Agdam

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For other uses, see Agdam (disambiguation).

Coordinates: 39°59′35″N 46°55′50″E / 39.99306°N 46.93056°E / 39.99306; 46.93056

Ağdam  (Azerbaijani)
Ակնա, Akna (Armenian)
Skyline of Ağdam  (Azerbaijani)
Ağdam  (Azerbaijani) is located in Azerbaijan
Ağdam  (Azerbaijani)
Ağdam  (Azerbaijani)
Coordinates: 39°59′35″N 46°55′50″E / 39.99306°N 46.93056°E / 39.99306; 46.93056
Country
Rayon Agdam
Elevation 369 m (1,211 ft)
Population (2008)
 • Total 3,770

Ağdam (also, Agdam and Akna) is a ghost town in the southwest part of Azerbaijan and the capital of its Agdam District. The forces of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic captured Agdam during their 1993 summer offensives. The heavy fighting forced the entire population to flee eastwards. After they took possession of the town the Armenian forces of Nagorno-Karabkh decided to destroy much of Agdam to discourage the Azerbaijanis from recapturing it.[1] More damage occurred in the following decades when locals looted the deserted town for building materials. Agdam is currently ruined and uninhabited.[2] The town's large Agdam Mosque survives intact but is in a derelict condition.

Etymology[edit]

The city's name is of Azerbaijani origin and means "White House", in which means "white" and dam is "house" or "attic", thus referring to a "bright sun-lit, white house" which was given by Panah Ali Khan of Karabakh Khanate.[3]

Another possibility is that it was derived from ancient Turkic glossary meaning "small fortress". In the distant past, Turkic speaking tribes built small fortresses for their protection and safety.[3]

History[edit]

Agdam Mosque on Azerbaijani stamp (depicted as it looked before the Karabakh war)

Agdam was founded in the 18th century and granted city status in 1828.[4] It is 26 km (16 miles) from Stepanakert. Before the Nagorno-Karabakh War, butter, wine and brandy, machine factories and a railway station functioned there.[5][6]

Nagorno-Karabakh War[edit]

Main article: Nagorno-Karabakh War
Nature slowly reclaiming the ruins

Agdam was the scene of fierce fighting during the Nagorno-Karabakh War. According to journalist Robert Parsons, Azerbaijani forces used Agdam as a base for attacks on Karabakh, launching BM-21 Grad missiles and bombing raids from there against civilians.[7] During the Battle of Aghdam, Armenian forces violated the rules of war by hostage-taking, indiscriminate fire, and the forcible displacement of civilians.[8] As the city fell, almost its entire population fled eastward.[9]

The Armed Forces of Armenia still use the city as a buffer zone, meaning that Ağdam remains empty and decaying, and usually off-limits for sightseeing.[10][11]

Post-war years[edit]

The ruined city once had a population of almost 40,000 people,[12] but today it is an almost entirely uninhabited ghost town.[13] All the houses are ruined, some by shells fired in the war, others due to looting for building materials.[14][15]

One of the few buildings to remain intact is Agdam Mosque. Its derelict condition drew criticism from Azerbaijani and Turkish communities, who complained to Pope Benedict XVI about the mosque's current situation.[16]

In 2008, the Lonely Planet's guidebook dubbed the city as "Caucasian Hiroshima".[17][18]

Geography[edit]

Climate[edit]

Climate data for Agdam
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 6.2
(43.2)
7.0
(44.6)
11.2
(52.2)
18.6
(65.5)
23.1
(73.6)
27.8
(82)
31.3
(88.3)
30.1
(86.2)
25.9
(78.6)
19.1
(66.4)
13.0
(55.4)
8.6
(47.5)
18.5
(65.3)
Daily mean °C (°F) 2.3
(36.1)
2.8
(37)
6.1
(43)
12.3
(54.1)
16.1
(61)
20.4
(68.7)
24.6
(76.3)
23.3
(73.9)
18.6
(65.5)
13.5
(56.3)
8.2
(46.8)
4.1
(39.4)
12.7
(54.9)
Average low °C (°F) −0.9
(30.4)
0.0
(32)
3.2
(37.8)
8.9
(48)
13.5
(56.3)
17.8
(64)
21.2
(70.2)
20.0
(68)
16.4
(61.5)
10.6
(51.1)
5.8
(42.4)
1.5
(34.7)
9.8
(49.6)
Average precipitation mm (inches) 15
(0.59)
24
(0.94)
32
(1.26)
48
(1.89)
73
(2.87)
64
(2.52)
33
(1.3)
27
(1.06)
30
(1.18)
50
(1.97)
32
(1.26)
19
(0.75)
447
(17.6)
Average precipitation days 4 6 7 7 10 7 3 3 4 6 5 4 66
Source: NOAA[19]

Demographics[edit]

Year Population Ethnic groups Source
1923 1,660 [20]
1926 7,910 93.6% Azeri Soviet census[21]
1939 10,746 83.3% Azeri, 8.7% Russian, 5.3% Armenian Soviet census[22]
1959 16,061 92% Azeri, 3.6% Russian, 3.4% Armenian Soviet census[23]
1970 21,277 94.9% Azeri, 2% Russian & Ukrainian, 2% Armenian Soviet census[24]
1979 23,483 97% Azeri, 1.3% Russian & Ukrainian, 1.2% Armenian Soviet census[25]
1989 28,031 Soviet census[26]
1991 39,200 [20]
2005 0 NKR census[20]

