Gakh (Azerbaijani: Qah) is a district in the North of Azerbaijan. The region is bordered by Russia to the North and with Georgia in the West.
Gakh has a long history dating back to ancient times. Archaeological excavations indicate that people stay here during the Neolithic, Bronze and Early Iron Ages. According to historians, Gakh was part of the Scythian Kingdom in the VII century BC
With the spread of Christianity in the region in the period of Caucasian Albania, there were built many Christian churches. In the VIII century, Gakh was conquered by the Arab Caliphate army and Islam spread here. Since the XI century to the XVIII century Gakh was the part of different countries. In 1803 Gakh, who at the time was called the Ilisu Sultanate, was annexed to the Russian Empire. With the proclamation of the independence of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic in May 1918, Gakh was retained as part of Azerbaijan. .Now Gakh district became one of the famous destination of tourism in Azerbaijan, especially for interested early Christianity era.
The total area - 603.sq. km., the total population - 52 517
Due to the advantageous place of its location in the foothills and mountainous areas of the
Greater Caucasus, Gakh region has favorable natural and geographical conditions for the development of various directions of tourism, including the agritourism. In establishment and modernization of tourist infrastructure Gakh district allocated more than € 500 million in accordance with the state program development of the Azerbaijan Republic.
There are planned construction of new hotels and leisure centers in Gakh and near major population centers :Ilisu, Lekit, Kum, Gashgachay etc . Considerable attention is paid to the development and improvement of the city Gakh. There are a museum of history, Drama Theater, summer and winter concert halls and other cultural institutions.
A lot of attention is paid to tourism and sport activites.
Prominent role in the development of tourism infrastructure in the Gakh area belongs to the Representation of the Improtex Travel Tours & Conferences who started its activity
here since 2004. Tourists can to acquaintance here with the local population and his activity as the handicraft production and cultural and community traditions of small ethnic groups living in Gakh region (master-classes of artisans, tourists participate in the traditional national ritual actions, celebrations, etc.)
The main attractions is 56 monuments and 10 archaeological sites of historical, architectural and cultural heritage that represent high historical and cultural value .Next, you can find a list of recommended museums, monuments of history, architecture and unique natural objects, and a list of suggested routes for walking, sightseeing, horseback riding and hiking in Gakh city and its surroundings.
|Direction and distance from Baku in km.|
By auto road: by buses , minibuses or passenger cars.
Distance: Baku - Gakh= about 400 km.
Length of routes within the region:
a)Gakh - Eberchay (Albanian Church) = about 5 km.
b) Gakh - Ilisu ( resort center) = about 15 km.
c) Gakh - Gum (center of village) = about 10 km.
d) Gakh - Lakit (central square) = about 15 km.
Trains and transfers
From Baku by rail: Baku-Yevlakh-Sheki–Goragan (Gakh) is about 12 hours
Transfers on the highway from Goragan (railway station) to Gakh (city center) - = about 15 km.
Flights and transfers
The flight: Baku - Zagatala = about 1 hour
Transfers by car from Zagatala (airport) to Gakh (city center) - = about 50 km.
|Monuments of history and architecture|
1. In the Gakh town:
- The historic quarter “Icheri Bazar” and old bridge,
- The ruins of a medieval baths,
- Christian temple "Allakhverdi kilsyasi"old (XVIII c.)
- Church of "St. George" (X1X c.) in the quarter "Gah-Ingiloy"
2. In the Qum village and the surrounding area:
- The ruins of the Albanian Christian church (basilica "Patrick Elisha» V - VI centuries. )
- The ruins of a medieval fortress "Sirt galasy"
- The ruins of the old medieval settlement "Lagydzh mahallasi" at the bottom / south-west / part of the settlement
3. In the Lakit village:
- The ruins of a Round Albanian Christian church, in the south-eastern outskirts of the village
- The remains of a medieval Albanian monastery "Katuk" / "Eddie Kilsya" / (a complex of churches and temples on the way to the mountain village Lakit-Kotuklu)
- Small mosque 1 century
4. In the "Ilisu" village-reserve: - specific architectural style of the various buildings and neighborhoods:
- Mosque "Ulu meschidi» - XVIII century.
