This far-flung autonomous republic sits to the west, disconnected from the rest of the country by Armenia, with whom tensions still run high. Nakhchivan is lesser explored yet the eponymous city is mysteriously alluring with much intrigue. Its history of conflict over shifting borders with a hostile neighbor has made self-reliance a necessity, and a priority on wellbeing is now a way of life with progressive no-pesticide, all-organic food policies in place. Immaculately clean streets are the result of a vestigial habit from the Soviet-era. According to local legend, Noah’s ark is said to have landed atop the nearby mountain; a large ornate tomb marks Noah’s resting place. The surrounding arid semi-desert landscape is worth exploring for its salt mines said to treat asthma, a fortress ruin nicknamed “Azerbaijan’s Machu Picchu”, and sacred caves tied to the Quran.
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The second largest town in Nakhchivan region, Ordubad is a medieval city known for its fruits, spices, and cuisine which were traded along the Silk Road. Take a stroll around its narrow windy streets and stop at a few sites including the mosque, squares, and bathhouses.
Palace of Nakhchivan Khans
Once the private residence of the ruling Nakhchivan Khans, the palace complex is now a museum with over 900 exhibits displayed in eight exhibition halls.
One of the largest attractions in the city, Yezidabad Castle is a reconstructed pre-medieval Sassanid castle named after Yazdgerd III, the last king of the Sassanid Empire.
This building is regarded as the burial spot of the prophet Noah. Locals believe that Noah landed, lived, and died here in this area that is now Nakhchivan.
Momine Khatun Tomb
Erected in 1186, this brick tower mausoleum stands on the grave of Momine Khatun, the wife of the founder of the Azerbaijan Atabaylar state who initiated its construction. It remains one of the most outstanding landmarks in the region for its geometric patterns and intricate design.
Heydar Aliyev Museum
This museum is dedicated to Azerbaijan’s National Leader, Heydar Aliyev and the collection includes items from his childhood years, youth, and family. In the main exhibit, there is an extensive collection of paintings, government documents, and signed letters and resolutions by Heydar Aliyev including original copies of agreements signed with the Republic of Turkey and the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Operating since 1998, the Carpet Museum has a collection of over 3,700 exhibits, including 310 carpets (piled and unpiled kilim, sumax, varni, shadda, palaz), as well as pottery and porcelain, and antique national costumes. In 2010, it was moved from the Palace of the Khans to a more modern building.
The ruins of this medieval fortress sits atop a cragged mountaintop and is called “the Machu Picchu of Azerbaijan.” Those willing to climb the 1,500 steps to the summit are rewarded with panoramic views of Nakhchivan’s landscape. The reconstructed walls will strike the imagination of what the castle originally may have looked like when it was built in the 7th century.
Amidst Nakchivan’s arid semi-desert landscape is a gorgeous blue lake located among the Caucasus mountains by the border with Armenia.
Ashabu Kahf Cave
Also known as the ‘Seven Sleepers Cave,’ this cave is reminiscent of a story told in the Bible and Quran about a group of youths who hid inside a cave to escape religious persecution and emerged 300 years later.
Duzdag Cave and Therapy Center
ust 7-miles from the city is Duzdag salt caves, known for its huge salt deposits that have been naturally formed millions of years ago. Locals believe the salt has healing properties and thus a therapy center was constructed next to the salt extraction area. Tunnels dug into the salt mountain lead into large chambers where visitors can spend time at leisure to absorb the health benefits. It is said the center is effective in treating asthma, pulmonary disease, and allergies.
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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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