North-West Touristic Zone
Maraza Gobustan District is one of the administrative districts of the historical region of our country, called Shirvan. In the territory of Shirvan, from the 8th to the 16th century, there was one of the significant state formations of Azerbaijan – the state of Shirvanshahs with its capital in the city of Shamakhy. In the history of the Middle Ages, this is the longest-lived state. The current Gobustan district is located to the east of Shamakhi and is 101 km from Baku. The words “Gobu” in Azerbaijani means “girder”. Here toponymically reflected the terrain – beams, ravines, rocky gorges. In the spring it is very beautiful – poppies, chamomiles, irises blossom.CLIMATE in the area is predominantly semi-desert. The most peculiar and attractive for the tourist object here are CAVE LABYRINTHES (“cures”), located in the gorge near the city, in the village of SYUNLU. Here you can observe the original natural phenomenon, which in the people is called AGLAYAN GAYA (“Weeping Rock”). The legend says that these are mother’s tears for the sons-soldiers who died here. Caves are a large system of natural galleries and grottos artificially expanded and adapted for housing in the Middle Ages, when internecine wars and raids by foreign invaders took place in Azerbaijan. THE CITY OF MARAZA is the administrative center of the Gobustan district, located on the Marazino plateau, near the main highway of the district. According to one of the legends, the name of the city (“maraz”) arose as a result of curing the beloved wife of one influential person from a serious illness – she recovered when she settled here. Whether this legend is true, no one knows. But here, in the vicinity of Maraz there is a MINERAL SOURCE. The water in it is bitter-salty, but it heals certain gastrointestinal diseases.The fact that this area was inhabited in ancient times is reminiscent of the famous burial mounds of Sheikh Dzyuz; The remains of ancient settlements I-8 centuries. BC, located on the ancient trade routes near the present village of Dag Kolan; Mausoleum DIRI BABA (XV century) in the vicinity of the city; Remains of the caravan-sarah SHAH ABBAS in the heart of the city. Since ancient times, we have been engaged in carpet weaving. The patterns of local carpets are known all over the world under the names of “MARAZA”, “CHUKHANLA”, “GEMJEMLI”. And also carpets “NABUR”, which to this day weave by hand in the homonymous village. The town of Maraza is small, without hotels, so you can rent a room or a private house. Owners can take over and prepare lunches as you wish.Shamakhi SHAMAHINSKY DISTRICT – the center of ancient Shirvan, – the former state of Shirvanshahs – the historical region of Azerbaijan. It is located on the southeast foothills of the Greater Caucasus. The climate of the main part of the district is moderately warm, with dry summers. The landscape is variable, – the steppes are replaced by foothill meadows, forests, and the higher above sea level, the cooler the autumn, the longer the snow lies in winter. But in general, the climate in the region is mild, the soil is fertile, rich in flora and fauna. Roe deer, wild boars, forest cats, foxes, wolves, bears, many birds are found here. The eye is pleased with deciduous forests of hornbeam, beech, oak, green meadows, spring covered with scarlet poppies. There are more than 50 types of medicinal plants on the territory of the region. Shamakhi district is the largest center of Azerbaijani viticulture. Shamakhi wines are popular not only in the local market, but have long won medals and diplomas at international exhibitions. This region is a popular holiday destination for residents of the capital, tourists, sports tourism enthusiasts. Those who prefer hiking, make from here excursions to the cities of the GUBU and ISMAILLA. Ecotourists and just fans of travel are eager to visit the JANGINSKY FOREST, in which a wild apple tree, a pear, a cherry plum grows, and sulfur sources sprang up in the outskirts of the gorge. We are making famous carpets “Shirvan”, “Shamakhy”, “ISRAFIL”, “ARJIMAN” in the mountain villages. There are many interesting places in Shamakhi district. On the right bank of the river PIRSAAT there is the village of Chukhurryurt, populated by Molokans, who come from Russia. They became famous for their delicious sunflower oil, vegetables of special