- The old bridge "Ulu korpu» (XVIII c.) near Kurmukchay River
- Observation tower "Galachiev" / (XVIII - XIX centuries.) and "Jinli Gala" (Middle Ages)
- Watchtower "Sumuk gala» / (XVI - XVIII centuries.)
1. Mosque "Gib'e" / "Gubba" - "cubic in form» / (XX c.), in the city center Gakh
2. The old mosque (X1X.c.) in the quarter, "Gah-Mughal" (Gakh)
3. Mosque "Ulu meschidi» - XVIII century in the Ilisu village.
4. Graves of famous Sufi: Eunice Emre (also a poet) and his teacher Tapdug Emre - a place of pilgrimage for local Muslims.
5. The Georgian Orthodox Church "St. George» (XIX c.) on a city block "Gakh-Ingiloy"
6. Georgian Orthodox Christian churches in the villages:
- Alibayli / Alibeglo / - "Gumruh kilsyasi"
1. State natural reserve "Ilisu"
2. Outputs mineral water "Gahk suyu" in the sanatorium "Shafa"
3. Exotic waterfall / h = 40 m / "Ram-Ram" , in the left tributary of the Hamamchay river near (about 2 km) with Recreation zone "Uludag" (the Ilisu village)
4. Highland Lake Nour/ 2600 m above sea level /
|Museums and exhibitions|
1. State historical museum of the Gakh region
2. The House-museum of the famous azeri writer- Ismail Dagistanly in the Gakh city
1. Remains of an ancient settlement “Bash Malach” ( 1 km to the north-west from the new settlement Bash Malach)
2. The remains of old settlements "Sabatly" and "Churgat", south-east of the mountains
Sabatly (620 m) in the southern part of the district Gakh
3. The remains of the old fortress "Oglan Gala - Giz Gala" and the ruins
Albanian Christian church in the Agchay village and its surroundings
4. The remains of the ruins of the Albanian Christian churches and buildings in the settlements:
- Zarna, Meshyabash,Gulluk (circular temple - IV century).
5.The ruins of the fortress "Hyasyanhan galasy" old "ovdan" and the remains of the medieval Christian place of worship in the northern outskirts of the city in the quarter, "Gakh-Bashi"
6. The ruins of the Albanian Christian church (basilica "Patrick Elisha») / V - VI centuries and a medieval fortress "Sirt galasy"in the Qum village
|Ethnographic villages, handicraft workshops and shopping centers|
1. Alpine village Sarybash - typical historical and ethnographic
Caucasian mountain village, with its unique architecture, as well as "Hadji Tapdig" mosque (XVI-XVII centuries).
2. Local indoor market in the town Gaлh with small craft workshops
3. The settlements of Gakh region with population of Georgian-Ingiloi nationality and the nationality of the Azerbaijani-Ingiloi
4. The villages with people of Tsakhur nation in Gakh district
5. Mountain village and reserve "Ilisu "/ Local people are the descendants of ancient Turkic tribes - Hun /
We offer to make excursions and walks
1. Overview (3 hours) tour Gakh
2. Excursion (2-3 hours) to the historical and architectural monuments the period of Caucasian Albania in the villages and Gum and Lekit
3. Auto-walking tour (3 hours) to the historical and architectural reserve "Ilisu" in the eponymous mountain village
4. Excursion tour (3 hours) to the Christian churches:
- Albanian temple in the village Embyarchay,
- Georgian church in the village Ingiloy-Ketuklu
5. Horse-riding walk near the village of Qum, Ahular, Chinarli and recreation zone "Bulag Points" (duration - 1-3 hours; length - 5-10 km).
