World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Nakhchivan (city)

City and municipality
Official seal of Nakhchivan
Nakhchivan is located in Azerbaijan
Country  Azerbaijan
Autonomous republic Nakhchivan
 • Total 15 km2 (6 sq mi)
 • Land 14.2 km2 (5.5 sq mi)
 • Water 0.8 km2 (0.3 sq mi)
Population (2010)census data[1]
 • Total 74,500
Demonym(s) Naxçıvanli
Time zone GMT+4 (UTC+4)
 • Summer (DST) GMT+5 (UTC+5)

The city of Nakhchivan (Azerbaijani: Naxçıvan) is the capital of the eponymous Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic of Azerbaijan, located 450 km (280 mi) west of Baku. The municipality of Nakhchivan consists of the city of Nakhchivan and the villages of Başbaşı, Qarağalıq, and Daşduz.[2] It is spread over the foothills of Zangezur Mountains, on the right bank of the Nakhchivan River at an altitude of almost 1,000 m (3,300 ft).


  • History 1
    • Legends and traditions 1.1
    • Antiquity 1.2
    • Feudal era 1.3
    • Modern era 1.4
    • Republic era 1.5
  • Geography 2
    • Climate 2.1
  • Economy 3
  • Demographics 4
    • Religion 4.1
  • Culture 5
    • Architecture 5.1
    • Cuisine 5.2
    • Museums and galleries 5.3
    • Music and media 5.4
    • Sports 5.5
  • Education 6
    • Universities and colleges 6.1
  • Transport 7
    • Public transport 7.1
    • Air 7.2
    • Rail 7.3
  • Notable residents 8
  • International relations 9
    • Twin towns – Sister cities 9.1
  • Gallery 10
  • See also 11
  • References 12
  • External links 13


Legends and traditions

Armenian tradition claims Noah as the founder of Nakhichevan (the Naxuana of Ptolemy), and a mound of earth in the city is still visited by many pilgrims as his grave.[3] See Tomb of Noah and Noah’s Mausoleum (Nakhchivan, Azerbaijan). It should be noted that Armenian literature of the 5th through the 10th centuries does not have an Ark story. It is not until the 13th century that the Ark legends began to appear in Armenia, and by the 14th century these stories became popular.[4]


Nakhchivan was one of the prominent cities of the Armenian Kingdom under the Artaxides, Arshakides and Bagratides dynasties from the 2nd century BC until the 11th century AD.[5][6][7] In the 2nd century, Nakhchivan was known to Ptolemy under the name Ναξουὰνα (Naxouana), and some scholars have sought to identify Strabo's otherwise unidentified Arxata, mentioned in his description of the cities of Armenia, with Nakhchivan. Herodotus wrote that the river of Araz flows from the mountains of Matean to the country of Nakhar.[8] Potts[9] writes that Nakhchivan was probably the capital of the Siwnik region of Sassanid Armenia during the late-Sassanid period, when Siwnik was described as being located "along the Araxes" by Ananias of Shirak. According to Sebeos, the Byzantine emperor Heraclius marched through the Nakhchivan region during his campaign against the Sassanid empire in 627-628. Some Armenian chroniclers additionally state that Heraclius destroyed the town of Nakhchivan before marching on to Ganzak. A legend that the city of Nakhchivan was founded by Noah developed during the Christian-era.[10]

Feudal era

At the beginning of the 12th century Nakhchivan became the capital of Atabek's state. At the start of the 20th century Nakhchivan was the capital of a district of Erivan Governorate of the Russian Empire.[11]

Modern era

Nakhchivan in the early 20th century.

Republic era

During Nagorno-Karabakh War, the city like the region itself fell under a blockade.Although city's direct access to Azerbaijan is still blocked, they’ve increased connections with Turkey and Iran in recent years.[12] During 1995 to 2012, Nakhchivan has undergone massive redevelopment with the region's GDP rising by a multiple of 48.[13]


The city is spread over the foothills of Zangezur chain, on the right bank of the Nakhchivan River at an altitude of almost 1,000 m (3,300 ft).

The floods and soil erosion spiked because of the decreased forest cover along riverbanks.[12] As a result, reforestation projects implemented in the city to encourage tree planting.[12]


Nakhchivan has a continental semi-arid climate (Köppen BSk) with short but cold, snowy winters and long, dry, very hot summers.

