Nakhichevan (Nakhchivan), Azerbaijan
Ancient history and modernity of Nakhichevan
It is the most ancient city of Azerbaijan. It emerged in the 6th century BC as one of the cities of Caucasian Albania. In the 11th century it became the capital of Seljuk state. In the 12 th – 13 th centuries it was the capital of Ildigizid state. From 1828 to 1923 it belonged to Russian Empire, after that it became a part of Azerbaijan.
The monuments of medieval architecture are considered as the major tourist attraction of the city: the mausoleums of Yusuf ibn Kuseiyr (11th century) and Momine Khatun (12 th century), Gyaur-Kala fortress ( Shahtahty, 2,000 BC) as well as unique Khudaferin bridges across the Araks river.
Nakhichevan has a university, a scientific center of A zerbaijan Academy of Sciences, theatres, literature and historical museums, and a picture gallery. Not far from Nakhichevan there is Alindzha-Kala fortress (11 th – 13 th centuries)
Mausoleum of Yusuf ibn Kuseyir (12th century)
The people call this mausoleum "Atababa". This very beautiful building is built as an octahedral cylinder decorated by geometrical patterns from burnt brick crowned by a pyramid-shaped dome. Each side of the mausoleum is a piece of art; they are decorated with a geometric pattern from little bricks. The mausoleum has two levels. The upper part of the mausoleum is rounded with an inscription giving the name of the deceased and the year of its construction. The entrance is made in the form of a figured arch. The burial place itself is in the underground part of the mausoleum. The access there is through the hatch located in the floor of the upper structure
In the southeast of Nahchivan, close to the border with Iran, there is the city of Dzhulfa. Nearby on the bared top of the mountain towering in the middle of the wide plain is the ancient fortress called Alindzha-Kala (11th - 13th centuries) located on right bank of the Alindzha river. It is one of the most powerful defensive structures of that time guarding the main treasury of Eldegiz.
...Numerous defensive, hydro engineering, residential and palace structures of Alindzha-Kala occupy the mountain top its slopes. Powerful stone walls run in several lines from the foot of the mountain to its top. The pools for collecting melt and rain waters were hidden in the shade.
Dzhulfa Caravanserai (13th century)
To the west of Dzhulfa right on the banks of the Araks river one of the biggest the caravanserais in Azerbaijan was found. The remains of it were found in 1974. Later the entire structures were dug out.
The excavation Dzhulfa caravanserai defined it as one of the largest caravanserais on the territory of Azerbaijan (the total length - 37 meters ). It was erected from well-ground square bricks with a spherical dome on top. Numerous rooms intended for dwelling were plastered with sheetrock solution. The east wing hosts a big room with deep niches - it must have been used for praying. Close to the caravanserai the remains of the bridge constructed by Nakhchivan ruler Khakim Ziya ad-Din in the early 14th century were found.