|Established||8 August 1930|
|• Total||1,084 km2 (419 sq mi)|
|• Density||80/km2 (210/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+4 (AZT)|
Lerik District (Azerbaijani: Lerik rayonu, Talysh: Lik rəyon) is one of the 66 districts of Azerbaijan. It is located in the south-east of the country and belongs to the Lankaran-Astara Economic Region. The district borders the districts of Yardimli, Masally, Lankaran, Astara and the Ardabil Province of Iran. Its capital and largest city is Lerik. As of 2022, the district had a population of 87,000. It is located between the Talysh Mountains and the agricultural plain of the Lankaran Lowland.
Lerik district was established in August 1930. It was called Zuvand District until January 1938. 29 municipalities operate in the district. The district includes a city and 162 villages with a total area of 1084 square kilometer. In accordance with the presidential decree dated June 13, 2008, the settlement of Lerik was granted the status of a city.
The territory of the Lerik district is one of the oldest settlements in Azerbaijan. There exist some caves which are considered to belong to the Bronze Age. These caves are located in the foothills of the mountains.
Different items belonging to the Stone Age were found in the Lerik district. The cave called “Buzeyir” is the oldest settlement in the territory of Azerbaijan. In the 18th-19th centuries, French archaeologist Jacques de Morgan, K. Schaffer and his brother Henri called this territory "archaeological paradise" during archaeological excavations. Morgan has conducted archaeological excavations at the Gizilbashlar cemetery in the village of Veri of Lerik.
Professor Asadulla Jafarov, head of the Archeology and Ethnography Department of the History Institute of the National Academy of Sciences of Azerbaijan, conducted scientific researches in the territory of Lerik region and for the first time discovered an ancient human camp belonging to the Middle Paleolithic Age in the Buzeyir cave.
Lerik is mainly famous for the longevity of some of its citizens. It is known for myths of human longevity; a man named Shirali Baba Muslimov, born in the village of Barzavu, who was reported by the Guinness Book of Records to have been aged 168 when he died and was believed to have lived between 1805 and 1973. The vast majority of the district's population is talysh, the rest are azerbaijanis and other nationalities.
Located in Lerik are a local history museum and the Karabakh war memorial, located between the parade ground and the modest city hall.
Lerik can be reached from Lankaran using the A323 road. It is a very scenic route along the Lankaran river and the Hirkan National Park. Buses run regularly to Lankaran and Baku. The maximum annual precipitation in Lerik and the Talysh Mountains is between 1,600 mm to 1,800 mm, which along the Lankaran Lowland is the highest precipitation in the country.
The Lerik region territory is surrounded by the Talysh mountain range. Lerik region is bordered by Yardimli in the south and south-west, in the north-east Lankaran, in the north-west Masalli, and in the south-east Astara. The Talysh mountain range extends along the border with the Islamic Republic of Iran and in the north beyond the Peshtasar and Bouravar mountain ranges. The length of the border is 49.5 kilometers with the Islamic Republic of Iran.
The Zuvand (Diabar) Trench is located between the Talysh and Buddhist ridges. The Komurgoy (2492 m) and Gizyurd (2433 m) are the highest peaks in the Talysh Range. It mostly consists of Paleogene volcanogenic-sedimentary rocks. The region covers 40.3 thousand hectares of forest.
The Zuvand State Reserve is located in Zuvand. The Botanical Research Center of the National Academy of Sciences studies of the Fauna and Flora is operating here.
|Climate data for Lerik|
|Average high °C (°F)||4.1
|Average low °C (°F)||−4.1
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||24
The district is mainly occupied by mountainous relief, where the population is mainly engaged in agriculture. Annually 2790 tons of grains from 1454 hectares are planted in the region.
There are 107 secondary schools in the district. About 1269 teachers work in schools.
Lerik Region Central Hospital provides medical care to 82 thousand people.
There are 27 architectural monuments of local importance, memorial monuments, and 78 decorative monuments in the territory of the Lerik district. A historical museum, as well as the museum of “Longevity”, and an art gallery operates in the city.
Ancient mansion "Qizyurdu"l, Baba Isa tomb in the village of Mondigah, Mausoleum of Khalifa Zechariah, Mosque in Lulekaran village (19th century) Jabir Mausoleum (12th–14th centuries) and so on are the most famous monuments in the region.
Among historical places, the Boy and Girl castles are very famous in the territory. These castles were constructed with the purpose of defense. In one legend it is said that these castles were the houses of ancient Albanians. There are still Albanian cemeteries near the castles.
During the Safavid rule, Shah Ismayil also sent his faithful people to the Lerik region. The Babagil mausoleum, which turned into a sanctuary, is the hallmark of those times.
There are 11 cultural centers, 64 libraries (one central library in the city, one children's library), 55 clubs, 1 painting gallery, 2 primary music schools in the district.
303700 copies of the political, artistic and scientific literature have been collected in the branches of the centralized library system of the district. 24 thousand people benefit from this fund.
• Boyukagha Mirsalayev - Second Secretary of the Central Committee of Transcaucasia KP (b).
• Iqbal Mammadov - Doctor of Philosophy in Economics, Member of the Milli Mejlis of the Republic of Azerbaijan.
• Huseynbala Miralamov - doctor of technical sciences, professor, well-known writer, deputy of Milli Majlis
• Novruz Novruzov - a writer-publicist, head of executive power
• Mammadhuseyn Aliyev - writer and playwright.
• Eldar Isgandarzadeh - poet-dramatist, screenwriter.
- Caspian Hyrcanian mixed forests - ecoregion that covers the Lerik District.
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- "Climate: Lerik". Retrieved 2020-04-14.
- "Visions of Azerbaijan Magazine ::: Lerik's Unique Museum of Longevity". Visions of Azerbaijan Magazine.
- Living Past 100 - "No Big Deal" in this Village : Report on the centenarians of Lerik.