Goygol (city)

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City & Municipality
Coat of arms of Goygol
Coat of arms
Goygol is located in Azerbaijan
Coordinates: 40°35′13″N 46°18′57″E / 40.58694°N 46.31583°E / 40.58694; 46.31583Coordinates: 40°35′13″N 46°18′57″E / 40.58694°N 46.31583°E / 40.58694; 46.31583
Country Azerbaijan
697 m (2,287 ft)
 • Total37,280
Time zoneUTC+4 (AZT)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+5 (AZT)
Area code(s)+994 230

Goygol (known as Helenendorf before 1931, Yelenino in 1931–1938, Khanlar in 1938–2008) is a city and municipality and the capital of the Goygol Rayon in northwestern Azerbaijan. It is about 10 km (6 mi) south of Ganja, Azerbaijan's second largest city. The city of Göygöl has a population of 37,200 (est. 2010). The municipality includes the city of Göygöl and the village of Qızılqaya.[2]



Goygol is situated in northwestern Azerbaijan 10 km south of Ganja city in the foothills of the Murovdag of the Lesser Caucasus Mountains. It is in the Kura River Basin, and the Gyandzha River (Gandzha-chay) runs through the city.[3] A spur to Ganja connects it to the Baku-Kazakh railway, and there is a highway into Ganja.[3]


Goygol has a humid subtropical climate (Köppen climate classification: Cfa). July is the hottest month with average temperature of 24.2 Celsius and January is the coldest with 1.1 Celsius temperature. The wettest month is May with an average of 69 mm.[4]


German Lutheran church 1908

There was a settlement at Goygol since at least the 10th century. An extensive cemetery was excavated in the 1990s, with many bronze weapons (swords, daggers, axes), some jewelry (rings, bracelets, necklaces), and clay black dishes with the geometric designs,[5] some of which are on display at the local museum.[6]

After the Golden Horde and the Timurid Empire, under the Crimean Khanate a Tatar town on the site was known as Hanahlar. The Gandzha Khanate succeeded the Crimean Khanate in the 18th century. Subsequently, in 1795 it was conquered by the Qajar dynasty.[7] It was abandoned during the Russian occupation of the area which began in 1804 and was formalised by the Treaty of Gulistan (Gyulistan Peace Treaty) in 1813.[8]

Helenendorf was founded on the site in 1819 by Germans from Württemberg, as ordered by Czar Alexander to help settle the region. The region was known as Narimanov under the czar. In 1930 the rayon (district) was established with Helenendorf as its administrative centre.

Expropriation of the colonists property and collectivization in Heleendorf began in 1926 with the show trial of three community leaders, Gottlob Hummel, Heinrich Vohrer and Fritz Reitenbach, on charges of counter-revolutionary and nationalist activities. They were convicted, their property confiscated and they were sent to a labor camp in Kazakhstan.[9] By 1935, over 600 German families in the area had been convicted of "espionage" and sent to labor camps.[9]

In 1931 the town was renamed "Yelenino", and in 1938 the town was renamed "Khanlar", in honor of the Azerbaijani labor organizer Khanlar Safaraliyev,[5] and the rayon also became "Khanlar".

In 1942, the remaining German population was deported to Kazakhstan, Central Asia and Siberia on Joseph Stalin's orders.[10] Anastas Mikoyan resettled displaced Armenians in the city following the Germans' departure.[11]

In 2008, Khanlar was renamed Goygol after the nearby lake, and the rayon became Goygol District.[12]


Helenendorf (German Helenendorf) is a German settlement founded in 1819 by settlers from Swabia in Transcaucasia (now the territory of Azerbaijan). Named in honor of the Grand Duchess Elena Pavlovna, the daughter of the Russian Emperor Paul I. In 1938, its name was changed to Khanlar, in 2008 - to Goygol.

Establishment of the colony[edit]

On May 10, 1817, the Russian Emperor Alexander I signed a petition of 700 Swabian families for resettlement in Transcaucasia. The city of Ulm was appointed the assembly point, from where the settlers were sent on ships down the Danube to Izmail. After the quarantine, they were resettled for wintering in already existing by that time Black Sea German colonies Peterstal, Josefstal, Karlstal and other Swabian villages. The settlers arrived in Transcaucasus only in August 181, accompanied by Cossacks. Of the seven hundred families that left Ulm, only about four hundred have reached the goal; Some of the settlers died on the way from illnesses, others stayed in the Black Sea region. At the same time, about one hundred families from the Black Sea colonies joined the settlers. Six settlements in Georgia and two (Annenfeld and Elenendorf) in Azerbaijan were founded in the Transcaucasus.[13]

