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The Safavid ruler Shah Abbas (1557- 1628) seized Ganja in 1606. After his as­cent to the throne in 1587, he did a lot of work to expand, strengthen and deve­lop the country. At the same time, Shah Abbas, who was a very cruel ruler, took brutal steps to maintain his power and even killed his loved ones and his son for the sake of power. Shah Abbas Square in the city centre is 400 years old. There used to be a mosque, a caravanserai (17th century), the Chokak bath, the Haji Baghir underground water pipe and a khan’s graveyard here. Its se­cond name was Market Square. The mar­ket square, which was characteristic of all medieval cities, operated as a public and trade centre. Since it was too big for its structure and size, it was also called the Big Square. The square was surrounded by 40-45 meter high plane trees. Legend has it that when a new city was estab­lished, Shah Abbas told gardeners, who planted plane trees around the square, “genja-genja basdirin” (plant them away from each other) so that these long-lived and big trees do not get in each other’s way. It is believed that the city was called Ganja for this reason.