What to visit

Sheki – Kish – Oghuz

Sheki – one of the most ancient settlements and cultural centers of Azerbaijan. Sheki was founded more than 2700 years ago on the southern slopes of the Big Caucasus Mountains Chains. Sheki is the major economic and cultural center of the northwest region, and it is also one of the most beautiful towns in Azerbaijan.

The town has been devastated numerous times throughout the centuries. The magnificent Royal Palace of Sheki Khans, constructed in 1762, is still standing. It is a rare example of the combination of folk architecture (wood engraving) with the traditions of Oriental palace architecture (varnished and wall paintings). Near Sheki, on the west bank of the Kish river, are the preserved ruins of the ancient fortress “Gelersen-Gorersen”, which means “come and you will see”. The name suggets that the defenders of the fortress were confident in its unassailability and in their determination to not to let the enemies pass.

For many centuries Sheki has been famous as the center of silkworm breeding. Even today, Sheki residents have not lost their original traditionas and ancient lore. Silk shawls continue to be made today.

A large number of silkwormsare transported to Central Asian countries, where they are used by local craftsmen for silk paintings. Works by Sheki jewelers, potters and engravers are world renowned. Sheki is also known for the production of hats, musical instruments, and Shebeke (wooden grates with inserts of colored glass, usually used in windows and door frames).

Kish settlement – one ofthe oldest Azerbaijani villages, Kish is well known for the unique ancient Christian temple named “Mother of Eastern Churches.” It is valuable not only as an architectural monument but also because of its outstanding historical significance. The official date of its construction is in the 1st century AD. Historians assume that the temple was founded by apostle Elise, who brought Christianity to Caucasus Albania.

Oghuz is a city with very beautiful nature: rivers, mountains, valleys, waterfalls and hot springs with medicinal mineral and sulphur water. There are numerous historical monuments in the region like the Albanian temple in Oghuz city and three story tower of IX century in the Mukhas village. One of the most interesting monuments is Govur Castle in Khachmaz village, which was built for defensive purposes in the VII century. Oghuz is well known as an area with folk art traditions like carpet-weaving, metal and wood carving and jewelry making. Local artisans from the Filfilli village weave carpets and woolen sweaters and take custom orders.

Direction and distance from Baku in km.

Auto road:by buses, minibuses or passenger cars.

Distance: Baku-Shamakhy-Ismayilli-Gabala-Oghuz-Sheki 310 km.

Length of routes within the region:

  1. Sheki - Oghuz about 50 km.
  2. Sheki - Gabala (airport) about 90 km.
  3. Sheki - Kudurlu (railway station) about 15 km.
  4. Oghuz - Gabala (airport) about 50 km.
  5. Oghuz - Kudurlu (railway station) about 55 km

Train

From Baku by rail: Baku-Yevlakh-Sheki is about 9-10 hours

Flights and transfers

The flight:Baku - Gabala 40 minutes

a) Gabala (airport) - Oghuz about 1 hour

b) Gabala (airport) – Sheki about 1,5 hours

What to visit

Monuments of history and architecture

1. The city walls and towers ( XVIIIc.) in Sheki

2. Palace of Sheki Khans (Kings), constructed in 1762

3. Medieval inns hotels “Ashagy Caravanserai” and “Yukhari Caravanserai” (XVIII-XIX centuries).

Where to stay

High class hotels: “Sheki Saray” 5 * hotel, the tourist complex “Sheki Palace” 4-5 * in the Oghuz city center, the hotel and cottages “Olimpic Center” 4 * in Sheki district

Tourist class hotels:

Tourist complex “Green Hill Inn” 3*-4 *, in the Sheki city, Recreation and Health Center “ISSAM” 3* (located in the central part of the Sheki city), “Yukhary Caravanserai” 3 * hotel, in an old Coaching Inn in Sheki city

Budget hotels:

Cottages “Olympic Center” 2 * in Oghuz city, Recreation Area “Oghuz” (about 2 km. to the north of Oghuz), Recreation Area “Narin” Gala 2*-3 8 in resort near the village of Kish

4. Mosques in Sheki city:

- Cathedral “Juma mosque and Medrese” (XIX c.)

- An old Khan mosque / “Khan meschidi” (XVIII c.)

- Mosque “Omar Effendi” (XIX c.)

- Minaret “Gedyak” in the quarter “Agvanlar”, etc.

5. Christian churches in Sheki city and its surroundings:

- Early medieval round church (VII-XIX centuries)

- Christian church (XIX c.)

- The remains of the church in the old part of the city above the area of “Cagney Bazaar”

6. A medieval Christian Albanian Temple – “Mother of Eastern Churches” (I-IV centuries) in Kish village

7. Albanian Christian sites of Oghuz (2 temples and 1 church)


Archaeological objects

1. Museum of Archaeology Society “Ojag” famous Local archaeologist Nasib Mukhtarov in center of Sheki city

2. An underground museum with burials if various historical and archaeologicaleras “Labyrinth”, on the eastern outskirts of Fazil village in Sheki region

3. The archaeological excavationas on the site of “Malikh galasi” in Oghuz region

4. The ruins of the settlement “Ag Pyalikyand” in the mountains and forests in Sheki region

5. The ruins of the fortress “Geleresen-Gorersen” (XV c.)

Museums and exhibitions

1. Museums in “Sheki Galasi”:

- Palace of Sheki Khans (“Khan Saraiy” or house “Mushtag”) – summer residence of Huseyin Sheki Khan

- Museum of applied art in the Round Albanian temple

- History and Local Museum named after R.M.Efendiev and the former residence of the governor of the city (XIX c.)

- Exhibitions and Art Show

2. House-Museum Shekihanov (XVIII c.) in Sheki city


Ethnographic villages, handicraft workshops and shopping centers

1. “House of Crafts” and workshop for making stained glass windows national “Shebekya” in Sheki city

2. Craft shops and stalls on the ground floor of the hotel “Yukhari Caravanserai” and in place of the “Old Bazaar”

3. Pottery in the quarter, “Duluschu”

4. New orient market “Teza Bazar”

5. “Udin quarter” in Oghuz city – landmarks and inspection period of Caucasian Albania, as well as familiarization with the way of life and language “Udin” – one of the indigenous aboriginal peoples of the Eastern Caucasus

6. “The Jewish Quarter” of the Oghuz city and familiarization with the way of life and language of Azerbaijan (Shirvan) Jews, and visit the synagogues  

7. Mountain village of Shin – a place ofcompact resettlement of East Caucasian nationality “Rutul” descendants of one of 26 tribes of the ancient state of Caucasian Albania


Natural attractions

1.Exotic Trees “plane tree” – (sycamore) in Oghuz region:

- a tree with a coffee-tea house on a tree trunk

- a tree with multiple  trunks / over 10 / coming out of the beam

2. Natural sights are ( artificial ponds, springs, wooded mountain slopes and panoramic river gorge Kishchay) in the rest zone “Marhal”

3. Garden “Mustafa Bey Bagi” – a local recreation area on the outskirts of Sheki city