Qax (Gakh, Kakhi)
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Qax - Azerbaijan - location mapQax is a pleasant and tranquil provincial town, northwest of Sheki, at the base of an appendix of Azeri territory that penetrates into Georgia and Dagestan. Not surprisingly a large proportion of the population is Georgian. The town was built on the bank of the mountain river Kurhumchai, near the base of the Greater Caucasus. The town's name is translates as "fortress".

There is a culture centre, but social life runs around the chaikana, an interesting building with a metallic dome, located near the Baku bus stop, on a park with a monument to Mammad Mammadov.

Azerbaijan - Qax - Georgian Church - photo by F.MacLachlanThe main bus station is in the south of the town, near the attractive main Georgian Orthodox church. There are services to Russia and Georgia.

In the northern part of the town there is a small and poorly maintained hotel, without en-suite bathrooms. Meals are available at the restaurants "Merkez" and "Bash Gala". Local food is mostly of Georgian inspiration.

Azerbaijan - Qax - Georgian Church - interior - photo by F.MacLachlanQax train station is isolated and quite far from the town, so you may consider using Sheki's station instead.

Historical sites abound in Qax rayon. Artificial hills suggest that the region was inhabited already in the Bronze Age.

The  village of Ilisu was once the capital of an independent sultanate. There is only one street but two castle towers,  a mosque and a bridge dating from the 18 th century remain.

Azerbaijan - Qum - Kum - Albanian Church - Kum Basilica - 5th century - photo by F.MacLachlanNear Kakhi, in the forests of the village of Termechi,  you'll find the tomb of Haji Murat, a naib (commander) of Sheikh Shamil - he was a fighter against Russian occupation, made famous by Tolstoy's story 'Haji Murat'.. On his grave there is a mounted stone plate with an inscription in Arabic reading "A great martyr, Avar Hadzhi Murat Hunzah is buried here".

Azerbaijan - Lekit - Yeddi Kilisa - seven churches - a 12th century monastic complex - Albanian or Georgian, depending on the sources - photo by F.MacLachlanIn the village of Kum / Qum there are several monuments dated to the period of Caucasian Albania, though Georgian also claim them as theirs: fortress Sirtgala of 18th century, Kum Basilica, ruins dated to the 5th century, The Round Temple (7th century). In the village of Lekit there are the ruins of a 12th century monastery complex.

Azerbaijan - Saribash - Qax rayon - ruins, mountains and minaret  - photo by F.MacLachlanIn the villages of Saribash and Dzhalai local craftswomen weave carpets with original patterns and sew woolen socks called jorabs. In the village of Gahbash the residents produce home-made wines.

(400 km northwest of Baku)
see also: Zaqatala, Sheki, Ilisu, maps, places, history, geography, summary, images
A to Z of Azerbaijan / A dan Z ye Azerbaycan