Basgal, which in a way resembles the Old Town in Baku, is amazingly tidy. The village was the administrative center of the district until 1933. There is a piece of national music, Basgali, dedicated to the village. Parts of the movie “On Faraway Shores” were filmed here. Although the village is a reserve, modern buildings have been constructed here in recent years, damaging the historical architecture of the village.
Basgal is very different with its narrow streets paved with cobblestones, and also with its unique houses built with pebbles. The most interesting feature of the houses is that they all look to the kiblah. Unlike buildings in other parts of the district, the houses in Basgal had indoor bathrooms even in the 18th century. The streets are clean and tidy. There are yards outside houses built in lines. These are two-storey houses. The first floor is used as a living space after the owners become old. It is also used for agricultural needs. The houses are capable of withstanding earthquakes. There are wooden layers between every five or six tiers of pebble on the walls. This is what experts call “seismic belts”.
There are five large residential quarters in Basgal. The larger ones are Goshabulag and the Damirchi bazaar. The oldest of the quarters is Galakucha. There is a red wormwood glade called Mullah’s Place on the top of the hill. There are 500-year-old graves in the Duzan cemetery. Many of the gravestones contain information about the identity of the dead, their profession, the date of death, etc.
There is a large square in the center of the settlement. This square used to be Basgal’s cultural and commercial center for many years. There is a beautiful view of Mount Sayad, Mount Fit and the surrounding forests from the bazaar square. The only historical bath of the settlement dates back to the 17th century. Basgal was a stop on the old Silk Road. Goods were in abundance on the Basgal square, where caravans used to stop for trade. A 16th-century plane tree in the quarter is so huge that a hollow in its trunk was used as a tea house and as a barber’s shop.
Haji Badal mosque (19th century)
There is the Seyyid Umulbanu tomb (1488) inside the mosque, which is located in the Damirchi bazaar residential quarter. The mosque, built by Haji Badal Mashadi agha’s son, was used as a storehouse between 1924 and 1990.