salting, supplies to the capital of mountain honey, vegetables and fruits. In the town GYRH BULAG (“forty springs”) – beats a lot of springs with spring water. Near the village of MELKHEM there is a famous cave known for its healing properties. In this village, in the XII century, the well-known poet Afzaladin Khagani was born in the East. This land is generally famous for its poets, philosophers, architects – SEID AZIM SHIRVANI, WE, SABIR, GADZHI ZEINALABDIN SHIRVANI, MAGOMED SHIRVANI, AZIM AZIMZADE, ABBAS SIHKHAT, GAMEDI SHIRVANI, FELEKI SHIRVANI (the frequent repetition of “shirvani” comes from the ancient eastern tradition – Famous, take a name about the place where he was born, or was educated by famous teachers). At an altitude of 1400 meters above sea level, near the village of PIRGULU is Shamakhi Astrophysical Observatory (ShAO) them. Nasirreddin Tusi. The first of the largest telescopes of the former USSR was installed here. A lot of forces for the organization of the observatory were applied at one time by one of the first presidents of the Azerbaijan Academy of Sciences, scientist Yusuf Mammadaliyev, the founder of the Azerbaijani petrochemical industry. On the territory of the ShAO grateful scientists have established a monument to him. And the capital’s schoolchildren always look forward to the excursion to the large telescope of the Shosi im.Tusi. They are especially eager to get here from the snowless Baku in winter – to play along with snow, which in Pirgulu lasts a long time. In summer, local residents organize for those wishing to walk on horses. Historical monuments of the region: JUMA MOSQUE (VIII – XIX centuries); Mausoleum of PIRMARDAKAN (XIII – XIV century); The mausoleum of Shahandan (XVII century); COMPLEX from 7 mausoleums EDDI GUMBEZ (XVIII century); The ruins of the legendary fortress KALAI-BUGURT (XII – XVI centuries) near the mountain village of the same name – the fortress somehow clung to a sheer rock. The fortress GULISTAN (8th-10th cc.), Where Shirvanshah Shahrukh courageously repulsed the attack of the Persian troops, – inside the fortress, his palace and a unique water supply system were preserved: a secret water pipeline through which water was supplied to the defensive walls, stone pools for its storage, a water tower. On the territory of the district there is a reserve “Pirgulu”. It was established in 1968 and consists of three sites with an area of 1,521 hectares, of which 1,322 hectares are forests at an altitude of 8,000-2,000 m above sea level. The reserve’s flora includes 45 rare and endemic plant species, many of which are listed in the Red Book. THE CITY OF SHAMAHA is the administrative center of the district, the population is 83 thousand people, the distance from Baku is 120 km. Once Shamakhy (the ancient names of the city – “Sharvan”, “Ashshmakh”, “Shirvan”, “Shah-Mah”) was the capital of Shirvan – the state of Shirvanshahs, which among several small states arose in the VIII century after the weakening of the Abbasid dynasty. The city has a glorious but tragic history – it was also destroyed many times. And not only invaders, but also earthquakes, since this is an area of high seismicity. When in 1191, Kyzyl Arslan from the Atabek dynasty ELDENIZIDOV seized and destroyed the city, Shirvanshah Akhsitan 1 temporarily transferred his capital to Baku. And in 1501, Shamakhi and Baku were captured by Shah Ismail Safavi. After 37 years, Shirvan ceased to exist as a state, and Tahmasib Sefevi formed the Safavid state. Then Shamakhi was repeatedly destroyed in the Safavid wars with the Turkish Ottomans. Not only were people killed, but architectural monuments and books were destroyed … But Shamakhins always found the strength to rebuild the city and establish life. Alexander Dumas, who visited Azerbaijan, wrote about Shamakhi that the residents of the city can never say whether they will be alive tomorrow. Around the city of Shamakhy, many monuments of antiquity have been preserved. In the center of Shamakhy, guests of the city – the hotel of the old “Soviet type”. There is also an attractive and well-equipped recreation area “MAGIC WORLD”. In the village of PIRGULU there are comfortable cottages of the recreation zone “FORTUNA”. They have all the necessary amenities, there is satellite TV. The complex is very close to the astronomical observatory. The local restaurant