Baku, July 22, AZERTAC
Situated on the southern slopes of the Greater Caucasus, surrounded by forests and mountains, the Ismayilli region, drowning in greenery, is one of the most beautiful regions of Azerbaijan. Ismayilli is part of the historical region of Shirvan. The territory of the district, as well as all the territories of Northern Azerbaijan, was part of the Caucasian Albania. Here a large number of ancient monuments of different periods are preserved. Tourists are also attracted to the unusually colorful villages of the district, in which various nationalities live and traditional crafts are practiced.
We bring to your attention a selection of attractions, which Ismayilli is famous for.
Located on the top of a steep mountain in the territory of the State Ismailli Reserve, 10 km from the district center, near the village of Hanaghay, the Maiden Tower is the most famous and significant historical monument of the area. The top of the mountain is covered with such a dense forest that it is possible to say that the sun's rays do not penetrate, which is why there is always coolness here. From the fortress only some towers, walls and part of the terrace have been preserved. From the tower led an underground tunnel to the Javanshir Fortress, which is a few kilometers away in the neighboring village.
In different sources, the construction date varies from VII to XI-XII century. This defensive fortress, with an area of 1.5 hectares, was erected on the right bank of the Ah-Oh river on top of a mountain surrounded by steep cliffs. By car you can get to the eponymous rest zone, then you have to walk for about a kilometer. To get to the Maiden Tower you have to get across a fast mountain river, which adds a certain amount of extreme to the journey. It will be prudent if you take a guide from the locals. Of course, from the height of the Maiden Tower an indescribably beautiful panorama opens, the pleasure of which will more than pay off all the difficulties of ascent to this historical monument.
This fortress, located 7 km from the regional center and 4 km from the village of Talystan, on the right bank of the Agchay, is the pride of Ismayilli. Talistan is one of the oldest settlements in Ismayilli, located 4 km north of the district center. The toponym means "tala meskeni" - "settlement on the glade". In the vicinity of the village there are traces of 4 ancient settlements and 5 cemeteries. The first archaeological excavations were made here in the 60s of the last century. It is assumed that this territory has a 2000-year history.
Having reached the village by car, further to the Javanshir Fortress you can ride only on horseback or on foot. The fortress consists of the outer and inner parts (Ichgala). The width of the southern wall of the main part reaches 2 meters, height 10 meters. Ichgala, an area of 2 hectares. is built on the very top of the mountain. This is a powerful defensive system of the early Middle Ages. They say that the guilty were dropped from this cliff down into the abyss. The fortress is connected with the name of the famous Albanian commander and the eminent ruler Javanshir Mehranid (642-681). The Girdiman principality, founded by the Mehranids dynasty, was located on the territory of the modern Ismayilli region, later they extended their power to the whole of Albania. From here, in the Maiden Tower, located at a distance of 7 km, led an underground tunnel. Over time, the tunnel collapsed, but some of its parts have survived to this day. On the territory of the fortress there is a waterfall, surrounded by a dense forest. This is an ideal place for a picnic.
Heydar Aliyev Park
In the central Heydar Aliyev Park, with its musical fountain, cozy benches and stylish lanterns made to order in Europe, in the evenings and on weekends is always crowded. Both old and young, gather here in the evenings, sit under the majestic century-old plane trees, listen to music and watch the news on the huge monitor installed on the building of the Ismayilli Center for Culture and Tourism. In the park there are many children's attractions, carousels, children's railway, an inflatable playground for children's games, cars on magnetic cushions, etc.
Restaurants and cafes are always open. In one of the corners of the park is a Japanese garden, with decorative trees planted among the picturesquely placed stones. In the gazebos set here you can sit, contemplating the surrounding beauty.
Throughout the park on the lawns are installed large ceramic jugs and various sculptural compositions. A multi-stage central fountain of rectangular shape divides the park into two parts and attracts attention with a glass bridge with illumination in the Art Nouveau style.