Climate data for Nakhchivan
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 0.8
Daily mean °C (°F) −4.0
Average low °C (°F) −6.8
Average precipitation mm (inches) 19
Average precipitation days 5 4 6 7 9 5 2 2 2 5 4 4 55
Mean monthly sunshine hours 82.9 117.3 188.3 202.6 254.5 324.0 364.4 338.7 302.5 215.6 148.1 121.1 2,660
Source: NOAA[14]


Traditionally, Nakhchivan was home to trade industry, handicraft, shoemaking and hatmaking. These industries have been largely replaced. The restoration enterprises and development industry, liberalization of foreign trade and the extension of the customs infrastructure, which has been largely responsible for Nakchivan's growth in the last two decades, are now major parts of Nakchivan's economy.[15]




The city has a wide range of cultural activities, amenities and museums. Heydar Aliyev Palace, which has a permanent local painting exhibition and a theatre hall for an audience of 1000 people, and a recently restored Soviet-time Opera Theatre where the Nakhchivan State Musical Drama Theatre realises theatre plays, concerts, musicals and opera.[16]

Many of the city's cultural sites is expected to be celebrated in 2018 when Nakhchivan was designated an Islamic Culture Capital.[17]


Momine Khatun Mausoleum is one of the most recognisable landmarks in Azerbaijan.

The city is home Momine Khatun Mausoleum, Gulustan Mausoleum, Noah's Mausoleum, Garabaghlar Mausoleum, Yusif ibn Kuseyir Mausoleum, Imamzadeh mausoleum and Mausoleum of Huseyn Javid mausoleums.[18]

The main sight in the city is the heavily restored 12th-century Momine Khatun Mausoleum, also known as Atabek Gumbezi. Momine Khatun was the wife of Eldegizid Atabek Jahan Pahlivan, ruler of the Atabek Eldegiz emirate. The 10-sided monument is decorated with intricate geometrical motives and Kufic script, it uses turquoise glazed bricks. It shares the neighbourhood with a statue of its architect - Ajami Nakhchivani - and a bust of Heydar Aliyev. Also from the 12th century and by the same architect, is the octagonal Yusuf Ibn Kuseir tomb, known as Atababa, half abandoned near the main cemetery.

In 1993, the white marble mausoleum of Hussein Javid was built. The Azerbaijani writer died in the Gulag during Joseph Stalin's Great Purge. Both the mausoleum and his house museum are located east of the theatre. Although being a recent construction, Huseyn Javid's mausoleum is of great iconic importance, representing the ability of the exclave to live despite the Armenian embargo and becoming a symbol of Nakhchivan itself.

The mausoleums of Nakhichevan was entered for possible inclusion in the List of World Heritage Sites, UNESCO in 1998 by Gulnara Mehmandarova — president of Azerbaijan Committee of ICOMOSInternational Council on Monuments and Sites.[19]


Nakchivan’s signature cuisine includes shirin plov (sweet rice with gravy; made with mutton, hazelnuts, almonds and dried fruits), dastana, komba, tendir lavash and galin.[20]

Museums and galleries

The city also has many historical museums, the literature museum of Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic, Nakhchivan State History Museum, The Nakhchivan State Carpet Museum, and the house museums of Jamshid Nakhchivanski and Bahruz Kangarli.[21] There is also an archaeological museum found on Istiqlal street. The city has a few interesting mosques, particularly the Juma mosque, with its large dome.

Modern museums in Nakchivan include the Museum under Open Air, Heydar Aliyev Museum and the Memorial Museum (Xatıra Muzeyi), dedicated to the national strife between Armenia and Azerbaijan.[22]

Music and media

The regional channels Naxçıvan TV and Kanal 35, and newspaper Sharg Gapisi are headquartered in the city.[23]


Araz Naxçivan one of the top futsal clubs in the European futsal arena and regularly participates in UEFA Futsal Cup.[24][25][26]

Nakhchivan had one professional football team, Araz-Naxçıvan, which competed in the top-flight of Azerbaijani football, the Azerbaijan Premier League.[27]

In 2014, the city hosted Masters Weightlifting World Cup.[28]


There are 3 professional, 6 musical, 22 secondary schools and a military cadet school in Nakchivan administered by the city council.[29]

Universities and colleges

Nakchivan is one of the Azerbaijan's main centre of education and home to numerous universities:


Public transport

Nakhchivan has a large urban transport system, mostly managed by the Ministry of Transportation.In 2013, Ministry of Transportation stated that city, along with Ganja and Sumqayit will have new subway line within the framework of the 20-year subway program.[30][31]

Nakhchivan's trolleybus system at its height, it consisted of three lines and existed until 2004.[32]


Nakhchivan Airport is the only commercial airport serving Nakhchivan. The airport is connected by bus to the city center. There are domestic flights to Baku and international service to Russia and Turkey.