has a good choice of dishes, there is a bar, a dance floor, horse riding excursions are organized. Ismailli On the territory of the ISMAILLIN DISTRICT, three of the eight climatic zones of Azerbaijan are represented: moderately warm with dry winter, moderately warm with uniform distribution of precipitation (on plains) and cold with wet winter in the mountains. The main relief of the area is mountainous. The nature here is very beautiful – mountains covered with forests, rocks, rivers (GIRDYMAN, AG-OX, GEYCHAI), waterfalls (GALADZHYG – 50 m high, CHAIGOVUSHAN – 30 m high, ISTISU – 25 m high, BUROVDAL – 50 m high, MUDRUS – height 25 m). Three natural lakes at an altitude of 3,500 m near the mountain of BABADAD and three artificial ones near the villages of CYRDMASH and ASHYGBAYRAMLY are not only beautiful, but they are good places for fishing. On the territory of the district there is a reserve “ISMAILLY”, created in 1981. Its area is 5778 hectares. Two of its sections – Topchinsky and Galindzhinskiy are located from each other at a distance of 1 km. Galindzhinsky is located at an altitude of 650 meters and is designed to protect the chestnut-oak tree. Forests of the reserve occupy 5,021 hectares, 227 hectares – subalpine meadows. There are more than 40 arboreal and shrub species, 170 species of vertebrates – deer, mountain goats, Dagestan tours, wild boars, bears, wolves, foxes, hares, etc. This area became part of the history of Russian literature: dastan about Ashig Garibe, . Lermontov in the local village Tirdzha from ashug (folk singer) Orudzha and ashuga Lezgi Ahmed formed the basis of his poem “Ashig Garib.” In this region, besides the titular nation – Azerbaijanis – representatives of other peoples and ethnic groups have long lived. These are Lezgins, Jews, Russians (Molokans living in the village of Ivanovka), Lakhyji (Iranian-speaking), Hapyts (descendants of ancient Albanians). The ancient traditions of crafts and applied art have been preserved in the Ismayilli region. The carpet weaving (villages GALADZHYG, TYAZYAKYAND), the manufacture of copper chased dishes and weapons, leather, blacksmith’s handicrafts, carving in wood and metal (village of Lagich, on the main street of which many shops and workshops are located) are developed; In the village of BASGAL, national women’s silk handkerchiefs KELAGAI with printed pattern printing are made. Historical and cultural reserves have been created in Lagic and BASGAL, where many monuments have been taken under the protection of the state. The BEDOYA ZEVERO mosque (1791), the AGALI mosque, the spring of the ZEVERO, the MOSQUE AND THE BATH (XVIII century). Other monuments: the TOWER OF THE TOWER (XVII century) in the village of Khanega, the tower of the FITDAG (XVIII century) in the village SULUT and many other archaeological sites. It is interesting that the local people with the Fitdag tower have a legend about Alexander the Great, who allegedly stopped here, and his heralds were signaled from the golden pipes from the top of the mountain (“fit” – “signal”, “whistle” to Azerbaidjan). At the top of another mountain, on the left bank of the river GIRDYMAN, near the village of Talistan, the ruins of the fortress were preserved, where according to legend Javanshir lived – one of the rulers of the Caucasian Albania (VII century). In the village of Sulut, the fortress GYRHOTAG, the HARAM tower, the CHIRYAKI defensive wall, and JUMA MOSQUE have also been preserved. ISMAILLA CITY is the administrative center of Ismayilli district. The population is 74100 people, distance from Baku is 185 km. Here you can stay at the motel “Talistan”, in the recreation area “Gyz Galas”. You can dine at the restaurant “GYLISTAN” and “BADO”, as well as in numerous cafes and barbecue located along the main transport highway. Gabala The GABALIN area is located on the territory of the Sheki-Zagatala zone, in the north-western part of Azerbaijan, on the border of Dagestan and Georgia. This region has an ancient history: people lived here already in the Neolithic times. At one time he was the center of the CAUCASIAN ALBANIA, and then consistently was a part of the state SHIRVANSHAKHOV and SHEKINSKOGO Khanate. DEMIERAPARANCHAY, VANDAMCHAY, GUMCHAY, TIKANLYCHAY, etc., flow through the region. The region is rich in walnut and chestnut forests. – on the slopes of the mountains, at