves, bezoars, foxes, wild boars and hares.
The district's numerous historical monuments include ancient settlement sites dated to the Bronze Age on the banks of the Araz and Arpachai Rivers. Found in the cave of Gazma were stone and obsidian instruments dated to the Middle Paleolithic Age; examples of skillfully made decorated ceramic ware have been found in the village of Shahtakhty.
rcheological excavations near the villages of Arbatan, Vermaziyar, Garagasanli, Babeki and Kosadzhan revealed the settlement sites of Kelukler, Kehne, Arbatan, Kehnekend and Kultepe, the memories of which had been living in minds for ages.
The town of Sharur is the administrative center of the district. The town is new - it was founded during the building of the railway. There are two parks, a museum, a stadium, a cinema, a mosque and the memorial museum dedicated to shahids.
On the other side of the railway, there is an old town with baths, bazaar and mosques.
Lodging can be provided by local residents.
The district of Kengerli is located between the districts of Babek and Sharur. The southern part of the district is bordered by Iran, the northern - by Armenia. The landscape of the district is predominantly mountainous; it is located on the Daralaya Plateau.
The climate, like in the rest of the autonomous republic, is strongly continental; it is very hot in summer and chilling in winter. On the territory of the district runs the Araz River that flows along the border between Azerbaijan and Iran.
Mountainous landscape, climatic conditions and lack of small rivers underlay the features of the indigenous fauna, which is represented largely by semidesert and mountainous species (bushes, herbage and scarce trees).
This is an agricultural district with advanced tobacco, cine, grain, vegetable and melon growing.
Like the rest of Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic, there are many ancient monuments, evidencing that the land was inhabited in earliest times: the Chilkhangala mounds, the Gazma Cave and the ancient settlements of Galadzhig, Govurgala, Damlama, Gulamtepe and Balatepe.
There are also newer monuments - the Jami Mosque (18th century) in the village of Khok, a mosque of the 18th century and a bath of the 19th century in the village of Shahtakhty.
The village of Givrag is the administrative center of the district. It was founded only in 2004. Givrag is located on the Nakhchivan-Sharur highway, 30 km from the capital (Nakhchivan) and 6 km from the Araz River.
As the administrative center status has been gained not too long ago, Givrag has not yet developed the infrastructure for tourists' accommodation. However, lodging can be provided by local residents that can rent out an apartment or a house for reasonable price.
|Agdjabedi||+22 +24 °C|
|Ali-Bayramli||+23 +25 °C|
|Baku||+19 +21 °C|
|Balaken||+25 +27 °C|
|Ganja||+23 +25 °C|
|Gazakh||+23 +25 °C|
|Ismaylli||+21 +23 °C|
|Khachmaz||+22 +24 °C|
|Lenkoran||+20 +22 °C|
|Nakhchivan||+23 +25 °C|
|Sumgait||+21 +23 °C|
|Yevlakh||+24 +26 °C|