By Laman Ismayilova
Ismayilli is worldwide known for its stunning landscapes, turquoise waters and multiple historical monuments.
Here you easily spend your vacation admiring highly picturesque valleys and medieval ruins.
The region, which was once a part of Caucasian Albania, will definitely make you marvel at its majestic beauty.
If you are looking for a place that encompasses a medieval feel in the modern world, look no further than Maiden Tower in Ismayilli.
This defensive fortress was erected on the right bank of the Ah-Oh river on top of a mountain surrounded by steep cliffs. In different sources, the construction date varies from VII to XI-XII century. There was an underground tunnel in the tower which led to Javanshir Fortress. Over time, the tunnel collapsed, but some of its parts have survived to this day.
Another famous tourist sight, Javanshir 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 is built on the very top of the mountain.
The fortress is linked 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. Further, they extended their power to the whole of Albania.
There is a majestic waterfall on the territory of the fortress surrounded by a dense forest.
Many different nations and ethnic groups live in Ismayilli. Among them are Lezgis, Russians (malakans), Jews, lahyıch and hapyts, the descendants of ancient Albans.
One of the biggest Molokan villages in Azerbaijan is located in Ismayilli. The village, known as Ivanovka was founded in 1847 by the "Molokan" Russians who sought refuge in Azerbaijan after being ousted from Czarist Russia in the mid-19th century due to protesting Orthodox traditions. They have since lived in peace side by side with Azerbaijanis ever since. The village is famous for its fresh dairy products, tasty fruits and vegetables.
The village of Glachyg is another must see place in Ismayilli. The iconic episode from the Azerbaijani film "Stepmother" was shot there. The exposition during the filming was real. Glachyg is the only village in Ismayilli, where chestnuts grow.
The Basgal village of Ismayilli was widely known here as a center of handicrafts and sericulture in the middle ages. To this day, the traditional female headscarf kelaghayi has been manufactured in this village.
With 2,000-year history, this elegant garment has entered the UNESCO Cultural Heritage List.
The most valuable 6 or 7 kelaghayis are produced in Basgal until now.
Nothing can be compared to the beauty of Lahij. Located not too far from the city center Ismayilli, it is a historical and architectural reserve with no hint of modern times.
Here you can enjoy mosques, beautiful towers, ancient constructions and much more.
The historical sources report that first settlements in Lahij date back to the 3rd-4th centuries. It is interesting that the village's water and sewerage system is more than 1500 years old.
The village is also developed as an ancient craft center. The village was one of the main centers of manufacture of copper dishes and weapons in the 18th – 19th centuries.
There were more than 200 craftsmen workshops in Lahij in the middle of the 19th century.
Laman Ismayilova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @Lam_Ismayilova
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