an altitude of 1000 meters is located the famous chestnut grove. – Blooming in the spring chestnuts are a magical sight. The trees here are ancient, the average age of each is more than 500 years, some of them are included in the list of natural monuments protected by the state. Here you can hunt gazelles, roes, bears, wolves, hares and other representatives of the local fauna. From here one of the climbing routes runs to the highest peak of the republic – the BAZARDIYUZ mountain (4 466 m above sea level). On the territory of the region, many architectural monuments of history and culture were preserved: the mosque of the XIX century in the village of BUM; Albanian temple of IV century in the village of AMILI; The 9th century Ustadzhan Tower in the village of BAYRAMKOKHA; The Haji-Garibi mosque and the Albanian church of ChOTARI in the village of NIJ; Mausoleums of sheikhs BADRODDIN and MANSUR of the XV century in the village of Khazra; Mausoleum XVII century in the village SHEFILI. And also feasts (burial places of people considered alive by holy and pious people): the 16th century SHIH-BABA in the village of HAMZELLI; KOMRAD on top of KOMRAD mountain. On the mountain YALOILO, archaeologists found an ancient settlement near the village of NIJ. The archaeological culture found here is typical of the northern regions of Azerbaijan and was called the “culture of Yaloelu tepe.” Here weapons from iron, bronze and gold items, stone millstones, etc. were found. Of the crafts developed woodworking (in the village VANDAM), pottery (in the village Gamarvana), carpet weaving (in the villages of LAZA and BOOM). In the village of BUM there is a folklore ensemble ZOP-ZOPA, successfully performing at various festivals abroad. In the Gabala district, in the village of NIJH, UDINS are compactly inhabited. This ethnic group is considered the descendants of the ancient ALBAN, who managed to preserve their own traditions, language, material and spiritual culture to this day. THE CITY OF GABALA is the administrative center of the district, located on the spurs of the mountain SHAHDAG. It is an ancient KABALA, a city mentioned in the 1st century in the written sources of Greeks and Romans (Pliny). The city is about 2000 years old, more than 600 years old it was the capital of Caucasian Albania. The ancient ruins of Kabbalah are located near the modern Gabala (15 km), between the rivers GARACHAY and JOUROULCHAY. In the city of Gabala, the mausoleum of the Imam Baba of the 18th century, JUMA-MOSQUE, has been preserved. In the city there is also a large historical museum of local lore, where numerous archaeological finds are found on the territory of the district. On the outskirts of the city of Gabala is the recreation area “AI ISHYGY”. Excursion and tourist service “MOUNTAIN TURBAZA” is engaged in organizing recreation in the forest, excursions, hunting and fishing. You can have lunch in the restaurant “Hanlar” and numerous kyababnyh. In the village of VANDAAM there is a restaurant SHELALE (“Waterfall”) – this name reflects the location of the restaurant on the terraces of the mountain, directly above the jets of the waterfall. However, it functions only in the summer. In the village of Khamzali you can taste a kind of halva, the secret of cooking which local residents do not disclose. OGUZ The OGUZ region is located on the southern slopes of the Greater Caucasus of the Sheki-Zagatala zone of the country. In the north, this region borders on Russia. It is so beautiful that it is called Azeri Switzerland – just under half of its territory is occupied by forests. There are a lot of waterfalls, sulfur springs, thermal waters, outflowing mines. Fauna: hares, bears, wild boars, mountain goats, pheasants, partridges, geese, fish – catfish and trout. On the territory of the region grows a lot of fruits, nuts, berries – apple, pear, dogwood, hawthorn, cherry, cherry plum, currant, raspberry. Traditional folk crafts have survived: carpet weaving (Filfilly village), metal and wood carving (BASH-DASHAGIL village). People settled here in the Neolithic Age. At the beginning of our era, this territory was part of the Caucasian Albania, in the XVIII century. – in the Sheki khanate. Near the villages of KERIMLI and GARABALDYR, archaeologists discovered ancient settlements. Here are found tips for copies, bronze weapons, stone female figures and