By Laman Ismayilova
Some of the most beautiful destinations in the world are national parks, protected and preserved for their beautiful landscapes—oceans, lakes, forests, and mountains.
With unique flora and fauna, ancient history national parks entice us more.
Azerbaijan's national parks showcase the country’s amazing diversity, from snow-capped mountains to breathtaking mud volcanoes.
If you’re looking for a nearby National Park to swing into for a visit on your adventures, here are the top national parks in country's beautiful city Shamakhi.
For centuries, Shamakhi was one of Azerbaijan's most prominent cities, an important cultural and trading centre.
Shamakhi is pretty incredible on its own. The city was an important town during the Middle Ages and served as a capital of the Shirvanshah realm from the 8th to 15th centuries.
The region’s maintained economic and cultural relations with India and China in the 12th century. Copper coins found in Shamakhi during archaeological excavations, porcelain containers produced in China, caravanserais serving international trade, prove the role of ancient Shamakhi in the Silk Road.
This area attracts a lot of tourists and vacationers all the year round.
The area in which the city is located is full of mountain forests and meadows. Oak, beech and hornbeam forests in the highlands, green fields and bushes, caressing eyes green meadows add special beauty to this place. More than 50 species of medical herbs grow here. The rich nature in forests provides with favorable conditions for birds and animals living there, for example deer, boars, bears, and wild cats.
The most favorite place of pilgrimage for tourists is the settlement Pirkuli which is located at the distance of 22 km from the centre of the district at an altitude of 1,400 m.
There are also a lot of springs in the wonderful place called "Forty Springs". In order to protect the beautiful nature of this region the reserve "Pirkuli" was created here with the territory of 1,521 hectares occupied.
Despite the numerous earthquakes in the region, the city still preserved many historical monuments. The "must see" attractions in Shamakhi are Juma mosque with its two minarets built in the 10th century, the mausoleum of Shahihandan and Diri-Baba, the tomb of the Shirvan Khans, the ruins of the Gulistan citadel and the Gala-Bugurt fortress. One of the most renowned places in the city is the Juma Mosque also called the Friday Mosque of Shamakhi that dates back to 734-744. Considered the landmark of Shamakhi, it is the only building that withstood giant earthquakes.
The largest astrophysical observatory in Azerbaijan and the whole Caucasus is located in Pirkuli, Shamakhi.
Observatory named by Nasreddin Tusi is equipped with modern facilities and with one of the largest in the CIS telescope with a mirror of 2 m by diameter.
National parks manage to be one of the most amazing spots in Shamakhi.
Explore some of the city's best parks.
Park ‘20 January’
The park at the intersection of Shahriyar streets and 20 January was opened in 1950 and is a popular holiday destination for all residents and guests of Shamakhi. The area is located 123 km north of Baku).
Visitors can relax by drinking a cup of tea, or just sit on benches in the shade of trees. Here you can play billiards or rent and knock on backgammon and dominoes.
The park has become incredibly popular among young people and adults.
This small square is remarkable for the fact that there is a monument to the great native of Shamakhi - poet Imameddin Nasimi (1370-1417).
Nasimi composed Azerbaijani "divan" (a collection of lyric poems, united by some sign). In addition, he created a "divan" in Persian, and a number of poems written in Arabic. Nasimi created the first masterpieces of Azerbaijani poetry, laying the foundations of the Azerbaijani literary language.
Not far from the square, there is a street of Bahaddin Mirzoyev (Hero of the Soviet Union) where along the beautifully decorated stone wall there are memorable bas-reliefs, dedicated to the famous poets - the natives of Shirvan.
The bas-reliefs depict Bahar Shirvani, Sabir, Nasimi, Seyid Azim Shirvani, Abbas Sahhat, Mohammed Hadi and others, and quotes from their famous works. At the beginning of this street one can also see a monument to the national hero of Azerbaijan - Koroglu.
Koroglu is Azerbaijan's heroic eposes that tell about life of people, their struggle for justice and freedom.
The storyline is based on a national epos about poor, abused villagers who rise up to defeat their unjust, oppressive khans and beys (landowners) in the 16th-17th centuries.
The fight of two opposing forces - the people and feudal forms of governance - forms the dramatic basis of the opera. The drama shows the mounting fight of the people for the liberation from the oppressors and enemies of the motherland.
Based on his story, Uzeyir Hajibeyli created the opera in five acts, that has become a truly nation's patrimony.
The opera was premiered on April 30, 1937 at the opera and ballet theater. It was conducted by the composer himself with remarkable Bulbul and Gulyara Iskandarova in leading roles. Since the first night, the opera has always gathered a large audience.
Do you want to connect with the world’s wildlife? Safari Park in Shamakhi is the best place to visit for wildlife lovers.
The Safari Park in Shamakhi nowadays features a total of 790 heads of ungulates, including 260 heads of red deer, 250 heads of mouflon and 280 heads of fallow deer.
In Azerbaijan, an ecological reserve for wild animals is located on the territory of a mountainous woodland called Pirgulu.
It occupies 600 hectares (including 400 hectares of fenced territory). Deer breeding is a type of farming with very good perspectives in this area.
The Safari Park features numerous animals including ungulates, red deer, mouflon, fallow deer, etc.
Anyone who’s ever visited Shamakhi can attest to its splendid beauty.
Photo by Azertag
Laman Ismayilova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @Lam_Ismayilova
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