Nakhchivan (city)

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Coordinates: 39°12′32″N 45°24′44″E / 39.20889°N 45.41222°E / 39.20889; 45.41222

Municipality and city
From top, left to right: Momine Khatun Mausoleum, Noah’s Mausoleum, Khan's Palace, Haji Rufai Bey Mosque, Yusif ibn Kuseyir Mausoleum, View of the city from plane
From top, left to right: Momine Khatun Mausoleum, Noah’s Mausoleum, Khan's Palace, Haji Rufai Bey Mosque, Yusif ibn Kuseyir Mausoleum, View of the city from plane
Official seal of Nakhchivan
Nakhchivan is located in Azerbaijan
Coordinates: 39°12′32″N 45°24′44″E / 39.20889°N 45.41222°E / 39.20889; 45.41222
Country  Azerbaijan
Autonomous republic Nakhchivan
 • Total 15 km2 (6 sq mi)
 • Land 14.2 km2 (5.5 sq mi)
 • Water 0.8 km2 (0.3 sq mi)
Population (2010)[1]
 • Total 74,500
Time zone AZT (UTC+4)
 • Summer (DST) AZT (UTC+5)

The city of Nakhchivan (Azerbaijani: Naxçıvan) is the capital of the eponymous Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic of Azerbaijan, located 450 km (280 mi) west of Baku. The municipality of Nakhchivan consists of the city of Nakhchivan and the villages of Başbaşı, Qarağalıq, and Daşduz.[2] It is spread over the foothills of Zangezur chain, on the right bank of the Nakhchivan River at an altitude of almost 1,000 m (3,300 ft).


Nakhchivan was one of the prominent cities of the Armenian Kingdom under the Artaxides, Arshakides and Bagratides dynasties from the 2nd century BC until the 11th century AD.[3][4][5] In the 2nd century, Nakhchivan was known to Ptolemy under the name Ναξουὰνα (Naxouana), and some scholars have sought to identify Strabo's otherwise unidentified Arxata, mentioned in his description of the cities of Armenia, with Nakhchivan. Herodotus wrote that the river of Araz flows from the mountains of Matean to the country of Nakhar.[6] Potts[7] writes that Nakhchivan was probably the capital of the Siwnik region of Sassanid Armenia during the late-Sassanid period, when Siwnik was described as being located "along the Araxes" by Ananias of Shirak. According to Sebeos, the Byzantine emperor Heraclius marched through the Nakhchivan region during his campaign against the Sassanid empire in 627-628. Some Armenian chroniclers additionally state that Heraclius destroyed the town of Nakhchivan before marching on to Ganzak. A legend that the city of Nakhchivan was founded by Noah developed during the Christian-era.[8] At the beginning of the 12th century Nakhchivan became the capital of Atabek's state. At the start of the 20th century Nakhchivan was the capital of a district of Erivan Governorate of the Russian Empire.[9]

Architectural monuments[edit]

The mausoleum of Nakhichevan was entered for possible inclusion in the List of World Heritage Sites, UNESCO in 1998 by Gulnara Mehmandarova[10] — president of Azerbaijan Committee of ICOMOSInternational Council on Monuments and Sites.

Mausoleum of Yusif Kuseyir's son[edit]

In 1162 (557) a building of mausoleum of Sheikkh's head Yusif Kuseyir's son was accomplished by architector Adjemi, Abubekr's son. Ochtahedronical in plan building was raised with scorched brick (20x20x4.5) and completed with tent in form of a pyramid. Every border of the mausoleum is notable by independent motive of geometrical ornament, marked of triangular haxahedronical in form of rbombus facing blocks attached to the fundamental laying. Along the top of the building there is a wide strip of furze with an inscription from Koran. Internal space of the mausoleum is dismembered to the spacious upper chamber and the tomb. The tomb is covered with a flat cupola.

Mausoleum in Karabaglar village[edit]