In 2007, a new bridge across the Aras River to Iran opened and a Turkish rail line connected Nakhchivan indirectly to Baku in 2013.[12]

Currently, light rail line is working from Nakchivan to Ordubad beyond to Sharur.[33]

Notable residents

Some of the city's many prestigious residents include: president of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev, Huseyn Javid — poet and playwright, founder of the progressive romanticism in Azerbaijani literature, writer Jalil Mammadguluzadeh, opera singer Azer Zeynalov, film director Rza Tahmasib, generals Huseyn Khan Nakhchivanski and Jamshid Nakhchivanski, artist Bahruz Kangarli and architect Ajami Nakhchivani.[34]

International relations

Twin towns – Sister cities

Nakhchivan is twinned with various cities.

  • [35]


See also


  1. ^ The State Statistical Committee of the Azerbaijan Republic
  2. ^ "Belediyye Informasiya Sistemi" (in Azerbaijani). Archived from the original on 24 September 2008. 
  4. ^
  5. ^ Kingdom of Greater Armenia. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 20 November 2013.
  6. ^ (Armenian) Ter-Ghevondyan, Aram N. «Բագրատունիների Թագավորություն» (Bagratuni Kingdom). Soviet Armenian Encyclopedia. vol. ii. Yerevan, Armenian SSR: Armenian Academy of Sciences, 1976, p. 202.
  7. ^ Atlas of Ancient and Classical Geography , Samuel Butler, 1907.
  8. ^ Herodotus. History, I 202; V 52
  9. ^ D. T. Potts, "Some Problems in the Historical Geography of Nakhchivan" in Ancient West & East, Volume 1, No. 1, 2002.
  10. ^ Энциклопедический словарь Брокгауза и Ефрона. Нахичевань. — С.-Петербург:1890—1907 (Russian)
  11. ^ Brockhaus and Efron Encyclopedic Dictionary: Erivan Governorate.
  12. ^ a b c d Hay, Mark. "How Environmentalism Can Foster Nation-Building". Retrieved 13 November 2014. 
  13. ^ Hay, Mark. "Welcome to Nakhchivan, the San Francisco of the Caucasus Mountains". Retrieved 13 November 2014. 
  14. ^ "Naxcivan Climate Normals 1961–1990".  
  15. ^ "NAXÇIVAN MUXTAR RESPUBLİKASI - rəsmi portal". 
  16. ^ "Ilham Aliyev attended a ceremony to commemorate the 90th anniversary of the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic.". Retrieved 13 November 2014. 
  17. ^ "Nakhchivan to be capital of Islamic Culture in 2018". Retrieved 13 November 2014. 
  18. ^ "The mausoleum of Nakhichevan".  
  19. ^ UNESCO World Heritage Centre. "The mausoleum of Nakhichevan (#)". 
  20. ^ "NAXÇIVAN MUXTAR RESPUBLİKASI - rəsmi portal". 
  21. ^ "NAXÇIVAN MUXTAR RESPUBLİKASI - rəsmi portal". 
  22. ^ Peart, Ian. "Land of Legend - Nakhchivan". Retrieved 13 November 2014. 
  23. ^ "Radio-TV yayımı" (in Azerbaijani). Retrieved 13 November 2014. 
  24. ^ Футзальный клуб «Араз» определился с соперниками по элитному раунду Кубка чемпионов (Russian)
  25. ^ Happy Friday night for Benfica, Puntar and Araz
  26. ^ Club's profile
  27. ^ В Нахчыване появится футбольный клуб Араз. (in Russian). Retrieved 23 May 2013. 
  28. ^ "Masters World Cup 2014". Retrieved 13 November 2014. 
  29. ^ "Naxçıvan Muxtar Respublikası". 
  30. ^ "Subway to be constructed in Sumgayit, Nakhchivan and Ganja". Retrieved 10 November 2014. 
  31. ^ "Subways to open in major Azerbaijani cities". Retrieved 10 November 2014. 
  32. ^ "15. Нахичевань (троллейбус)" [15. Nahičevan (trolleybus)]. Горэлектротранс (Electrotrans) website (in Русский). Дмитрий Зиновьев (Dmitry Zinoviev). Retrieved 26 September 2012. 
  33. ^ "NAXÇIVAN MUXTAR RESPUBLİKASI - rəsmi portal". 
  34. ^ Алиев Гейдар Али Рза оглы (in Русский). Справочник по истории Коммунистической партии и Советского Союза 1898 - 1991. 
  35. ^ "Batumi - Twin Towns & Sister Cities". Batumi City Hall. Archived from the original on 2012-05-04. Retrieved 2013-08-10. 

External links

  • Nakhchivan Guide
  • Nakhchivan Portal
  • Nakhchivan (as Naxçıvan) at GEOnet Names Server
  • World Gazetteer: Azerbaijan –
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.