Economy[edit]

Culture[edit]

Music and media[edit]

Mugham music, a tradition in the Karabakh region, is an important part of Agdam's musical heritage; the city was home to Agdam Mugham School, which produced "Karabakh nightingales" ensemble.[27][28]

Sport[edit]

Despite the invasion, the town is represented by a professional association football team competing in the top-flight of Azerbaijani football – Qarabağ FK, currently playing in the Azerbaijan Premier League.[29]

The Imarat Stadium, which was Agdam's only stadium, was also destroyed by bombardments from Armenian military forces during the Nagorno-Karabakh War.[30][31][32]

Transport[edit]

Education[edit]

Notable residents[edit]

For more details on this topic, see Category:People from Agdam.

Some of the city's many prestigious residents include: military commanders Allahverdi Bagirov and Asif Maharammov, footballers Ramiz Mammadov, Mushfig Huseynov and Vüqar Nadirov, mugham singers Gadir Rustamov, Mansum Ibrahimov and Sakhavat Mammadov, actor Jeyhun Mirzayev, scientist Zakir Mammadov and singer Roya.

Gallery[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Nicolas Holding, "Armenia with Nagorno Karabagh – Bradt Travel Guide", 2003, p200.
  2. ^ Города-призраки. Агдам – жертва мести, памятник глупости. (Russian)
  3. ^ a b "Agdam city". Ministry of Culture and Tourism of Azerbaijan. Archived from the original on 20 July 2012. Retrieved 26 July 2010. 
  4. ^ Значение слова "Агдам" в Большой Советской Энциклопедии (in Russian). Soviet Encyclopedia. Retrieved 26 July 2010. 
  5. ^ Агдам (Азербайджан). Landmarkers.ru (in Russian). Retrieved 26 July 2010. 
  6. ^ Girchenko, Yuriy. Юрий Гирченко. В Союзе все спокойно... (in Russian). Retrieved 26 July 2010. 
  7. ^ Parsons, Robert (3 June 2000). "Tug-of-war for Nagorno-Karabakh". BBC News. Archived from the original on 27 April 2010. Retrieved 26 July 2010. 
  8. ^ Human Rights Watch. Azerbaijan: Seven years of conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh. p.19.
  9. ^ Paul, Amanda. "Agdam – an Azerbaijani ghost town". Retrieved 18 May 2011. 
  10. ^ Hannigan, Chris. "Ghost Towns: Ağdam, Azerbaijan". Archived from the original on 13 August 2010. Retrieved 26 July 2010. 
  11. ^ Chauffor, Célia. "Report: Agdam, ghost city". Caucaz Europenewz. Archived from the original on 1 July 2010. Retrieved 26 July 2010. 
  12. ^ Azerbaijani cities
  13. ^ "20 Abandoned Cities from Around the World". Daily Cognition. Retrieved 26 July 2010. 
  14. ^ Esslemont, Tom (25 June 2009). "Karabakh guns still at the ready". BBC News. Retrieved 26 July 2010. [dead link]
  15. ^ Armenians occupied Agdam cities listed among the ghosts
  16. ^ "Turks complain to Pope on vandalism in Karabakh mosque by Armenians". Archived from the original on 20 July 2010. Retrieved 26 July 2010. 
  17. ^ Lonely Planet Georgia, Armenia & Azerbaijan (Travel Guide). Lonely Planet Publications. 2008. p. 301. 
  18. ^ "Dark Tourism's Agdam". www.dark-tourism.com. Retrieved 14 November 2014. 
  19. ^ "Agdam Climate Normals 1961–1990". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved 22 March 2015. 
  20. ^ a b c "Azərbaycan". pop-stat.mashke.org. 
  21. ^ http://www.ethno-kavkaz.narod.ru/agdam26.html
  22. ^ http://www.ethno-kavkaz.narod.ru/agdam39.html
  23. ^ http://www.ethno-kavkaz.narod.ru/agdam59.html
  24. ^ http://www.ethno-kavkaz.narod.ru/agdam70.html
  25. ^ http://www.ethno-kavkaz.narod.ru/agdam79.html
  26. ^ http://demoscope.ru/weekly/ssp/sng89_reg1.php
  27. ^ Shirinov, Elnur. "“Qarabağ bülbülləri” nin yaradıcısı kimdir". Retrieved 14 November 2014. 
  28. ^ Золотой голос Карабаха – Гадир Рустамов. karabakhinfo.com (in Russian). Retrieved 14 November 2014. 
  29. ^ Adil Nadirov: «Bizi az qala döyüb öldürəcəkdilər" (20 April 2010) (Azerbaijani)
  30. ^ Vaxt olmayan yer (Azerbaijani)[dead link]
  31. ^ Ermənilərin xarabaya çevirdiyi Ağdamın «İmarət» stadionu (8 June 2010) (Azerbaijani)
  32. ^ “Caqa” ikinci dəfə lotereyada uddu (Azerbaijani)[dead link]

External links[edit]