At the faced round socle there is a cylinder rising cone plan of the contour of which is composed by 12 closed half- cylinders in past, this cylinder was completed a conic tent. The surface of the building is covered with polychrome carpet of patterned facing. A combination of turquoise glazed and simple bricks is forming a net of big squares put to a corner filled with repeated inscription of Koranic maintenance. The pattern of the facing is completed with white frieze inscription, bordered by narrow terracottic wattles. Dairy - white glaze of the inscription and bright turquoise of vegetable ornament are rosarily displayed on the deep dark blue gilled of the frieze. External tent and internal cupola are not kept preserved. Four portals of the upper chamber are effectively picked out. Thanks to deep niches arranged by the sides of the central quarter, the tomb of the mausoleum has a form of a cross with equivalents. It was recovered with a cross mirror arch. Characterizing an architecture of the mausoleum we should mark its gofer surface which determines in significant measures an artistic expression of the appearance. Play of light shadows in dependence of times of the year and days is adding and inimitable expression to the monument. In its far past method was indisputably constructive turining gradually into the decorative. During the appearing of new building materials primarely it was met in early feudal defensive constructions at the territory behind Caspian. Later it was implanted to creation of Azeri architectors who besides the mausoleum of Karabaglar applied it to mausoleum of Djalaladdin Rumi, in a drum of cupola of Mirdjanit's mosque etc. Couple minarets with a portal entering a complex of Karabaglar are forming united architectural composition. On the high pedestals there are shapely cylindrical stems of minarets. Architectural adornment of minarets is carried out from burned and gazed brick. Terracotic placed at turquaise phone – rarely meeting method in architecture of Azerbaijan. Around the mausoleum in Karabaglar village remains of small mausoleums, walls of fortification, walls of towers and water- line witnessing about a large town population in former time, are kept.

Momine Hatun's Mausoleum[edit]

Mausoleum was built by architect Adjemi ibn Abubekr in 585 ( 11 86) year in Nakhichevan for Momine hatun Atabek Eldegiz Muhammed Pehlevan's wife. The mausoleum represents a twenty five meter volume with ten borders. The base of mausoleum is a pedestral, faced with red diorites. In a prismatic volume of the mausoleum corner supports of rectangular frames drowned flatness, ornamented by decorative facing blocks, are picked out by plastic means. At the kept pictures and photos we can see that the mausoleum was a part of a large cultural complex of Nakhichevan of the 12th century. Architect Adjemi was apparently not only a builder of mausoleums and portals, but of all the complex. It can be proved by conducting archeological excavations.

Gulustan mausoleum[edit]

Mausoleum was built in the 12th century. 1) Look at turnover 2) At powerful pedestal completed with a cornice, twelve bordered volume which was crowned by pyramidal tent in former times raises. Vertical composition of mausoleum is laconic and expressive. Quadrangular pedestal at the height of three rows of laying by means of wedge-shaped flatness crosses to twelvehedron. As an opposition of smooth basis, upper volume is richly decorated. Its flatness is covered with geometrical interlacing of different patterns. 3) In architectural appearance of Gulustan mausoleum the underlining of vertical devidings and wealth of decor are significant features which assisted the creation of majesticity and paradeness.

Museums and galleries[edit]

Huseyn Javid mausoleum

The main sight in the city is the heavily restored 12th-century Momine Khatun Mausoleum, also known as Atabek Gumbezi. Momine Khatun was the wife of Eldegizid Atabek Jahan Pahlivan, ruler of the Atabek Eldegiz emirate. The 10-sided monument is decorated with intricate geometrical motives and Kufic script, it uses turquoise glazed bricks. It shares the neighbourhood with a statue of its architect - Ajami Nakhchivani - and a bust of Heydar Aliyev. Also from the 12th century and by the same architect, is the octagonal Yusuf Ibn Kuseir tomb, known as Atababa, half abandoned near the main cemetery.

More recent (1993) is the white marble mausoleum of Hussein Javid. The Azeri writer died in the Gulag under Joseph Stalin. Both the mausoleum and his house museum are located east of the theatre. Although being a recent construction, Huseyn Javid's mausoleum is of great iconic importance, representing the ability of the exclave to live despite the Armenian embargo and becoming a symbol of Nakhchivan itself.

The city also has many historical museums, the literature museum of Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic, Nakhchivan State History Museum, The Nakhchivan State Carpet Museum, and the house museums of Jamshid Nakhchivanski and Bahruz Kangarli.[11] There is also an archaeological museum found on Istiqlal street. The city has a few interesting mosques, particularly the Juma mosque, with its large dome.

Modern museums in Nakchivan include the Museum under Open Air, the Memorial Museum (Xatıra Muzeyi), dedicated to the national strife between Armenia and Azerbaijan, and Heydar Aliyev Museum.


The city has a wide range of cultural activities, amenities and museums. It has a cultural center called Heydar Aliyev Palace, which has a permanent local painting exhibition and a theatre hall for an audience of 1000 people, and a recently restored Soviet-time Opera Theatre where the Naxçıvan Dövlət Musiqili Dram Teatrı (Nakhchivan State Musical Drama Theatre) realises theatre plays, concerts, musicals and opera.