Local History Museum
On the territory of Heydar Aliyev Park there is the Ismayilli Museum of Local History, in which one can get acquainted with the rich history of the region. The museum, which has been operating since 1980, moved to a new building. The collection of the museum includes more than 1000 exhibits, among which there are many unique ones, such as, for example, the oldest butter found in the world! It was discovered in an amphora in the village of Mollaisagli during the construction of the Oguz-Gyabala-Baku water pipeline. Specialists of the capital's museum of archeology conducted an examination and found out that the origin of butter is related to the III-I centuries BC.
Also in the village of Mollaisagli, inhabited by hapytes - one of the ethnic groups of Caucasian Albania, many samples of pottery of that time, bronze ornaments, burial of people dating to the II-I centuries BC were found.
These and many other finds are also on display in the museum. It is impossible not to mention the stone that is stored here, presumably a meteorite that flew to earth from the depths of the cosmos. The unusual molten surface of the stone, large weight with small dimensions leaves no doubt about its origin.
The museum is open to visitors daily from 09:00 to 18:00. Break - 13: 00-14: 00. Free admission.
Village of Galachyg
It is located 30 km from the district center and is the last settlement in this direction. The toponym means "small fortress". The famous episode from the classics of the Azerbaijani cinema "Stepmother", with the explosion of the mountain, while Ismail collected the fruit of the Rosehip, is taken here. This mountain is located right in the middle of the road leading to the village in which the shooting of this film was taking place. During the filming, there really was a road construction, and the explosion was real. At that time the road to Galachyg was difficult and long. Galachyg, located in one of the most beautiful places of nature, has the purest air and is famous for its large chestnuts. This is the only village in the Ismayilli region, where chestnuts grow. These huge trees here in the village grow everywhere, covering everything around the shadow of their powerful crowns.
The Ivanovka village is located on a yailag (pasture) between the rivers Goychay and Devebatan in the mountains of Ajinohur at an altitude of 500-800 meters above sea level. The total area of the village is more than 8 thousand hectares. Along the neat road to the village there are golden wheat fields and arable land. Ivanovka, which preserved all its customs, traditions, folklore and way of life, is located 14 km from the Ismayilli district center.
After the collapse of the USSR, all the collective farms fell into decay and were liquidated. The collective farm was preserved only in Ivanovka, where the system of collective social labor still functions, and bears the name of the legendary chairman Nikitin, who for many years headed the collective farm. The collective farm contains cattle, sheep and poultry.
The production of this collective farm has won recognition among the residents of the capital. In many shops in Baku, eco-friendly products grown in Ivanovka are sold. It grows wheaten, sunflower, vegetables, dairy products are produced - butter, sour cream, cheese, and honey.
The original name of Ivanovka was Nefteran. The village was renamed in honor of Colonel Ivanov, who led the migration of Molokans to Azerbaijan.
Residents of Ivanovka call themselves "Molokans," who were exiled for not wanting to accept Russian church reform and adhered to the Old Believers.
One way or another, but the migration of Molokans in the first half of the XIX century to Azerbaijan was part of the tsarist policy of the Russification of the conquered territories.
Houses in Ivanovka are ancient, classical standard wooden buildings with carved platbands lined up in a row. The rows of houses are separated by roads that form wide streets. Near each house there is a bench. In the gardens grow fruits, melons, corn, sunflowers, etc.
In addition to Molokans, many Lezgians and Azerbaijanis live in Ivanovka.
Tourist zone of Bado – Bassgal
At the first stop of this route - in Bado there is a sulfuric mineral spring, which has a curative property. It is located right by the road, so there are always a lot of people here, especially in the summer. Not far from this source is a place called "Yeddi Bulag" ("Seven Springs"), considered a favorite tourist destination. Seven springs, located in the forest next to each other - this is a lifeline from the summer heat.
The tourist zone of Bado-Basgal is rich in historical monuments, as there is no tourist infrastructure near these monuments to bypass them all, it takes several days. You can get to them only on horseback or on foot.
From Khan's fortress (XII-XIII century) only one wall, several meters high, was preserved. The fortress was the summer residence of the Shirvan rulers.
Another fortress - Haram is located on a picturesque low hill near the village of Sulut, on the right bank of the Haram river. The local call it Gyrhgiz (40 girls) or Girhotag (40 rooms). There are more than 40 rooms here. Legend has it that Shirvanshah kept a girl in every room. The fortress used for fornication, popularly called the "Haram", which means "forbidden". The village can be reached by car, only on horseback or on foot.