The colonists arrived to the appointed place in the winter of 1818, so they were forced to winter in Elizavetpole, and only in the spring of 1819, on Easter holidays, government officials determined the exact place of construction of Elenendorf - the former "Tatar settlement" Hanahlar, where "besides the half-buried canal and the pits in the ground, nothing reminded of the former inhabitants." The plots for the yards were distributed along two streets. The founders of the Helenendorf colony were Swabian families (according to various sources, from 127 to 135 families), who came mainly from Reutlingen under the leadership of Gottlieb Koch, Duke Shiman, Jakov Krause and Johannes Wuhrer. Initially, the colonists had to live in dugouts, for several years they lived in very difficult and even dangerous conditions, so in the first winter (1818-1819) only 118 families survived. During the Russian-Persian War of 1826-28, the Swabians twice had to flee to Elizavetpol and Tiflis, fleeing from the advancing Persians, both times Helenendorf was burned by the Persians. In 1829-30, mortality due to diseases (including plague and cholera) was two times higher than the birth rate. Only in the 1930s did the colonists manage to gradually regain their lives.[14]

In 1843, the population of Helendorf was 609 people, in 1926 - 2157 people (but by this time the natives of Elenendorf founded two more colonies - Georgsfeld (936 inhabitants) and Traubenfeld (393 inhabitants)). They also moved to other subsidiary colonies, formed at the beginning of the XX century. In October 1941 (during the forced eviction of German colonists from Transcaucasia), the number of Germans living in Elenendorf and subject to eviction was 2,675 people.[15]

Economic activities[edit]

By 1875, the colonists had fully paid the government credit (2000 rubles per family), which they received in 1818 for the relocation and arrangement of the farm. By this time, the main occupation of the colonists was the cultivation of grapes and the production of spirits - various varieties of vintage and table wine, cognac, champagne. The products produced in Elenendorf were sold by the local firms "Brothers Hummel", "Brothers Forehrer" and "Concordia" not only in Russia, in particular in Moscow and St. Petersburg, but also in Europe. Crafts were also developed. By 1908, the colony numbered 8 workshops for the production of horse carts (also supplied to the Russian army), 6 for barrels, 9 forges, 9 carpentry and 6 carpentry workshops, 4 sewing masters, 4 painters and 4 stoves, 3 locksmith workshops, one shoe master.[16]

Social Development[edit]

The Schwabs who settled in the Russian Empire were Lutherans, but belonged to the Pietistic movement, which, in fact, was one of the reasons for their resettlement to the Caucasus. In 1832 a pastor arrived from Hannover to the colony, and before that, from the time of the founding of Elenendorf, divine services, the sacraments and rituals were conducted by a local teacher. In 1857 stone church of St. John. was built and consecrated in the village. In the thirties of XXth century, two newspapers were published in the German language Bauer und Arbeiter and Lenins Weg.[17]

Due to the fact that there was also a teacher among the arrivals, the children of the colonists had the opportunity to study reading, writing and counting, later - geography and history. In 1823 the first school was built, in which children were trained in two classes. As the population grew, the school expanded, and the list of subjects studied in it expanded. From the 1890s, it became compulsory to study the Russian language. In 1907, at the Elendendorf school, a boarding school was opened to accommodate children from other Swabian settlements of the Transcaucasus who studied there. In the 20-ies of the XX century, teachers from Germany were invited to work at the school. So, for example, Alois Melichar (Alois Melichar), future conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic conducted music lessons in Elendendorf school.

The cultural life in Helenendorf began with the formation in 1893 of the German Society (Deutscher Verein), originally a male club with a library, a reading room and a bowling alley. Later on, the amateur wind and string orchestras and the theater studio were organized, which held concerts and performances both in the hall of the society, where up to 400 spectators could be accommodated, and at various festive events, including in the public garden of Helendorf. In 1930, a music school was opened with classes of pianofortes and stringed instruments. Various festivals, which gathered musical groups from all the Transcaucasian colonies were often held in Helenendorf (by the 1930s there were 21 colonies).

Traces of the German settlement can be seen in the school buildings and the parish church built in 1854.


In the 1920 census there were 2,259 people registered.[18]

The city today is overwhelmingly populated by Azeris. Starting in 1915, the town became home to a small Assyrian community, originally from Turkey and Iran.[19] The last resident of Goygol of German descent died in 2007.[20] The Assyrian population consisted of three families as of 2016.[21]


A large wine machinery plant, which aids in the processing of grapes, is located in Goygol, as was a state-owned cattle-breeding farm as of 1990.[5]

Flag Square in Goygol


There are a number of historical monuments in Goygol serving as Champagne-wine shop of Goygol Wine Factory, Goygol Printing House, District Music School, Koroglu Hotel date to the 19th century, as well as former buildings of District Prosecutor's Office and District Police Department were built in the 19th century.[22][23] The History-Ethnography Museum of Goygol is located in the building of Lutheran church built in 1856 and operates as a museum since 1982.[24]

