Shusha

SHUSHA TRAVEL GUIDE

WHERE IS SHUSHA?

Shusha is a city located at the city of Shusha district of Azerbaijan which is located 373 km from Baku. The city is a resort in the Karabakh range established in 1930 in an area of 350 hectares. The Highest summit is Boyuk Kirs – 2725 meter above the sea level.  Shusha lies in the mountains of Girkhgiz,  Kirs, Murov, Baghrigan, Saribaba and surrounded by 400-600 meter valleys.

BRIEF HISTORY

The city of Shusha, recently liberated from Armenian occupation, has a special place in the history of Azerbaijan. The foundation of the city is connected with the name of the founder of the Karabakh khanate Panahali khan. After the assassination of Nadir Shah in 1747, political fragmentation in the South Caucasus forced Panahali Khan to build a fortress with strong defenses to ensure his security. For this purpose, he built Bayat Fortress in 1748, and Shahbulag Fortress in 1752. However, none of these fortresses was able to ensure the security of the khanate in the conditions of continuous civil wars. Panahali khan decided to build a new fortress, which was more reliable and inaccessible to the enemy’s attack: 1300-1600 m above sea level. The high plateau, surrounded by steep cliffs on three sides, fully met these requirements. Realizing that the chosen area had a very favorable military-strategic position, Panahali khan ordered the construction of a new fortress in 1754. In 1750, after the necessary work for a safe living was completed, the capital of the Karabakh khanate was moved here. In the first years, the new fortress was named after its founder Panahabad, and later Shusha.

shusha map

Places to visit in Shusha

SHUSHA FORTRESS

Shusha Fortress is a fortress wall surrounding the city of Shusha in Azerbaijan. For a long time, the castle protected the city from foreign interference and has long been a symbol of invincibility. During the march of Agha Mohammad Shah Gajar to the South Caucasus, the fortress was under siege for a long time. However, attempts to seize the fortress failed.

There is no exact information about when the foundation of Shusha fortress was laid. Sources only say that the fortress was destroyed during the second Mongol invasion of Azerbaijan.

The area is strategically very convenient. Thus, as in the Sheki fortress, Shusha fortress is located in a high mountainous area. Karabakh khan Panahali khan, taking into account the unfavourable geographical position of Bayat fortress and Shahbulag fortress, decided to restore Shusha fortress in 1753 and the centre of Karabakh khanate was moved here. After the restoration of the fortress, it was called Panahabad in the sources for a long time.

Shusha fortress is one of the most beautiful pearls of Azerbaijani architecture. The castle was built in the style of the Arran School of Architecture. Local stones and a mixture of lime and egg yolk were used in the construction of the fortress. The castle has three gates. Ganja Gate is distinguished from them by its high architectural features. The castle has circular security towers. Near the castle, a bridge with high architectural qualities was built, which connects the castle with the outside world, which is known as the Castle Bridge.

YUKHARI GOVHAR AGHA MOSQUE

According to Mir Mehdi Khazani, the author of the book “Historical Karabakh”, the mosque was built in 1182 AH (1768-69 CE) by the ruler of Karabakh Ibrahimkhalil Khan in 1281 AH (1866-1867 CE). years) was perfectly repaired. Internal area 558 sq.m. meters. It has a double tower about 30 meters high.

SAATLİ MOSQUE

Saatli Mosque was built in 1883 by architect Karbalai Safikhan Garabaghi. According to Chingiz Gajar, who studied the history of Shusha, there was a mosque and madrasa built by Panahali khan in 1759 on the site of Saatli mosque, where the great Azerbaijani poet Molla Panah Vagif taught.

The mosque is so named because it was built in the Saatli neighbourhood of Shusha. Although it was a Saatli neighbourhood mosque, it was distinguished from other neighbourhood mosques in the city by its size, architectural structure, and decorative design. According to researcher Rizvan Garabaghi, this was the last minaret mosque built by Karbalai Safikhan Garabaghi. In the following years, the mosques built by this beautiful artist did not have high minarets but were replaced by small bouquets in the form of bouquets on the roof. But nowhere is it explained why such a drastic change in architectural style. The facade consists only of walls and doors and windows with an asymmetrical arrangement.

The interior design of the Saatli Mosque can be considered an example of artistic perfection. Thanks to the four octagonal stone pillars supporting the ceiling, the prayer hall has a triple space. As a result, an infinite number of arches appear in the hall. The surface of the walls is decorated with geometric figures and floral patterns. A single minaret is located at the back of the building. It is believed that the minaret was not erected at the same time as the mosque but in later years.