Trip TO Azerbaijan – Magnific Land of Fire!Trip TO Azerbaijan – Magnific Land of Fire!

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Activities in Shamakhy

Seven Brothers

It is also called the seven stones. It is lo­cated on the south-western edge of the village of Damirchilar and at the end of the Gapagli Gorge. These are stones at­tached to each other. The seven stones are believed to have been a single stone in the past. Two pieces broke off some time later. Visitors lit candles, put them on the stones and made wishes here. Some people sacrificed animals. There is an interesting legend about this place. In ancient times, enemies were planning an attack the area. People who learnt about this started a watch on the up­per edge of the village seven by seven. When it came to seven brothers living in the village, they fell asleep while on duty. When they woke up, they realized that the enemy had surrounded them. They prayed to God asking him not to let the enemy capture them. After this prayer, a strong rain started to fall from the sky, the thunder struck, the people woke up, defended the village and the brothers turned into a stone. Since then, this pla­ce has been a shrine.

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Baba Dervish

This antique settlement, located 2 km west of the city on the left bank of the Aghstafa River, is a monument of global importance. It was a big city belonging to the Bronze Age. It has been repeatedly battered in various attacks and forays, and finally, it was destroyed by a strong earthquake. After its fall, its population moved to surrounding villages. Some time later, dervishes settled at the ruins of the ancient city. Legend has it that a dervish and his followers lived here in the past. According to dervish rules, marria­ge was forbidden. One day, a young der­vish broke the rule. While travelling from one village to another, he fell in love with a girl and married her. For this reason, Baba Dervish put a curse on him. After this curse, the city was razed to the gro­und. As a result of archaeological excava­tions carried out in 1958-62, three cultu­ral layers were discovered. A settlement dating to the 3rd-1st millennia BC, prayer rooms and tombstones were discovered. As a railway was built from Aghstafa to Barkhudarli in the 1970s, this ancient and rich settlement was destroyed. There are three religious monuments and one se­pulcher on the territory of Baba Dervish.

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Red Bridge (12th century)

The Red Bridge, which was built under Atabay ruler Muhammad Jahan Pahlavan in 1136-1225 at a distance of about 100 metres from the Sinig Bridge, has four spans. It was built between two hills on the Tapadoy River which joins the Kura. As it was built from burnt red bricks, it is called the Red Bridge. It is 165 metres in length and 12.4-4.3 metres in width. Caravans used to spend the night on vast pastures on the banks of the river. This historical monument which playsthe role of a bridge between Georgia and Azerbaijan has now been declared a museum. The border checkpoint is also located here. In the 17th century, it was refurbished and decorated by Shah Ab­bas. For its style, it is similar to old Ganja and Khudafarin bridges. There are inte­resting stories about them. In the past, only the Sinig bridge span­ned the Ehram River. Once a shah cros­sed the bridge, and on finding out that it was broken, he said that a new one must be built. Otherwise, it will be difficult to get to the other side.

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Dash Salahli

There are four villages called Salah­li in Gazakh: Yukhari (Upper), Ashaghi (Lower), Orta (Middle) and Dash (Sto­ne) Salahli. The village of Dash Salahli was named so because of natural white stone that is typical only of this place. Apart from the historical monuments we mentioned, this village is also fa­med for its khingal.

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Astrophysics observatory

It is located 22 km from the center, on the northern slope of Mount Pirgulu and 1,435 meters above sea level. This scientific center, which bears the name of Nasiraddin Tusi, has been operating since 1962. When the observatory was established, a greater number of clear nights were the main condition. After four years of research under the leadership of Academician Yusif Mammadaliyev, it was discovered that Pirgulu had perfect weather conditions for an astrophysics observatory. The observatory has the biggest telescope in the former USSR. The diameter of its mirror is two meters. The equipment had been brought from Germany. All stars, planets and the sun are observed from six observatories located in this area.

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Pirgulu village

Pirgulu, which is situated 12 km northeast of the center and 1,400 meters above sea level, has perfect potential for winter tourism. The snow which is regarded as suitable for skiing begins to fall at the end of October and lasts until April. It is suitable for tourists andwinter sports. The village has perfectly clear and arid weather. Tourist bases were built in the area in Soviet times. In recent years, the number of tourist facilities and hotels has been rapidly increasing. If the hotels are expensive, it is possible to set up a tent and relax on the territory of the reserve. This method is not recommended to those who are afraid of snakes, because Shamakhy, including Pirgulu, is famed for its snakes.

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Zarat Kheybar

Zarat Kheybar is one of the remotest mountain villages and is located at a height of 1,850 meters. It looks like Khinalig as the houses and fences are built from riverbed stone. The village survives by subsistence farming. There are 40 houses and one primary school in the village, but there is no hospital here. Once the weather gets cold, snow blocks the roads. The roads open again only after the Nowruz holiday. For this reason, a lot of food is stockpiled for the cold winter.

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Galeyi Bughurt (11th-13th centuries)

It is located 20 km northeast of the center and 1,600 above sea level. The Bughurt fortress is famous just like the Barkut fortress. It was inhabited in the 11th-13th centuries. The castle which is believed to have been built in the 13th century is often mentioned in 15th century sources. When the Safavid ruler Shah Ismayil I invaded Shirvan in 1509 and 1518, Shirvanshah Sheikhshah retreated into the Bughurt fortress and defended it for several months. In that period, the treasury of the Shirvanshahs was kept at the Bughurt fortress. During the Safavid-Ottoman wars, the Ottomans seized the fortress and turned it into a base. The fortress was used until the end of the 17th century. The fortress which has a perfect water supply system has a shah’s palace inside. The remains of ponds built for storing water secretly supplied here, a water tower and a water pipeline are still here. Since it is very difficult to get to the fortress from the village of Galeyi Bugurt, it is recommended that you go through the last village on this route – Gala Darasi. It is possible to get to the fortress in 40-50 minutes from there. On the high mountain standing opposite to the fortress, there are dense forests called Shahbulag and Topkhana, as well as picturesque places. It was a strategic point where Shahbulag rulers spent their holidays, while Topkhana was a strategic point where Shirvanshah cannons were deployed.

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Galeyi Bughurt village

It is a mountain village 9 km of Chukhuryurd. There are only 210 houses in this village located at a height of 1,300 meters. The Bado natural recreation center is located here. The most famous monu-ment here is Galeyi Bughurt located on the peak of the mountain. The ruins of a legendary defensive fortification, attached to a steep rock, are still here.

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Kalakhana sepulchers (14th-17th centuries)

The village of Kalakhana is known for its 17th century complex of sepulchers. Its height and forms are the same. They are all eight-pointed. One of the nine sepulchers has been completely destroyed. The first one was built in 1663. The territory used to be a family mausoleum for Shirvanshah rulers. The chests with Arab inscriptions belong to the 14th century. Based on this, it is believed that the village was already inhabited at the time. The territory of Kalakhana resembles a steppe. There is little vegetation here. It is very hot in summer. Scorched by the heat of the sun, Kalakhana is suffering from a lack of water. Despite the terrible lack of water, people are not leaving the area, and strange as it may seem, they have not even built a water pipeline to the village and continue to live like this.

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