6. A walk through the village to the ruins Lekit: Albanian Christian monastery "Eddie kilsya" / "Katuk" / and the Round Temple
7. Walking and horse-riding trips to exotic waterfall "Ram-Ram" and gorges of mountain rivers Kurmuk (length of the route-about 5 km., Duration - 2 hours)
1. Survey excursion (1-2 hours) over Gakh city.
2. Excursion in historical-study of local lore museum of Gakh city.
3. The Albanian Christian temple (bazilik) in Gum / Kum settlement in Gakh area.
4. The Albanian Christian temples in Lekit settlement in Gakh area:
- Ruins of a round temple in the garden;
- The rests of a medieval Albanian monastery “Katuk” / “Yeddi Kilse” / (a complex of churches and temples) on the big wood glade.
5. Old (now – a historical-study of local lore museum) / departure city in direction to Zagatala / and New (operating) / georgian-ingiloid Christian churches in Gakh city.
6. The ancient bridge, ruins of a medieval bath and a Christian temple “Allakhverdi kilsesi” in Gakh city.
7. Sacred George\'s medieval Christian church to the left of highway from Gakh city to Emberchay and Bilijik settlements and also the rests of other Albanian temple.
8. Ethnographic excursion in georgian-ingeloid settlements Alibeyli / Alibeglo / and Ingeloy-Ketuklu in Gakh area.
9. The Georgian orthodox churches in Alibeyli / Alibeglo / and Ingiloy-Ketuklu settlements in Gakh area.
10. The rests of a serf gate and defensive walls in Gakh city.
11. Ruins of a fortress “Khasan khan Galasy” and ancient “ovdan” in Gakh-Bash settlement in Gakh city.
12. The rests of a medieval Christian cult facility in Gakh-Bash settlement.
13. Ruins of “Syrt Galasy” fortress in Gum settlement in Gakh area.
14. The rests of a serf Tower in Chinarly settlement in Gakh area.
15. Ruins of a defensive tower “Peri Galasy” and ancient “ovdan” / underground tank for drinking water / in Gulluk settlement in Gakh area.
16. Monuments of Muslim architecture in Gakh area in settlements:
- A mosque “Gibe” in Gakh city;
- An old mosque in are of Gakh-Mugal in Gakh city;
- The mosque of XX century in Gashgachay settlement;
- An old mosque in Amirjan settlement;
- An old mosque in Gum settlement;
- An old mosque in Shotavar / Shueter / settlement;
- Mosque of Х1Х century in Lekit settlement;
- An old mosque in Almaly settlement;
- Mosque of Х1Х century in Gulluk settlement;
- An old mosque in Garabaldyr settlement;
- The mosque of XX century in Tasmaly settlement;
- The mosque of XX century in Lelepasha settlement;
- The mosque of XX century in Marsan settlement;
- A mosque with a minaret (Х1Х century) in Chudulu settlement;
- Mosque of Х1Х century in Emberchay settlement;
- Mosque of Х1Х century in Onjally settlement;
- An old mosque in “Bujag” area of Ilisu settlement;
- A mosque “Garadolag” in Ilisu settlement;
- Mosque of Х1X century in Sarybash high-mountainous settlement;
- The mosque of XX century in Zeyyem / Zagem / settlement;
- A sanctuary (a feast, ojag, oyliyya) Khajy Tapdyg and Sheikh Yunus in Onjally settlement;
- A place of worship / pilgrimage / “Yunus Baba megberesi” in Leleli settlement;
- A place of pilgrimage / worship / “Mustafa Efendi megberesi” in Ashagy Malakh settlement;
17. The ancient bridge through Susken river in Gakh area.
18. The memorable spring “Ag bulag” in Garatala settlement in Gakh area.
19. Places of archeological excavations in Gakh area:
- An underground and elevated temple, and also medieval ancient cemeteries in Gakh city;
- Places of defensive constructions in Ilisu settlement Ilisu;
- A place of ancient settlement of antique time in Agyazy settlement;
- A place of ancient sentry post in Emberchay settlement;
- A necropolis of the antique period “Saggyzlyg” in Almaly settlement;
- A place of medieval settlement;
- The rests of an ancient settlement “Torpaggala”;