wands. There are many ancient historical and architectural monuments on the territory of the district: the DASHUZ bridge (XIX century) on the SARY-SU river near the village of Khachmaz; The mosque of XVIII century in the village of SINJAN; Mausoleum of XV century in the village of KERIMLI; A three-story tower of the 14th century in the village of MUKHAS; Defensive tower GABUR (VII-XIV centuries) in the village of Khachmaz, on the top of the mountain GALADAG; Tower GYAVURGALA (VII century), also located on the top, near the tower Galadag, but supplied with drinking water; Built from the river stone tower SURKHAYHAN (XVIII century) – on the banks of the river Galachay, near the village PHILFILLI. OGUZ CITY is the administrative center of the district. On its territory there is a Jewish settlement with an old SYNAGOGOY (1849), ALBAN TEMPLE, in which the local museum of local lore is now located; One of the oldest schools operating in Azerbaijan, built in the XIX century (the same schools are in the villages of PADAR and KHACHMAZ). There are many places for fishing and hunting, they start 15-20 km from the city. In the city and villages you can hire guides from local residents. Staying in Oguz is best in private homes of local residents. You can dine and have a snack at the restaurants “Soyub Bulag”, “Gainana”, “Shahdag”, “Gobrur”, “Kerimli”. Shaki Shaki DISTRICT is located on the picturesque southern slopes of the Greater Caucasus Range. In the vicinity of Sheki, many monuments of early medieval architecture were preserved: fortresses, watchtowers, churches and ruins of the monasteries of the Caucasian Albania. Among them, the most interesting monuments are in the villages of BIDEIS, BASH KYUNGUT, ORTA SEIZIT, and, of course, the church in the village of Kish (II-IV cc.) Erected by St. Elisey – it is considered the earliest Christian building in the territory of the CIS. At present, the church was restored and turned into a museum. THE CITY OF SHEKI is the main city of Sheki-Zagatala region, one of the oldest and most beautiful cities of Azerbaijan, the time of its foundation is 1 millennium BC. The city is mentioned in Arabic, Turkish, Georgian, Russian and European written sources. Its name, as scientists suggest, the city received from the Sak tribes who lived here. Sheki is located on the highway of the Great Silk Road. Ptolemy Sheki is referred to as Niga, modern scholars identify him with the ancient city of Noah. Until now, the old-timers called Sheki Nuhoy by the name of the villages. Nukha, located next to the destroyed village of Sheki in 1772, the inhabitants of which moved to the surviving Nuhu. During the spread of Christianity, Sheki was one of the religious centers of Albania. During the Arab-Khazar wars (VII – XIX century) – the city became the arena of military clashes and conflicts. When the Arab Caliphate weakened, a principality was created here, which was part of the state of the Shirvanshahs (11th century). During the reign of the Elkhanid dynasty (the end of the fourteenth century), Sheki came in its heyday, and the city became the center of independent possession under the leadership of the local ruler Sidi Ali (Seid Ali). During the invasion of Timur, Sidi Ali seriously resisted the invaders, and then went to the head of his army to help Nakhchivan, which at that time held the tough defense of the fortress of Alinjagala (1397-1398). In the 16th century, the ruler of Sheki, Dervish Muhammad, was killed during the battle, and the city became part of the Safavid state. At the famous Sheki bazaars there was a brisk trade in grain, chased dishes, jewelry. Sheki silk was of different kinds – soft and opaque, thin and translucent, matte or sewn gold … the craftsmen of this city made a great contribution to the development of trade along the Great Silk Road. Sheki was the center of sericulture of the whole Caucasus. In 1860, 62 thousand 239 poods of silk were produced in Nukhina (Sheki) province. In 1861 the first silkworm factory was built here – one of the largest in the world. In 1862, at an international exhibition in London, Sheki’s silk was awarded a gold medal. Sheki is proud of Mirza Fatali Ahundova, a famous philosopher, writer, and enlightener. Here, in this city, home-museums MF Akhundova and Sabit Rahman have been preserved. PALACE OF SHEKIN KHANOV, – a rare example of a combination