The remains of ancient Gabala are situated near the present-day village Chukhur Gabala, 20 km soth-west of the centre. The town was first mentioned in written sources as Kabalaka, in the encyclopaedic work The Natural History by the famous Roman writer Pliny the Elder in the 1st century AD (Plin. H.N.VI.29).
Long-term archaeological excavations have determined that Gabala was established as a town in the 4th century BC. It was the capital of Caucasus Albania, until the mid-5th century AD. Later it was one of the provincial towns of Azerbaijan until the mid-18th century AD.