|Nakhchivan City (Naxcivan)||
It is spread over the foothills of Zangezur chain, on the right bank of the Nakhchivan river at an altitude of almost 1000 m.
Invader after invader looted, destroyed and (in some cases) rebuilt the city. It was the capital of the Atabek Eldegiz emirate in the 12th century and the Nakhchivan Khanate in the 18th century.
The main sight in the city is the 12th century Momine Khatum Mausoleum, also known as 'Atabek Gumbezi'. Momine Khatum was the wife of Ildegizid Atabek Djakhan Pakhlevan, ruler of the the Atabek Eldegiz emirate. The 10-sided monument is decorated with intricate geometrical motives and Kufic script, it uses turquoise glazed bricks. It shares the neighbourhood with a statue of its architect - Abubakr oglu Ajami - and a bust of Heidar Aliyev. Also from the 12th century and by the same architect, is the octogonal Yusuf Ibn Kusir tomb, known as 'Atababa', half abandoned near the main cemetery.
recent (1993) is the white marble mausoleum of Hussein Javid. The
Azeri writer died in the Gulag under Stalin. Both the mausoleum and his
house museum are located east of the theatre. Although being a recent construction,
Hussein Javid's mausoleum is of great iconic importance, representing the
ability of the exclave to live despite the Armenian embargo and becoming
a symbol of Nakhchivan itself.
Today Nakhchivan city is home to over 60.000 inhabitants. It has some industry, centred around glass, furniture, textiles and carpets, aluminium, tobacco and grape processing. Currently the government is looking for investment to develop tourism and oil production. Socially, this regional capital is quite sophisticated with its own university and a significant scientific and artistic community. For entertainment try the palace of culture, on Azadlyg avenue, the state musical and drama theatre on Ahmed Javad street or the puppet theatre on Nizami street.
The city has a lot of business visitors from Iran, Turkey and Russia (these countries have consulates in the city), leading to a reasonable offer of hotels.
Nakhchivan city is served by an airport and theoretically has good road and rail links, however the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict has made access more difficult contributing to a greater isolation. The best way to get to Nakhchivan is to fly from Baku to Jevlach airport, south-east of the city (airport code: EVL). From Jevlach you can also fly to Moscow with Samara airlines. If you are arriving from Baku there is no passport check and you can simply walk out of the terminal. There are buses and taxis to the city, which is only 3km away. From the city, buses to the airport leave from the Shabuz bus station on the NW part of the city.
Several buses a day depart for Igdir and Erzerum in eastern Turkey, allowing easy connections to the rest of Turkey. There are train services to Ordubad and Sharur. Inside the city there are buses and trolley-buses.
(450 km west of Baku)
|see also: maps, Nakhchivan Republic, hotels in Nakhchivan, Julfa, Ordubad, Sharur, summary, maps, images, places|
|A to Z of Azerbaijan / A dan Z ye Azerbaycan||