of folk architecture (wood carvings and gyazhu) with traditions of the palace architecture of the East (lacquer and wall paintings). Ashagi and JUHARA KARAVAN-SARAI (XVIII century), with their dimensions testify to the scope of trade that took place in the Middle Ages. Not far from Sheki, on the western bank of the Kish River, the ruins of the ancient fortress Gyalyarsyan-Geryarsyan (“You will come, you will see for yourself”) are preserved – the name says that the defenders of the fortress were convinced of its inaccessibility and its determination not to miss the enemy. Leo Tolstoy in his story “Hadji Murat” made this fortress the place of action of its heroes. Here visited A.Dum and Kempfer, N.Raevsky wrote in his letters: “Our camp is in the forest of garnets, tamarisk, chinar … Nuh is wonderful.” In 1805 the Sheki Khanate became a part of Russia, and as the Khanate ceased to exist. In 1819 Sheki was already ruled by the tsar’s commandant, and the royal decree was formed Nukhin province. Other attractive cultural sites of this city are the Drama Theater. Sabit Rahman, the Museum of Decorative and Applied Art, as well as the Art Gallery. The people of Sheki have not lost their original traditions and knowledge of ancient crafts today. Silk shawls “kelagai”, which are taken away even to the countries of Central Asia and used there by local craftsmen for painting on silk; Here wooden trunks are made with a special, Sheki painting; Local jewelers make ornaments, the shape of which has changed little since ancient times. In Sheki highly developed embroidery TEKELDUZ (tambour stitch), which was previously engaged, mostly men; Manufacturing of daddies and musical instruments, as well as CHEBEKE (openwork wooden grilles with inserts of colored glass, usually used in window and doorways). The original culture of Sheki includes an original cuisine that has no analogues in Azerbaijan – these are unusual Sheki sweets, which are delicate weaves made from thinly sliced rice flour dough. In Sheki, you can stay at the hotel “Sheki – Caravansaray”. This is a modern hotel complex, which can simultaneously accommodate up to 75 guests. There are 38 rooms, 8 of them are two-storey luxury rooms, an entertainment center, a disco, a conference hall, a cafe, winter and summer restaurants. From here you can make excursions and walks. You can also stop at the hotel “Sheki” and in the cottages of the new Olympic complex, which is equipped with a gym, tennis courts, a swimming pool, functioning year round, a covered stadium for team sports. You can have lunch in Sheki at the restaurants “EDDI GESAL”, “SAADAT”, “GARABAG”, “SOYUG BULAG”, “MARKHAL”. You can stop and not in Sheki, and nearby, in the village of Kish – there is a recreation area “MARKHAL”. The territory is 4 hectares, there are 11 rooms in the hotel, at the same time 30 people can take part here. There is a big restaurant, a cafe, you can organize excursions and forest walks. Gakh The Gakh region is located in the north-west of the republic, bordering Georgia. In the south of the region the climate is dry, in the center – temperate hot, changing to subtropical moist, in the mountains – cold, with a uniform distribution of precipitation. Here, as we see, on a relatively small territory there are four climatic zones. Temperature differences here are very large – from -40 on mountain peaks to +40 near the lake ADZHINOUR. On the territory of the district there is the State Reserve “Ilisu” (area – 9.2 thousand hectares). The main protected objects here are the forests of the middle belt (90% of the territory of the reserve). Here about 300 species of plants, including 90 species of woody-shrubby, a significant number of endemic and endangered species. In mountain forests there are bears, mountain goats, wolves, wild boars, wild cats, jackals. For hunting and fishing there are good places in the area of Ganyg-Ayrichay valley. There are many historical monuments preserved here. Barrows discovered by archaeologists indicate the population of the region already in the Bronze Age. An example of an original architecture is the 18th century bridge of the ULU KERPU. FORTRESS Sumy, in the center of which the mosque was preserved, is located in the village of Ilisu, the former capital of the Sultanate of the same name. SUMYG remained in the memory of the people as one of the