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Guba, Azerbaijan

 

8 tourist attractions of Guba

 

Guba is one of the most beautiful cities in Azerbaijan. Founded in the 4th century, Guba developed into a large centre of trade by the end of the 17th century. In 1735 through the efforts of Hussein Ali Khan Guba developed into a very beautiful city and later into a capital of the Guba Khanate. Many majestic buildings of that era survived to this day. At the same time, along with architectural landmarks Guba is famous for its unique villages attracting lots of tourists.

 

Nizami Park - the oldest park of Guba

 

This ancient park named after Nizami was built by the captured Germans in 1946. The area of the park is buried in verdure, fountains gurgle in the shade of trees. There is a monument to the great Azerbaijani poet Nizami Ganjavi erected in the park. Bas-reliefs depicting scenes from the works of Nizami stand along the avenues around the monument.

The building of the Guba Chess School catching everyone's eye and constructed in September 2011 is a central building in the Nizami Park. All conditions have been created here to train chess players, and the tournament hall can hold up to 350 sportsmen for a simultaneous game.

Tourists are frequent visitors in the park. Having enjoyed a walk along the avenues of the park, you can go down on the stairs decorated with gilded sculptures - a grape picker, a girl with a ball, a young man with a tennis racket and a worker - to the ancient arch bridge over the Gudialcay River. The pedestrian bridge will bring travellers straight to the Krasnaya Sloboda settlement (Red Village) of the Mountain Jews.

 

Nizami Park - the oldest park of Guba

 

This ancient park named after Nizami was built by the captured Germans in 1946. The area of the park is buried in verdure, fountains gurgle in the shade of trees. There is a monument to the great Azerbaijani poet Nizami Ganjavi erected in the park. Bas-reliefs depicting scenes from the works of Nizami stand along the avenues around the monument.

The building of the Guba Chess School catching everyone's eye and constructed in September 2011 is a central building in the Nizami Park. All conditions have been created here to train chess players, and the tournament hall can hold up to 350 sportsmen for a simultaneous game.

Tourists are frequent visitors in the park. Having enjoyed a walk along the avenues of the park, you can go down on the stairs decorated with gilded sculptures - a grape picker, a girl with a ball, a young man with a tennis racket and a worker - to the ancient arch bridge over the Gudialcay River. The pedestrian bridge will bring travellers straight to the Krasnaya Sloboda settlement (Red Village) of the Mountain Jews.

 

Bakikhanov House Museum

 

Abbasgulu Agha Bakikhanov (1794-1847) was the first Azerbaijani, who became a military translator, diplomat, and an officer of the Russian Army. This prominent historian, writer, scholar and lexicographer grew up in Amsar Village of the Guba District.

In 1819, Bakikhanov arrived in Tiflis at the invitation of General Yermolov and for 26 years worked as a translator from the Oriental languages ​​in the Chief Caucasus Military Administration. Making a tour over the Middle East, Abbasgulu Agha Bakikhanov died from cholera in 1847 during the Hajj pilgrimage.

Abbasgulu Agha Bakikhanov is the author of five historical and literary works, the most famous of which is Gulistani Irem. In this work written in Persian in 1841 and then translated by him into Russian in 1843 the author describes the history of Azerbaijan through 1813 when the Treaty of Gulistan was concluded.

The Local History Museum named after Abbasgulu Agha Bakikhanov was founded in Guba in 1943. The museum was opened in the building of the 19th century located at 93 Ardabil Street, where Bakikhanov used to live in the past.

More than 10,000 different exhibits are displayed in the museum covering the total area of ​​742 square meters. More than 3,000 people visit the museum every year. Every year the museum hosts “Spring in the Museum” and “Doors Open Day” events. This museum has 2 more branches in Guba: one of them is A.Bakikhanov House Museum located in the Amsar Village, and the other one is the Martyrs Memorial Museum located in the city.

 

Bathhouse in which Alexander Dumas took a bath

 

At all times bathhouses in Azerbaijan held a special place in people's lives, they were a favourite place to delight a body and spirit. The building of the bathhouse built of red brick in the 18th century is crowned by a large dome, which enabled to keep a proper temperature and humidity in the room. This quadrangular building is also called Sukhur (Chukhur) Hamamy, i.e. a bathhouse built of special rocks. The building has 6 rooms, 2 doors and 6 windows. Water was supplied from the well under the bathhouse or from an urban water supply system.

During his stay in Guba Alexander Dumas used to take a bath here, and 150 years later his great-grandson visited these places. Until 1985 the bathhouse was used for the intended purpose and was the main leisure area for the Guba’s people. Now this pearl of the eastern architecture is a historical monument.

The locals narrate that during the genocide committed by the Armenians in Guba in 1918 the Chukhur Hamamy bathhouse was used to kill people with the help of steam. Then they were thrown into dug pits.

