Sheki Travel Guide

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Castle walls of Sheki (XVIII c)

Castle walls of Sheki (XVIII c)

Sheki is one of the most ancient cities of Azerbaijan. It is mentioned as Shaki, Sheka, Shakki and others in a number of medieval sources.

Sheki has been called Nukha for a long time. One of the ancient authors Ptolemy cited the settlement Niga among other Albanian cities. A. Bakikhanov wrote that Nukha is the same Nakhy and Naghy city judging from its location and it was considered one of the ancient cities of Shirvan. A.Y. Krymski also agreed on the version that Niga is the ancestor of Nukha.

Yet, there were a number of opponents to the said version in the early 19th century. Academician V. Dorn considered that Niga was a city that located between Liberia and Alazan and that it can not be confused with Nukha. The connection between the word Nukha and the Niga settlement, famous since ancient times, is quite a disputable issue.

The word Sheki originates from the name of the Saxon tribes that wandered from the north side of the Black Sea through Derbend passage and to the South Caucasus and from there to the Asia Minor in the 7th century B.C. They occupied the best lands in the South Caucasus and called the area Sakasena.

Sheki was one of the areas occupied by Saxons.

Sheki was one of the biggest cities of Alban states in the 1 century. The temple of ancient Albania was located there. In its administrative division the Caucasus Albania was composed 11 provinces. One of them was Sheki province that located in the northwest of Albania. Sheki had been one of the important political and economic cities before the Arabian invasion. As the result of the Arabian invasion Sheki was annexed to the third emirate arranged by Arabians on the territory of the country. An independent principality was established in Sheki in times of the weakened Arabian caliphate.

The mountains around the city and at a height of 500-850 meters above sea level prevent the heating of the city. The mountain forests protect the city from floods and beautify the view

Due to the richness of recreational establishments, the city differs from other regions of Azerbaijan. The resort and service centers as well as tourist bases established near Markhal, Soyugbulag, Gelersen-Gorersen tower increase the recreation capacities of the city.

The mountain meadow, brown mountain forest, meadow-forest, gray brown soils are spread in the city. The oaks, beech-tree and hornbeam dominate the forests. The animal kingdom is characterized with its variety.

The Kish and Gurchana rivers are the major rivers of Sheki. The branch of the river Ayrinchay, the full water Kish extends to 33 kilometers and covers an area of 265 square kilometers. It originates from the south slope of the Major Caucasus at a height of 2900 meters. It is one of the rivers with the strongest floods of Transcaucasia. It is called the Damarchyn in its upper flow.

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April 19, 2006 change by azerbaijan08 (4 points)

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