strongholds of the last local sultan, DANIYAL BECA, a colleague of Sheikh Shamil. This place was inhabited already in the extreme antiquity, – archaeologists have discovered here the unique IGNITIONAL IGNOUS BURNINGS. BC. Here, in Ilis, the square STOROZHEVA TOWER 10 meters high (XIV century) was also preserved. Around this village there are a lot of sulfurous thermal springs. Near the village of Terematchi, in the grove of age-old oaks, there is the grave of Haji Murat, Naib (commander) Shaykh Shamil. On his grave there is a stone slab with an inscription in Arabic, saying: “Here is buried the great martyr, the wrecker Khadji Murat Khunzakh.” Near the settlement KUM preserved monuments of the period of the Caucasian Albania – the fortress of SYRTGALA (XVIII century), the KUM BASILICA, the ruins of the 5th century, the ROUND TEMPLE (VII century). The village of LEKIT also preserved the TEMPLE COMPLEX (XII century). In villages SARYBASH and DZHALAIR local craftswomen weave carpets with original patterns, knit woolen socks Joraba. Local residents make homemade wines in the village of GAHBASH. THE CITY OF GAH is the administrative center of the Gakh region. It is a small town at an altitude of 500 m above sea level. It is located on the bank of the mountain river KURMUKHCHAY, at the mountain foot of the Greater Caucasus. The name of the city is translated as “fortress”. You can stop here in the boarding house “Ilisu” – although it is located not in the center of the city, but 10 km from it, on the bank of the mountain river KUMRUKCHAY. These are cozy cottages and a hotel building with a high level of service and comfort. If you wish, you can organize excursions to historical monuments. In Gakh itself you can stay in a hotel – it’s a two-story structure, quite comfortable. You can dine at the restaurants “MARKYAZ” and “BASH GALA”. Zagatala ZAGATAL DISTRICT is located on the spurs of the Great Caucasus, in the north-west of the republic. On the north-eastern border of the region lies the border of Azerbaijan with Russia. The relief is mountainous and flat, the climate is cold in the mountains and warm on the plains. There are many forests in the region, but they are mainly located in the mountains and foothills. Flora is rich in various valuable tree species – chestnut, walnut, hazelnut, oak, hornbeam, garagach, etc. Fauna – deer, mountain goat, boar, bear, wolf, hare, many birds – pheasants, partridges, mountain eagles, hawks, Turandzhi, thrushes and nightingales. In 1929, here, on the southern slope of the Main Caucasian Range, the State Reserve “Zagatala” was organized, the area of which now amounts to 23843 hectares. It is located at an altitude of 650-3646 m above sea level, and includes not only the territory of Zagatala, but also the Belokansky region. Here, on the territory of the reserve, there are places where tourists can rest and spend the night. In the vicinity of the village of GAS there is a lot of snow in winter. Apart from Azerbaijanis, representatives of other nationalities and ethnic groups live in the Zagatala region: Russians, Avars, Lezgins, Tsakhurs, Tatars, Ingiloytsy, – about 20 peoples in all. Historical monuments of the region are located in the villages that have survived to this day since ancient times. The mosques of the 18th century were preserved in the villages of GEZBARAKH and GALAL; In with. Kebeloba – two towers (XIV century); In with. MAZHYH – the tower (XII century); In with. JUHARA CHARDAKHLAR – the grotto-grotto grove of PERI-GALA (5th century); In with. JAR – JINGEZ tower (XIV century), here, in this village there is a historical museum of local lore; In with. PASHAN – Albanian tower (XIII century) and Albanian tower (XII century.) In with. AHHAHDERE; In different villages of the region, for example, ALIABAD and MOSUL, mosques of the XIX century were preserved. Tourists like to visit the village of JAR, which is located 6 km north-east of the city of Zagatala. This is not just a beautiful corner of the local nature – here we managed to preserve the original architectural and building traditions and life that are inherent in this region. THE CITY OF ZAGATAL is the administrative center of Zagatala district. It is located on the bank of the TALA-TEA, at an altitude of 535 m above sea level. The population is 109,300 people, the distance from Baku is 372 km. This city in its