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Ismayilli, Evian-les-Bains sign pact to be sister cities

16 December 2015 14:04 (UTC+04:00)
Ismayilli, Evian-les-Bains sign pact to be sister cities

By Amina Nazarli

Azerbaijan’s Ismayilli town and French city of Evian-les-Bains have inked a friendship and cooperation charter to facilitate mutually beneficial educational, cultural, social and economic ties.

A high-level delegation led by Head of Ismayilli Executive Power Mirdamat Sadigov visited Évian-les-Bains to ink the agreement on December 14.

French city’s Mayor Marc Francina, addressing the event said the charter would contribute to development of ties in culture and tourism.

Sadigov, for his part, highlighted the reforms carried out in the country under the leadership of President Ilham Aliyev and spoke of the contributions of First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva in maintaining the national cultural heritage.

Since the charter becomes effective when it’s signed in both cities, the document was previously inked by the Évian-les-Bains’ delegation, who visited Ismayilli this May.

The two cities have a number of similarities, but the most important is that both are considered one of the most picturesque places, attracting many tourism enthusiasts.

Furthermore, both towns are rich with mineral waters. Climatic health resort, Evian has developed tourism at the beginning of the 19th century after the discovery of properties of its mineral water, now exported worldwide.

Earlier, Adviser to Azerbaijani ambassador to Paris Elmar Mammadov said the two sides will eye possibility of organizing French production of Evian's premium class mineral water in Ismayilli region, including manufacture of glass containers.

Ismayilli is also famous for its mineral springs such as Bado and Namazgakh, which were mentioned in the scientific works of many mineralogists.

Discovering Ismayilli

Ismayilli, located north of the country, was once part of Caucasian Albania - IV c. B.C. Here, on top of the highest mountain lay the ruins of a medieval fortress.

Alongside Azerbaijanis there are other nations and ethnic groups living in the area: Lezgins, Russians (malakans), Jews, lahyıch and hapyts, the descendants of ancient Albans.

On the banks of Girdmanchay, a name which has been known since the VII century, at 1200 m above sea level, lies the village of Lahij. This small mountainous village is one of Azerbaijan's most famous craft centers.

This medieval village with its cobbled streets and squares is one of the most famous craft and trading centers in the Caucasus and its beyond. Even today a dozen workshops are operating here, demonstrating hereditary blacksmiths who make various household items in front of the astonished tourists.

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 - Kelagayi, which is included in the UNESCO's Representative List of the Intangible Heritage of Humanity has been manufactured in this village.

Ismayilli is also a center of wine production in Azerbaijan, which of course put the region on the map of wine tourism. For example guests can stay in the complex Shato Monolit – a full cycle winery that includes all processes: from growing grapes to bottling, in keeping with the French castle.

Picturesque French city

Evian-les Bains is a lovely town on the edge of Lake Leman in the French Alps, located on the south shore of Lake Geneva.

With its position on the edge of Lac Leman, the biggest lake in Europe, its proximity to the mountains, and the building of some fabulous buildings in the early 19th century when spa baths were all the rage in Europe, Evian has a great deal for visitors to enjoy.

A couple of years ago Evian won the award for the best resort in France in the World Travel Awards and is also, of course, famous for its spring water which is sold worldwide.

There are a good number of places of interest to visit during the stay in Evian. Among the worth seeing in the city are the Palais Lumiere, Town Hall -Villa Lumiere, Cachat Pump Room and the Cachat Spring.

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Amina Nazarli is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @amina_nazarli

Follow us on Twitter @AzerNewsAz

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