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Lezgian: Кьвепеле райун
|Azerbaijani: Qəbələ rayonu|
Map of Azerbaijan showing Qabala Rayon
|• Total||1,550 km2 (600 sq mi)|
|• Density||62/km2 (160/sq mi)|
|Telephone code||(+994) 24|
Qabala (Azerbaijani: Qəbələ rayonu, Lezgian: Кьвепеле райун) is a rayon of Azerbaijan. Its administrative center is the historic town of Qəbələ, which in ancient times was known as the capital of Caucasian Albania.
Gabala Radar Station is in the rayon and was rented by Russia from Azerbaijan.
Qabala bears the name of the ancient Gabala, a city which was the capital of the ancient state of Caucasian Albania. The ruins of the old city are located 20 kilometers to southwest of the present center of the district. The remnants of the large buildings, city gates, tower walls and patterns of material culture prove that Gabala was one of the most prominent cities at that time.
Ancient Gabala was founded as a city in the late 4th-early 3rd century BC and survived up to the mid 18th century AD. Many changes occurred in the life of the city through the period of existence. Due to different historical events the city was damaged more than once.
Though the Roman troops attacked Albania in the 60s BC they were not able to occupy Gabala. During the Sassanid period, Qabala was a large trade and handicraft center. The situation remained the same in the times of the Islamic caliphate. Though Qabala experienced decline during the Mongolian invasion in the 13th century, it was restored later. Qabala lost its position in the mid 18th century and the population gradually declined.
The small feudal state Qutqashen Sultanate was established on the territory of Qabala in the mid 18th century. It was later included into the Shaki Khanate and was ruled by the Shaki naibs appointed by the khans of Shaki.
Following the downfall of the Shaki Khanate, the Qutqashen sultanate was included in the Shaki province. The Qutqashen district was created in 1930. The district was renamed back to Qabala in March 1991, after fall of Soviet Union.
Qabala has a humid subtropical climate that is mild with no dry season, constantly moist (year-round rainfall). Summers are hot and muggy with thunderstorms. Winters are mild with precipitation from mid-latitude cyclones. Seasonality is moderate. (Köppen-Geiger classification: Cfa). As with other parts of northern Azerbaijan near to the Caucasus mountains, rainfall is moderate to heavy throughout the year. The total annual precipitation is 795mm. According to the Holdridge life zones system of bioclimatic classification Qabala is situated in or near the warm temperate thorn steppe biome. The mean annual temperature is 10.9 degrees Celsius (51.6 degrees Fahrenheit). Average monthly temperatures vary by 22.8 °C (41°F). This indicates continental type of climate. 
The rayon has a population of 93,770 people, 13,175 of which live in the regional town centre Qabala and 80,595 reside in the villages. The density is estimated at 60.49 people per square kilometer. An average living age is 70 years. 73,235 residents of Qabala rayon are Azerbaijanis, 4,640 are Udi, 209 are Turks and 37 are of other nationalities.
There are 16 culture houses, 31 clubs, a History culture preserve, 69 libraries, an art school, a Picture Gallery, a culture and a recreation Park, H. Aliyev Museum, Historical Ethnography Museum, Martyrs Museum and memorial house-museum of I.B. Gutgashinli which are branches of Historical Ethnography Museum according to Gabala region Culture and Tourism Sector.
The main theatre is a branch of the House of Culture and named after C. Mammadguluzada. There are performances such as “Chinar” instrumental ensembles in Region culture house, “Zop-Zopu” dance ensemble acts in the Bum settlement culture house, and “Changi” (Udi) folklore dance ensemble acts in the Nij settlement culture house.
There are 93 historical-cultural immovable monuments in the local area under state protection according to the order #132 dated on 02.08.2001 by Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Azerbaijan. One of them is included to the list of Qabala city world important archaeological monuments according to its importance degree. 8 architectures, 53 archaeological monuments, include the list of country important monuments, 9 architecture monuments, 16 archeological monuments, 2 monumental and memory monuments, 4 decorative applied art monuments is included in the list of historical cultural monuments having local importance. There are 122 cultural institutions in the structure of Qabala region Culture and Tourism Sector; among them are Historical Ethnography Museum, H. Aliyev Museum, Picture Gallery, Art school, Centralized Library system, Historical-Cultural Preserve.
Sport & Leisure
Qabala has a professional football team Gabala FC who currently play in the top division of Azerbaijan.