What to see in Ismailli?
Top Places To Visit in Ismailli
Ismailli (also Ismayilli, Ismayilly) is a town and the capital of the Ismailli Rayon of Azerbaijan. It has a population of 14,435 as of 2008. The territory of the district was part of the Albanian state, which was formed in the late 4th century and early 3rd century BC, long before it was erected. Historical facts prove that Mehranis, who belonged to Javanshir, had created Girdiman’s prince in Ismailli territory. Javanshir was of this generation. There is a fortress called Javanshir on the coast of Akchay, 4 km north of the village of Talantan. Ismayilli district, located in the northeastern part of Azerbaijan, was founded in 1931. At first, the administrative center of the district was in the Basgal village and was soon transferred to Ismailli village. Until the district was organized, a large part of its territory was part of the Goychay accident, part of the Shamakhi accident, and a small part of Sheki’s accident.
Ismailli was the village until 1959, until 1967, it was a city-type settlement, and then it was renamed the city. The Ismailli region was established on November 24, 1931. From 1939 to 1977 the executive committee of the Soviet Union of deputies of the Ismailli district, acting as the Executive Committee of the Council of People’s Deputies of Ismailli region from October 7, 1977, till October 17, 1991. In accordance with the Decree of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan dated October 18, 1991, the Soviet of People’s Deputies of Ismailli was abolished, and the Ismailli Executive Authority was established and functioned since November 1991. Below is the list of the top places to visit in Ismailli:
1. Lahij Village
Lahij village is one of the most ancient inhabited cities in Azerbaijan which is located in Ismayilli city. Lahij is the best example of original architecture preserved by villagers for more than centuries. This village entered the List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of UNESCO because the village was one of the best handcraft and trading centers in the Caucasus. The main fame of the village comes from handmade copper products with a magnificent design that all made in the village in a traditional way.
Now the village is one of the most famous touristic destinations in Azerbaijan because even today the village has dozens of workshops that are making very beautiful handmade copper products. The majority of the population of Lahij speaks the Tati language. The residents of the region are usually bilingual: as well as the Tati language, an Iranian language, the Azerbaijani language is also widely spoken.
2. Ivanovka Village
The Ivanovka village is located on a yailag (pasture) between the rivers Goychay and Devebatan in the mountains of Ajinohur at an altitude of 500-800 meters above sea level. The total area of the village is more than 8 thousand hectares. Along the neat road to the village, there are golden wheat fields and arable land. Ivanovka, which preserved all its customs, traditions, folklore, and way of life, is located 14 km from the Ismayilli district center.
After the collapse of the USSR, all the collective farms fell into decay and were liquidated. The collective farm was preserved only in Ivanovka, where the system of collective social labor still functions and bears the name of the legendary chairman Nikitin, who for many years headed the collective farm. The collective farm contains cattle, sheep, and poultry.
The production of this collective farm has won recognition among the residents of the capital. In many shops in Baku, eco-friendly products grown in Ivanovka are sold. It grows wheaten, sunflower, vegetables, dairy products are produced – butter, sour cream, cheese, and honey.
The original name of Ivanovka was Nefteran. The village was renamed in honor of Colonel Ivanov, who led the migration of Molokans to Azerbaijan.
Residents of Ivanovka call themselves “Molokans,” who were exiled for not wanting to accept Russian church reform and adhered to the Old Believers.
One way or another, but the migration of Molokans in the first half of the XIX century to Azerbaijan was part of the tsarist policy of the Russification of the conquered territories.
Houses in Ivanovka are ancient, classical standard wooden buildings with carved platbands lined up in a row. The rows of houses are separated by roads that form wide streets. Near each house, there is a bench. In the gardens grow fruits, melons, corn, sunflowers, etc.
In addition to Molokans, many Lezgians and Azerbaijanis live in Ivanovka.
3. Javanshir Fortress
This fortress, located 7 km from the regional center and 4 km from the village of Talystan, on the right bank of the Agchay, is the pride of Ismayilli. Talistan is one of the oldest settlements in Ismayilli, located 4 km north of the district center. The toponym means “tala meskeni” – “settlement on the glade”. In the vicinity of the village, there are traces of 4 ancient settlements and 5 cemeteries. The first archaeological excavations were made here in the 60s of the last century. It is assumed that this territory has a 2000-year history.
Having reached the village by car, further to the Javanshir Fortress you can ride only on horseback or on foot. The fortress consists of the outer and inner parts (Ichgala). The width of the southern wall of the main part reaches 2 meters, height 10 meters. Ichgala, an area of 2 hectares. is built on the very top of the mountain. This is a powerful defensive system of the early Middle Ages. They say that the guilty were dropped from this cliff down into the abyss. The fortress is connected with the name of the famous Albanian commander and the eminent ruler Javanshir Mehranid (642-681). The Girdiman principality, founded by the Mehranids dynasty, was located on the territory of the modern Ismayilli region, later they extended their power to the whole of Albania. From here, in the Maiden Tower, located at a distance of 7 km, led an underground tunnel. Over time, the tunnel collapsed, but some of its parts have survived to this day. On the territory of the fortress, there is a waterfall, surrounded by a dense forest. This is an ideal place for a picnic.
4. Basgal Village
At first, glance, resembling the old Baku fortress, the village of Basgal (56 km from the district center) pleases the eye with its well-groomed look. The village until 1933 was a district center. In honor of this village, the well-known Azerbaijani melody “Basgal” was created. Some episodes of the classic Soviet film “On the Far Shores” (1958), were filmed here. The village, with an area of 60 hectares, is declared a state reserve. The population of the village is small. So if 20 years ago there lived 3,000 people, now there are about 1,500 left.
Narrow streets, paved with cobblestone, and houses built from the same stones create a special atmosphere. An interesting feature of Basgal is that all the houses are facing the facade to Mecca. Another distinctive feature is that since the XVII century hamamas were arranged inside the house. Two-story houses, neatly lined along the street, there are courtyards. On the first floor, there are utility rooms, the second floor is residential. In buildings, the laying of river stone through every 5-6 layers is laid with logs. Specialists call this “seismic belt” so that all buildings are resistant to earthquakes.