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Coordinates: 40°46′12″N 47°02′56″E / 40.77000°N 47.04889°E / 40.77000; 47.04889

Skyline of Mingəçevir
Official seal of Mingəçevir
Mingəçevir is located in Azerbaijan
Coordinates: 40°46′12″N 47°02′56″E / 40.77000°N 47.04889°E / 40.77000; 47.04889
Country  Azerbaijan
City Mingachevir
Founded 1948
 • Total 47 km2 (18 sq mi)
Elevation 545 m (1,788 ft)
Population (2008)[1]
 • Total 99,775
 • Density 2,100/km2 (5,500/sq mi)
Time zone AZT (UTC+4)
 • Summer (DST) AZT (UTC+5)
Area code(s) +994 024 27
Website Official website

Mingachevir (Azerbaijani: Mingəçevir; also, Mengechaur, Mingächevir, Mingechaur, Mingechaurges, and Mingelchaur), sometimes spelled Mingecevir, is the fourth-largest city in Azerbaijan with a population of about 100,000. It is known as city of lights because of its hydroelectric power station on the Kur River, which splits the city in half.

The area has been settled for thousands of years, but the current city was founded in 1948, partly by German soldiers who were taken prisoner during World War II[citation needed]. Mingechevir is also home to Mingachevir Polytechnic Institute. The city forms an administrative division of Azerbaijan.


Despite the fact that Mingecevir is a young town, the territory where the town is located is known as an ancient abode. The history of this abode covers a period from the eneolith era (3000 BC) to the AD 17th century. It was the chairman of the Caucasus archeological committee, A. I. Berje, who first gave information about the archeological monuments of Mingecevir at the second congress of archeologists in St Petersburg in 1871.[citation needed] Although this information was not precise, Berje presented Mingecevir as an ancient settlement.

Bones of the south elephants B.C 600-400 thousand years (Museum of History Mingachevir)

After this, Mingecevir remained out of archeologists’ attention for many years. Archeological researches resumed in Mingecevir only in mid-1930s as part of the construction of the hydroelectric power station. The researches started under the leadership of Prof. Pakhomov in 1935.[citation needed] These researches revealed two ancient settlements and cemeteries, which were composed of various types of graves.[citation needed] Unfortunately, World War II prevented the research being completed.

Crosses from Migachevir church complex, Caucasian Albania

The construction of the hydroelectric power station started immediately after the war. This marked a start of systematic and planned research of Mingecevir as an ancient abode. Archeological excavations were carried out from April 1946 to August 1953 by a group of archeologists headed by S. M. Qaziyev in connection with the construction of the Mingecevir hydroelectric power station under a decision by the Supreme Board of the Azerbaijani Academy of Sciences.[citation needed] Over 20,000 historical monuments – graves and tumuli, means of production, things related to daily life, jewelry etc., which reflected historical periods in chronological sequence, were found during the excavations.[citation needed]

Most ancient written monuments in Caucasian Albanian alphabet and other archeological finds proved that Mingecevir was a 5,000-year-old abode. The majority of these finds are currently exhibited in the Azerbaijani Historical Museum, while part of them is held at the Mingecevir Historical Museum.

Base of a column with Albanian inscription, Caucasian Albania

History knows a great deal of facts about ancient Mingecevir. Historical sources indicate that a fierce battle took place between the powerful army of Roman commander Pompey and the army of Albanian governor Oris just on the territory of the current dam on the bank of the River Kur in the 1st century BC. Historical facts also prove that the ancient Silk Road laid via Mingecevir.[citation needed]

Renowned Turkish traveler Evliya Çelebi, who lived in the AD 17th century, wrote about Mingecevir and described it as a large settlement on the right bank of the River Kur near the Bozdag Mountain. According to him, several mosques, workshops manufacturing fiber silk and silk cloth, bathhouses etc. were operating in this settlement. Interestingly, the road passing from here used to be called the "road of messenger". The "road of messenger" was connecting lots of camelcade and trade roads to Middle East countries and Azerbaijani towns like Saki, Qabala, Samaxi, Barda, Beylaqan and others.

A great number of people came to Mingechevir from all districts in Azerbaijan in connection with the construction of the Mingechevir hydroelectric power station, and a total of 20,000 people took part in the construction of this power station. About 10,000 German POWs were among those who contributed to the construction of this power station by the end of the 1940s. The most experienced specialists of the country were involved in the construction of this building site as the biggest hydroelectric power station of the then Soviet Union.

Today's Mingechevir, which was built in connection with the hydroelectric power station, was granted a status of town in 1948. The population of the town currently stands at 120,000 people, including 20,000 internally displaced people from Karabakh and the occupied adjacent districts. The area of the town is 139.53 km². Mingechevir is situated 55 meter above sea level on the foothill of the southeast of the Bozdag Mountain chain and on the edge of the Mingechevir reservoir in the Kur-Araz lowland in central Azerbaijan. The town was built in a mild and warm zone and has warm and dry summer, while mild winter. The average annual temperature is 14 - 15 °C, highest temperature 42 °C (July-August) and the lowest temperature (January-February) -10 °C. The average annual rain constitutes 250–300 mm.

The town lies on both banks of the River Kur - a 1515 km-long river, which is the biggest and longest one in the South Caucasus. (The river originates from Turkey, runs down Georgia and Azerbaijan and flows to the Caspian Sea.) Mingechevir is situated in 280–300 km west of the capital of the republic, Baku.