The State Flag Square was inaugurated in 2014 with the Flag of Azerbaijan flying at a height of 50 meters. There is also Museum of Azerbaijan State Symbols in the Square.[25]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The state statistical committee of the Azerbaijan Republic
  2. ^ "Belediyye Informasiya Sistemi" (in Azerbaijani). Archived from the original on September 24, 2008.
  3. ^ a b Kirovabad, U.S.S.R., NK 38-12 (Map). 1:250000. Army Map Service, United States Army Corps of Engineers. 1954.
  4. ^ "Climate Goygol: Temperature, Climograph, Climate table for Goygol District". en.climate-data.org. Archived from the original on 2018-08-28. Retrieved 2018-08-28.
  5. ^ a b c (in Russian) Great Soviet Encyclopedia. Khanlar.
  6. ^ "Xanlar şəhəri" [Khanlar city] (in Azerbaijani). Archived from the original on 25 November 2010.
  7. ^ Zonn, Igor S.; Kostianoy, Andrey G.; Kosarev, Aleksey N.; Glantz, Michael H., eds. (2010). "Gandzha Khanate". The Caspian Sea Encyclopedia. Springer Verlag. p. 205. doi:10.1007/978-3-642-11524-0. ISBN 978-3-642-11524-0.
  8. ^ Zonn, Igor S.; Kostianoy, Andrey G.; Kosarev, Aleksey N.; Glantz, Michael H., eds. (2010). "Gulistan Peace, Gulistan Peace Treaty of 1813". The Caspian Sea Encyclopedia. Springer Verlag. p. 191. doi:10.1007/978-3-642-11524-0. ISBN 978-3-642-11524-0.
  9. ^ a b Auch, Eva-Maria (2017). "Entgrenzung" - Deutsche auf Heimatsuche zwischen Württemberg und Kaukasien. Berlin: Humboldt University of Berlin. pp. 75–79. ISBN 978-3-9814384-3-7.
  10. ^ People's Commissar of Internal Affairs of the USSR Order No. 001487 of 11 October 1941, "On the resettlement of persons of German nationality from Azerbaijan, Georgia and Armenia" Orujova, Nigar (28 October 2014). "Rise and fall of Helenendorf". Azer News. Archived from the original on 28 October 2014.
  11. ^ B.B. (23 August 2008). Гейгель отмечает свое 189-летие [Goygol celebrates its 189th anniversary]. The First News (in Russian). Archived from the original on 24 July 2018.
  12. ^ Изменились названия двух городов Азербайджана Archived 2012-02-11 at the Wayback Machine
  13. ^ Ибрагимов, Н.А (1995). Немецкие страницы истории Азербайджана.
  14. ^ Еленендорф, он же Ханлар, он же Гейгель. ЭХО (in Russian). 2017-12-03. Retrieved 2018-07-24.
  15. ^ "Т. Гумбатова. Жизнь -немцев колонистов за Кавказом (Тамара Гумбатова 2) / Проза.ру". www.proza.ru. Retrieved 2018-07-24.
  16. ^ Кохнегала [Kohnegala], Мурад [Murad]; Гёйтюрк [Gjojtjurk], Шалала [Shalala] (2 August 2017). Азербайджанские немцы: Взлет и падение Еленендорфа [Azerbaijani Germans: The Rise and Fall of Helenendorf] (in Russian). Vzglyad. Archived from the original on 24 July 2018.
  17. ^ "Еленендорф, он же Ханлар, он же Гейгель" [Helenendorf, its Khanlar, its Goygol]. Echo [Эхо]. 3 December 2017.
  18. ^ Абдулбагиева [Abdulbaghiyeva], Санубар [Sanubar] (30 August 2016). К 200-летию создания немецких поселений в Азербайджане: краткий исторический обзор немецких колоний - ФОТО [On the 200 anniversary of the establishment of German settlements in Azerbaijan: a brief historical overview of the German colonies - photo]. The First News (in Russian). Archived from the original on 24 July 2018.
  19. ^ Краткая история появления в России ассирийскиx поселений. HOLY APOSTOLIC CATHOLIC ASSYRIAN CHURCH OF THE EAST
  20. ^ On the Deportation of Germans from Azerbaijan by Tamara Humbatova. Echo. #1637. 27 August 2007
  21. ^ Zakir Muradov. Göygöldə aysorlar. 25 October 2016.
  22. ^ "History". Executive Power of Goygol. Archived from the original on 2018-08-31. Retrieved 2018-08-31.
  23. ^ "Historic monuments in Goygol city". Shamkir Regional Cultural Office of Ministry of Culture and Tourism of Azerbaijan. Archived from the original on 2018-08-31. Retrieved 2018-08-31.
  24. ^ "Goygol History Ethnography Museum". Centralized Library Portal of Goygol. Archived from the original on 2018-08-31. Retrieved 2018-08-31.
  25. ^ "Official web-site of President of Azerbaijan Republic - NEWS » Events". en.president.az. Archived from the original on 2018-08-31. Retrieved 2018-08-31.


  • Goygol (as Xanlar) at GEOnet Names Server
  • Ulrich Mohl: Schwäbischer Pioniergeist im Kaukasus - Die russlanddeutsche Kolonie Helenendorf. In: Schwäbische Heimat. Heft 2002/3, ISSN 0342-7595

External links[edit]