Shamakhi is a must visit for anyone who wants to get to know traditional Azerbaijan without traveling far from the capital. You will visit a magnificent ancient mosque, see unique monuments and spiritual shrines, taste delicious wine, and meet Peruvian alpacas. You will also discover some Azerbaijani names in space!
Dating back to the 8th century, this is the first Islamic structure in Azerbaijan and the oldest mosque in the Middle East and Caucasus after the temple in Derbent.
Back in the 70-80s of the last century, Shamakhi became one of the largest wine-growing districts of Azerbaijan, and today it is the wine-making center of the country.
Clear weather prevails in Shamakhi most of the year and, very curious, it was here, at an altitude of over 1500 meters, that an astrophysical observatory, named after the 13th century astronomer Nasreddin Tusi, was built in 1960.
SEVEN DOMES TOMB
Azerbaijan is rich in historical monuments and places of worship, one of which is the tomb of the Shirvanshahs - the mausoleum “Yeddi Gumbez”.
DIRI BABA: “SOARING TOMB”
The main center of attraction of the ancient city is the impregnable mausoleum-peer Diri Baba, masterfully built into the rock. According to legend, an old man was buried here and remained incorruptible. The locals considered him a saint and called him "Diri Baba" (“Alive elder”).
Located next to the winery, this is the first factory specializing in the processing and production of high-quality alpaca wool products, as well as the first interactive farm of its kind where you can introduce your family and children to these wonderful animals.
Shamakhi (Shamakha) is one of the oldest cities in the East. Shamakhi was a part of Caucasian Albania, in the IX century it became the residence of Shirvanshahs, and later the capital of the powerful state of Shirvan. One of the branches of the Great Silk Road passed through Shamakhi, and the city was considered the largest center of the Caucasian section of this trade route. Merchants purchased silk products at the bazaar and took them to Europe for sale. The ancient city is mentioned by Pushkin in "The Tale of the Golden Cockerel" - everyone remembers the mysterious Queen of Shemakha. For many centuries Shamakhi was the center of political and cultural life of the region. It is the birthplace of famous azerbaijani poets - Nasimi (1369-1417) and Sabir (1862-1911).
Ancient capital on the Silk Road
No other city in Azerbaijan has experienced so many dramatic events and catastrophes as Shamakhi did. The capital of the once legendary Shirvanshahs State was destroyed by a terrible earthquake in 1192. However, the stones of Shamakhi remember enemy raids, bloody battles and terrible fires. Nevertheless, like hundreds of years ago, it is a lively and busy place, a major administrative center of modern Azerbaijan. The preserved sights organically fit into the urban landscape, and romantic legends peacefully neighbor with the latest city news. The city is famous for silk production, the art of carpet weaving and winemaking.
Shamakhi yesterday and today
The city's Juma Mosque, one of the first in the Caucasus, has been preserved - according to the original Arabic inscription on the portal, it was built in 744, when Shemakha was the residence of the Arab Caliph. The tomb of the Shirvanshah rulers is located in the mausoleum of Yeddi Gumbez, or "Seven Domes", named after the number of tombstones in the crypt. Another unique monument is the two-story mausoleum-mosque Diri-Baba of the 15th century, which seems to have grown out of a rock. The imperishable body of a saint named Diri-Baba is buried here. Besides, a world-famous Meisari winery is located here, it is one of the best places to taste local Azerbaijani wine in spectacular landscapes. Furthermore, it will be interesting to visit the alpaca farm - to pet silky sheep and to take photos next to these incredibly cute creatures.