Kiş, Shaki

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Skyline of Kiş
Kiş is located in Azerbaijan
Coordinates: 41°15′34″N 47°11′17″E / 41.25944°N 47.18806°E / 41.25944; 47.18806Coordinates: 41°15′34″N 47°11′17″E / 41.25944°N 47.18806°E / 41.25944; 47.18806
Country  Azerbaijan
Rayon Shaki
Population [citation needed]
 • Total 6,244
Time zone AZT (UTC+4)
 • Summer (DST) AZT (UTC+5)

Kiş (also, Kish and Kish-Kishlak) is a village and municipality in the Shaki Rayon of Azerbaijan. It is located approximately 5 km north of Shaki. It has a population of 6,244.


Main article: Church of Kish

According to Movses Kaghankatvatsi, in the 1st century A.D. St. Elishe, a disciple of Thaddeus of Edessa, arrived to a place called Gis, where he built a church and recited a liturgy. The church became the "spiritual center and the place of enlightenment of people of the East". On his way from Gis St. Elishe was killed near the pagan altar in small Zerguni valley by unknown people.[1]

According to the Baku eparchy of the Russian Orthodox Church, the location of Gis mentioned by Movses Kaghankatvatsi is identified with the present-day Kish, located on the left bank of river Kura, in Shaki district of Azerbaijan.[2] The Church of Kish was the first church built in Caucasian Albania and in the Caucasus.[3][4] However, according to Armenian commentator Karapetian, the geographical position of Kish does not seem to match that described by Kaghankatvatsi. Karapetian believes that they have identified Gis as the village of Bomen / Bum 60 km to the south-east of Kish, in Gabala district, Uti (Utik) province.[5]

According to Georgian historiography, in the 10th century, the population of Kish converted to the Georgian Orthodox Church. Known at the time as part of Sourb Asvatzatzin Church, Kish turned into a residence of Georgian bishop, functioning till 17th century.[6] The population of Kish converted to Islam in 1720s; however, when Russia later took possession of the region, some villagers returned to Christian faith. In 1836, the Albanian church, along with all active churches in this region that were not Georgian or Russian, was incorporated into the Armenian Apostolic Church, and the Church of Kish was refounded in 1860s and became a place of pilgrimage due to the belief that it was associated with St. Elishe (Yegishe).[6]