Another fortress - Fit, took its name from Mount Fitdag, located at an altitude of 1810 meters above sea level. This ancient residence of Shirvanshahs was of strategic importance and served as a refuge. Among the many existing legends about this fortress, one links it to Alexander the Great.
During the struggle against the Russian troops Khan of Shamakhi Mustafa used Fit fortress as a bet. There is a defensive line in the vicinity. From the Haramchay river to the fortress on a steep slope you can climb only on horseback or on foot. Around the fortress there were preserved a medieval hamam, a square and a defensive line.
At first glance, resembling the old Baku fortress, the village of Basgal (56 km from the district center) pleases the eye with its well-groomed look. The village until 1933 was a district center. In honor of this village the well-known Azerbaijani melody "Basgal" was created. Some episodes of the classic Soviet film "On the Far Shores" (1958), were filmed here. The village, with an area of 60 hectares, is declared a state reserve. The population of the village is small. So if 20 years ago there lived 3,000 people, now there are about 1,500 left.
Narrow streets, paved with cobblestone, and houses built from the same stones create a special atmosphere. An interesting feature of Basgal is that all the houses are facing the facade to Mecca. Another distinctive feature is that since the XVII century hamamas were arranged inside the house. Two-story houses, neatly lined along the street, there are courtyards. On the first floor there are utility rooms, the second floor is residential. In buildings, the laying of river stone through every 5-6 layers is laid with logs. Specialists call this "seismic belt", so that all buildings are resistant to earthquakes.
In Basgal grows a plane tree, planted in the XVI century: in the huge hollow of its trunk there was a teahouse for a while, and after a hairdresser. The tree is protected by the state.
In the XII century in Basgal was built sewage system, which is called kyurebend, still operating.
In the Middle Ages Basgal was one of the centers of crafts and silk spinning. And the people of Sheki have adopted silk spinning from the Basgalians. It can be said that until recently, almost every house had old silk spinning machines. The art of dyers, weavers and silkworms passed from generation to generation. The most popular product of silk, of course, was the Kalagayi - the national form of shawls.
Kalagayi is a traditional women's handkerchief, which is produced exclusively in Azerbaijan. At the same time, it is a wonderful example of Azerbaijani folk art. Kalagayi was one of the main attributes of women's clothing, regardless of social status. Kalagayi were produced for girls, for middle-aged and elderly women. Kalagayi can be of different colors and sizes and are usually decorated with vegetal or geometric patterns all over the edge and / or the center of the product. Usually at a wedding the girl was wearing red Kalagayi, and for mourning events everyone wore black Kalagayi. On a daily basis, women wore white, cream and brown Kalagayi. It mattered how Kalagayi was tied. So young women and girls covered their heads with a Kalagayi as "Orpeg", and older women tied a Kalagayi as "turban" or "dinge". At present, Kalagayi can be worn, for example, as a shawl worn over the shoulders, like a pareo, pancho, etc.
The most valuable Kalagayi are six or seven-color, and they are still produced in Basgal.
Until the sixties of the last century, in every Basgalian house, the Kalagayi were made. After the collapse of the USSR, the country's counters were flooded with various shawls and other women's hats. The national Kalagayi were out of fashion. But now in Basgal, the Baskal Silk Center operates, in which not only Kalagayi, but other silk products are woven. At the center there is also a small museum of Kalagayi.
Particular attention deserves the Lahic village, known since the VII century, located on the bank of the Girdimanchay river at an altitude of 1200 m above sea level. This small town located in the mountains is one of the most interesting handicraft centers in Azerbaijan. Lahic has long been famous for weapons and utensils, which are made of copper. The dishes and weapons made by the masters of Lahic were famous in the Caucasus and willingly sold out. Most of the shops and shops of Lahic are located along the central street of the village.
Local craftsmen still continue the work of their ancestors: they are copper workers, tanneries, potters, blacksmiths, masters of hats, wood carvers. In this settlement also make carpets, souvenirs and national clothes.
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