Ganja gates. Masterpiece of Middle Ages craftsmanship

23 August 2019 17:51 (UTC+04:00)


By Laman Ismayilova

Ganja city is a great place to visit to explore some of the most wonderful sights of Azerbaijan. The city's vast array of historical and cultural monuments makes Ganja one of the most notable tourist destinations of the country.

During the centuries-old history, the city became the owner of numerous historical and architectural monuments. Here you can find beautiful mountains, dense forests, ancient vineyards, beautiful lakes and rivers and wonderful manmade monuments.

If you’re interested in history, the story of Ganja gates won't leave you indifferent. The ancient gates of Ganja were a masterpiece of craftsmanship of the 10th-11th centuries. There is an interesting history behind this grandiose monument.

Shavur I, ruler of the Shaddadids dynasty, decided to build a magnificent fortress surrounding Ganja town. Six large gates were erected in different directions of Ganja city. Upon Shavur’s order, smith Ibrahim ibn Osman made these gates in 1063.

Beautiful iron gates were adorned by embossed patterns and ornaments. The ornament contained the name of the master in Kufic script and the date of completion of the gates’ creation.

However, a devastating earthquake almost entirely destroyed Ganja in 1139. As a result of the natural disaster, Ganja was wiped off the face of the earth. The top of the Kapaz Mount collapsed and blocked the Agsu River. Thus, Goygol Lake and several other lakes formed.

In the same year, the Georgian king Demeter I, taking advantage of the earthquake, attacked Ganja and took the gates as a trophy.

The gates weighing a few tons was carried to Georgia. Only one half of the gates survived. Today it is built in the wall of Gelati Monastery, near the tomb of Georgian king David IV.


Laman Ismayilova  is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @Lam_Ismayilova

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