Traditionally, Nakhchivan was home to trade industry, handicraft, shoemaking and hatmaking. These industries have been largely replaced. The restoration enterprises and development industry, liberalization of foreign trade and the extension of the customs infrastructure, which has been largely responsible for Nakchivan's growth in the last two decades, are now major parts of Nakchivan's economy.[12]


There are 3 professional, 6 musical, 22 secondary schools and a military cadet school in Nakchivan administered by the city council.[13]

Universities and colleges[edit]

Nakchivan is one of the Azerbaijan's main centre of education and home to numerous universities:


Football and Futsal are the most popular sports in Nakhchivan. The city's Araz Naxçivan is one of the top futsal clubs in the European futsal arena and regularly participates in UEFA Futsal Cup.[14][15][16]


Nakhchivan has a continental semi-arid climate (Köppen BSk) with short but cold, snowy winters and long, dry, very hot summers.

Climate data for Nakhchivan
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 0.8
Daily mean °C (°F) −4.0
Average low °C (°F) −6.8
Precipitation mm (inches) 19
Mean monthly sunshine hours 83.7 117.6 189.1 204.0 254.2 324.0 365.8 337.9 303.0 217.0 147.0 120.9 2,664.2
Source: Hong Kong Observatory[17]


Nakhchivan Airport (NAJ), in the north of the city, serves a number of domestic and international destinations including Turkey, mainland Azerbaijan, Iran and Russia.

Currently, light rail line is working from Nakchivan to Ordubad beyond to Sharur.[18]

International relations[edit]

Twin towns – Sister cities[edit]

Nakhchivan is twinned with:

Notable natives[edit]


Nakchivan’s signature cuisine includes şirin plov (sweet rice with gravy; made with mutton, hazelnuts, almonds and dried fruits), dastana, komba, tendir lavash and galin.[32]



  1. ^ The State Statistical Committee of the Azerbaijan Republic
  2. ^ "Belediyye Informasiya Sistemi" (in Azerbaijani). Archived from the original on September 24, 2008. 
  3. ^ Kingdom of Greater Armenia. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 20 November 2013.
  4. ^ (Armenian) Ter-Ghevondyan, Aram N. «Բագրատունիների Թագավորություն» (Bagratuni Kingdom). Soviet Armenian Encyclopedia. vol. ii. Yerevan, Armenian SSR: Armenian Academy of Sciences, 1976, p. 202.
  5. ^ Atlas of Ancient and Classical Geography , Samuel Butler, 1907.
  6. ^ Herodotus. History, I 202; V 52
  7. ^ D. T. Potts, "Some Problems in the Historical Geography of Nakhchivan" in Ancient West & East, Volume 1, No. 1, 2002.
  8. ^ Энциклопедический словарь Брокгауза и Ефрона. Нахичевань. — С.-Петербург:1890—1907 (Russian)
  9. ^ Brockhaus and Efron Encyclopedic Dictionary: Erivan Governorate.
  10. ^ The mausoleum of Nakhichevan (#))
  11. ^ The Museums of Nakchivan City
  12. ^ The economy of Nakchivan
  13. ^ The Secondary Schools in Nakchivan
  14. ^ Футзальный клуб «Араз» определился с соперниками по элитному раунду Кубка чемпионов (Russian)
  15. ^ Happy Friday night for Benfica, Puntar and Araz
  16. ^ Club's profile
  17. ^ "Climatological Normals of Naxcivan". Hong Kong SAR Government. Retrieved 2011-01-06. 
  18. ^ Transport of Nakhchivan
  19. ^ "Batumi - Twin Towns & Sister Cities". Batumi City Hall. Archived from the original on 2012-05-04. Retrieved 2013-08-10. 
  20. ^ (Azerbaijani) "Afiyəddin Cəlilov". 
  21. ^ "Aliyev Amiraslan Rza oglu". 
  22. ^ (Russian) "Шариф Азиз Алиевич". Great Soviet Encyclopedia. 
  23. ^ (Russian) "Кенгерли Бехруз (Шамиль) Ширалибек оглы". Great Soviet Encyclopedia. 
  24. ^ (Russian) "Гамгюсар". Great Soviet Encyclopedia. 
  25. ^ (Russian) "Мамедкулизаде Джалил". Great Soviet Encyclopedia. 
  26. ^ (Russian) "Алиев Гейдар Али Рза оглы". Справочник по истории Коммунистической партии и Советского Союза 1898 - 1991. 
  27. ^ (Russian) "Хейран-Ханум". Great Soviet Encyclopedia. 
  28. ^ (Russian) "Гусейн Джавид". Great Soviet Encyclopedia. 
  29. ^ (Russian) "Золотаревский Николай Иванович" (in Russian). Heroes of the country. 
  30. ^ (Russian) Rza Tahmasib.
  31. ^ (Azerbaijani) "Görkəmli Naxçıvanlılar - Səkinə Əliyeva". Prezident Kitabxanası. 
  32. ^ National cuisine of Nakchivan

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