Mingechevir has been developing speedily over the last 54 years, since it has been established. Mingechevir, which is currently considered to be the fourth town of the country both for its economic potential and the number of population, is one of the central towns of the republic in terms of energy, industry, science, education and culture. The number of able-bodied people in Mingechevir is 53,000, while the number of people actually involved in labor is 16,000. The number of people engaged in small-sized businesses stands at 4,000 people


Ethnic groups[edit]

Population 140,000


Reservoir and hydroelectric power station[edit]

The construction of the Mingachevir reservoir and hydroelectric power station was completed in 1953. The hydroelectric power stations soil dam, whose total capacity is 15.6 cubic kilometers of water, is one of the highest dams in Europe that was constructed through sprinkling. The length of the reservoir is 70 km, width from 3 to 18 km, deepest point about 75 meters and total area 605 km².

Apart from the River Kur, the reservoir feeds two channels of the 172 km-long Upper Qarabag Channel and the 123 km-long Upper Sirvan Channel. These channels are used to irrigate 10,000 square kilometres of area in the steppes of Mil, Mugan and Sirvan. The Varvara reservoir and the Varvara hydroelectric power station are in 20 km east from the Mingechevir reservoir on the River Kur. The volume of the Varvara hydroelectric power station's energy blocks is 16 MW.


Sixteen public libraries with 406,677 books in total are operating in the town. The number of subscribers in these libraries stands at 46,282 people. Every book is requested 2.9 times in average annually, and readers took books from libraries 904,395 times last year.


The Mingacevir Historical Museum was established in January 1968. The museum has two branches – Martyrs’ Memorial and Independence Museum. The museum has 14,461 exhibits.


The number of exhibits in Mingacevir Gallery is 310 pieces.


There are 8 clubhouses, including the Martyr Azar Niftaliyev clubhouse, S. Vurgun clubhouse, N. Narimanov clubhouse and others, in the town. Town residents also enjoy parks, like Sahil Park and Friendship Park.

Musical schools[edit]

There are 3 musical schools – Hacibayov School, Bulbul School and Martyr Qasimov School – in Mingacevir. The study in these schools lasts 7 years. A total of 1,500 students study at these schools, and 350 professional teachers train them. These schools have different courses on tar, kamanca, nagara, saz (national musical instruments), piano, violin and vocal.


The Davudova Mingacevir State Theatre was established on the basis of folk theatre in 1969 (Pic 21). Every clubhouse has its own ensemble. There are also singing and music circles, as well as training courses on computer, tailoring, board games, military patriotic and arts are functioning in the clubhouses.


Mingecevir is also one of the central towns of science, education and culture. There are two institutions of higher education, one college, 20 high schools, 3 musical schools, one private Turkish lycee and a drivers’ training school in the town.

A total of 1,814 teachers and 471 mentors engaged in education in the town. A total of 18,125 students study at high schools in Mingecevir, while 200-250 students graduate from schools every year. In 2002, 274 graduates entered various higher education institutions in the republic and abroad. There are also seven non-educational centers under the Mingecevir education department. They are the chess school, the canoe-training center, the technical creative center, the center for students’ environmental upbringing, the creative center for children, the youth sports center and the center of youth tourism and regional geography.

These centers are of great importance to let children obtain new skills and knowledge and to reveal ingenious young people.

Teachers and students establish very rich study halls at high schools.

There are 21 nursery schools in Mingecevir. A total of 2,825 children of different ages are brought up in these nursery schools. Two of the nursery schools - No 10 and 16 - switched to the "step by step" methodology devised by the Open Society Institute (USA) in March 1998.

Mingachevir Polytechnic Institute[edit]

This institution of higher education started as a branch of the Azerbaijani Oil Academy in 1991, but became independent and was developed into Mingecevir Polytechnic Institute the same year.

The institute offers specialties as follows: the regulation of economy; management of economy; state and municipality management; heating and electric power stations; mechanical engineering; vehicles and tractors; technical exploitation of vehicles; organization of vehicular traffic; electro insulation; cables and condensers; information processing and automation of management systems, and repair of vehicles and services. A total of 1,210 students are currently studying in the institute. Of these, 1,200 students study for bachelor's degree, while 10 for master's degree.

The number of staff of the institute is 150, of which 52 are doctors of science and candidates of sciences. There are wide lecture halls, laboratories, a canteen, a reading hall, a library, a gymnasium, an assembly hall etc. in the institute. A computer center, which was established by the Soros international humanitarian organization and connected to the Internet, operates in the institute.

The rector of the institute is Akif Novruz oglu Haciyev, who is a candidate of pedagogical sciences.

Mingachevir branch of the Azerbaijani Teachers Training Institute[edit]

This institute of higher education was established on the basis of Mingecevir Polytechnic college in 2002. The institute prepares specialists in the following areas:

  • pedagogy and methodology of pre-school education
  • pedagogy and methodology of secondary education
  • mathematics
  • mathematics and physics
  • Azerbaijani language and literature
  • history
  • English language

There are also training courses on improving teachers skills in the institute. The number of students in the institute is 520, while the number of staff is 80, including 13 doctors and candidates of sciences. The head of this institute of high education is Aslan Hasan oglu Damirov, who is candidate of physics and mathematics sciences.

Mingachevir medical school[edit]

The school was established in 1991. There are 17 study halls at the school: anatomy, therapy, surgery, pediatrics and others.

The school offers specialties as follows:

There is a computer room at the school. What is more, every study hall was equipped with computers. A total of 594 people are currently studying at the school, and 47 teachers with university degree instruct them.


The city has one professional football team competing in the top-flight of Azerbaijani football - Energetik FC, currently playing in the Azerbaijan First Division. The city also contains high modern rowing Kur Olympic Sport Complex, which was renovated and unveiled in 2010.[2][3]

Notable natives[edit]

International relations[edit]

Twin cities[edit]

Mingachevir is twinned with the following cities:


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