 

Arch Bridge - unique bridge for Azerbaijan

 

The only bridge that has survived to this day is called the Gudialchai Bridge. It is one of the seven bridges existing in the Guba District in the 17th-19th centuries. This long bridge was built in 1894 according to the project of Alexander III with the aim to strengthen the Russia's military presence in the Caucasus. In 1851, a wooden bridge was built over the Gudialchai River, but it existed not long. After that the decision was made to erect a new bridge. Original plans envisaged building a bridge consisting of 19 spans. However, later it was decided to reduce the number of spans because of some landslides that happened during the construction works.

Fourteen of its spans with a total length of 275 metres and a width of 8 metres were erected using burnt bricks. The multi-span design enables the bridge to survive intact even during powerful mudflows and river floods raising the water level in the river. The bridge with such structure built in the 19th century is the only one in Azerbaijan.

Nowadays a romantic view of the city opens from the Arch Bridge, which is now used only by pedestrians. The bridge enables to easily get from the city's oldest Nizami Park to the Krasnaya Sloboda settlement. The bridge is protected by the state as a monument of architecture.

 

Juma Mosque - the first Friday Mosque in the country

 

One of the oldest city mosques Juma Mosque (Friday Mosque), which was erected in the very beginning of the 19th century, lies in the center of the city near the central park. It is also called Jame. The mosque featuring the rich architectural style was built of red bricks in 1802 with the financial support of Gazi Ismayil Efendi. The architecture of this religious building is typical only for the mosques of the Guba District. In appearance it resembles a faceted cylinder, that is, it has the shape of a regular octagon. Inside there is one large hall topped by a huge dome 16 meters in diameter. When the Juma Mosque was erected in Guba, similar buildings began to appear in other regions of Azerbaijan.

The Juma Mosque is one of the oldest religious centres not only in Guba, but also across Northeastern Azerbaijan. The mosque and the attached madrasah worked until 1924. During the Soviet era its activities were banned, and in 1933 the madrasah and minaret were destroyed. After independence a new 50 metre-high minaret was erected in the 1990s with the support of the Directorate of Religious Affairs of Turkey.

 

Sakina Khanum Mosque - without the use of cement

 

The specific feature of this mosque of the 19th century is its female name. The mosque was built in 1840-1854 at the behest of the wife of Abbasgulu Agha Bakikhanov in order to perpetuate the memory of her husband. The building impresses with its monumentality. The nine-dome mosque building is 27 metres high. It was built of burnt red bricks and resembles a faceted cylinder.

Each wall has per one window in the form of a semicircular arch. The top of the facade is decorated by the original cornice built of small bricks. This stately building is crowned by a large white metal dome resembling a helmet and also trimmed with numerous facets. The graceful thin spire tops the dome.

It is said that the mosque was built without the use of cement, and chicken eggs were used as a binding element. In the Soviet era, there was a barn and a sewing workshop here. In 1993, the mosque was restored and returned to believers.

 

Krasnaya Sloboda - a Jewish village

 

From the terrace of Shahdag Hotel one can enjoy the view of Krasnaya Sloboda. It is located on the right bank of the Gudialchai River. This village is inhabited by the Jews, who call themselves Juhur. They are also referred to as the Mountain Jews. There are 13 synagogues in the village, and now only two of them are working. At the time of resettlement of the Jews there were 360 ​​houses, where 1,200-1,500 people lived. Around 4,000-5,000 Jews live in Krasnaya Sloboda nowadays.

It stands to mention that Huseynali Khan and Fatali Khan enabled the Jews to get settled in Guba. Their migration to this area dates back to the reign of Nadir Shah (1736-1747). When Nadir Shah invaded Guba, the Jews, who arrived with him, were settled in the area between Galaduz and Kupchal villages. The Jewish aksakals (revered elders) visited the palace of Huseynali Khan (the summer palace of the khan occupied the area where the Domed Bath is currently located) to ask him to ensure safety of the Jews. The khan not only guaranteed their security, but even allocated a plot of land in the upper part of modern Krasnaya Sloboda. In order to protect the Jews from night-time attacks and sudden raids, Fatali Khan moved them to the territory of the present-day settlement in 1765.

The residents of Krasnaya Sloboda are engaged mainly in trade. One can often see here huge villas reminiscent of palaces and luxury cars.

 

Khynalyg Village is an open-air museum

 

Guba’s one of the most famous mountain villages Khynalyg (Khinalig) lies 65 km from the city center at an elevation of 2,300 meters above the sea level. This area included by UNESCO in the list of world-famous historical monuments is associated with an open-air museum.

There are 380 houses in the village, which are 200-300 years old. Since Khynalyg is declared a reserve, construction of new buildings is prohibited here. Nowadays Khynalyg attracts lots of tourists. Most of all foreigners take a keen interest in the language. The local residents, who have preserved their customs and traditions, speak their own Khynalyg language, which does not belong to any language family. The German, Dutch, French and American scientists and just amateurs, who return here from year to year, try to learn this language.

 

View the embedded image gallery online at:
http://shahdaghotel.az/en/multimedia-3#sigProId4304e70c8f

 

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