Ganja is one of the country’s oldest cities and one of the most important since being founded in the fifth century. It is located in the western part of the country and was an important stop along ancient trade routes and continued to play an influential role in the country’s history and culture. In 1918, Ganja even became the temporary capital of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic, the first democratic and secular state in the Turkic and Islamic world. Its illustrious history lives on, evident in preserved architectural and cultural elements: old bathhouses, mosques and mausoleums sit side by side with structures from the Ganja Khanat and Russian Empire. Known as the birthplace of the great Persian poet Nizami Ganjavi, his tomb is a popular site for visitors. Another popular site, the Shah Abbas Mosque is an exemplary example of Azerbaijani architecture of the 17th century.
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Shah Abbas Mosque
An iconic architectural landmark recognized throughout the country, this large mosque was uniquely designed to precisely tell the time by checking its shadow cast by the sun. The squat mosque features red brick, traditionally used in Ganja, and two minarets. The interior consists of a prayer hall and two smaller rooms.
This active mosque is visited by pilgrims annually and is one of the main landmarks of Ganja. The complex includes a cemetery, smaller mosques, a caravanserai, and other religious structures.
Built in honor of the 12th-century Persian poety Nizami Ganjavi, the current mausoleum was built in 1991, standing in place of the original which was first mentioned in historical chronicles dating back to 1606.
Javad Khan Mausoleum
Javad Khan was the last ruler of the Ganja Khanate and his reign marked an era of prosperity for the region. His gravestone was uncovered again during Soviet rule when workmen were building a fountain in the grounds of a mosque. A proper mausoleum was erected in 2005.
Goygol National Park
This national park in the Ganja region is home to the eponymous Lake Goygol, one of the most beautiful and cleanest lakes in the country. The park’s wildlife includes roe deer, brown bear, fox, lynx, and a number of bird species. Visitors are invited to stroll along the designated paths and enjoy leisure activities such as picnicking and swimming.
A historical landmark of Ganja, the Chokek Hamam is a Turkish-style bathhouse built in 1606. It was built near Shah Abbas Mosque shortly after its construction and was intended as a bath to help the Muslims in maintaining ritual purity.
Alexander Nevsky Church
Built in 1887, this Russian Orthodox church housed a museum and a warehouse before reopening as a functioning church in 1946.
This unusual two-story private residence has walls adorned with 48,000 bottles of different sizes and colors. It was built by local man Ibrahim Jafarov as a shrine to his brother who went missing during World War II.
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Azerbaijan Goes Well With
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With Remote Lands you'll travel with people who have made Asia the solitary focus of their own lifelong adventure. As our guest, in the continent that our north American founders Catherine and Jay have adored and explored for decades, you'll discover Asia on a journey that is completely, authentically your own, adapted from our own remarkable experiences and adventures over the years.
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