climatic characteristics and the beauty of nature can be called a real resort. Here, on the area of 14 hectares, the park of culture and rest is broken, there is also an interesting monument of nature – a tree of chinar, which is 800 years old. There is an ancient FORTRESS in the city (1830th year). It is interesting not only by itself, but also by the fact that seamen from the rebellious battleship “POTEMKIN” were imprisoned, and one of the participants of the ship mutiny – S.Demashko – in the local park a monument is erected. The monument of Sevil Kaziyeva, the first woman-mechanic, an Azeri woman, who sat behind the wheel of a cotton picking machine, is also interesting. In the city of Zagatala there is a local history museum with a rich collection of medieval manuscripts. In the summer, you can stay in the cottages of the recreation area “LESZET”, located in the forest, near the village of JAR. And also – in the hotel “TALA”, located in the village of Ashagi Tala and in the motel “TURGUT”; In the city you can dine at the restaurants “LESZET”, “MURAD”, “GERYUSH”, “TURAN”, “TALA”. Balakan The BALAKEN district is located in the north-west of Azerbaijan, in the south and west borders with Georgia, and in the north and east – with Russia. The relief of the area is contrasting, the mountains are replaced by plains. On the plains, the climate is moderately warm, with dry winters, in the foothills – moderately warm with a uniform distribution of precipitation, in the mountains – cold, with humid winters (mean annual moisture level – more than 40%). There are many mountain rivers, a beautiful lake near the mountain Kateh, in the north the area is covered with forests. More than half of the territory of the ZAGATAL reserve belongs to the Balaken district. The reserve was organized in 1929, it stretches on the southern slope of the Main Caucasian Range, its altitude above sea level ranges from 650 to 3946 m, the territory is 23843 hectares. By nature of the vegetation cover, the reserve can be divided into mountain-forest (67.4%) and mountain meadow. Flora has more than a thousand species, including rare (hornbeam, alder, oak, walnut, chestnut, acacia, more than 30 types of medicinal plants). The fauna is rich, – especially it is possible to note the presence in this region of black Caucasian grouse. Many historical and architectural monuments have been preserved on the territory of the district. Archaeologists have identified many ancient sites of the Early Iron Age. For example, not far, two kilometers from the village of Mahamallar – at the Gyubek cliff – the NOKHO cave with traces of the Early Iron Age; KUVSHINNAYE burial (II – I centuries BC); PIR and ruins of RESIDENTIAL BUILDINGS (V – VIII centuries), MOSQUE (XVIII century), TOWER (XIX century), FORTRESS walls – in the same place, not far from MAHAMALLAR. ПGroundwater and the 18th century MOSQUE. In the village GULLAR; MAURCILES of the XIV century. In the village of TULYU; TEMPLE XIV century. In the village of Hanifa; MOSQUE XVI century. In the village of Khatalat; ALBANIAN TEMPLE in the villages of Khanifa and Mazymchay; Tower PERI (XII century.) In the village Gullar, on the bank of the river GUMBEZ. On the mountain MEKLAKAN there was preserved the CITY of the era of the early Middle Ages. THE CITY OF BALAKENS is the administrative center of the Balaken district. The population is 85300 people, the distance from Baku is 394 km. The city has preserved an interesting mosque of the XVII – XIX centuries. With an unusually high minaret.In the local history museum there are collected products of traditional crafts of this region, various archaeological finds evidencing its population already in the Neolithic Age, other exhibits, which traces the eventful history of the region. Here were developed such crafts as the manufacture of copper products, shebek (openwork wooden lattices on windows), woodcarving, pottery. And also original, rare for Azerbaijan kind of embroidery – TEKELDUZ (“tambour stitch”) – bright, fantastic patterns with silk thread on a dark background. In Balaken there is a large city park of 7.5 hectares, where you can relax after a walk around the city. You can stop at the motel or hotel, but it’s preferable to stop in the summer (due to lack of heating). You can also dine at the restaurants “Kateh”, “Shabalydlig” and numerous outdoor barbeks.