Shusha, Azerbaijan

Shusha was the capital and cultural center of Karabakh. The city has gone through so many events. Rich culture and magnificence of the city were ruined by devastating events. The first event happened in 1920, when Azerbaijani army killed half of Armenian population; the second conflict happened in 1992, when the Armenians banished the Azerbaijanis from the city. The city with population of 70,000 people and many monuments was ruined. Today the city remained 3,000 people from its original population. The ruins of lavishly decorated buildings and mosques are seen everywhere. Cattle walks around the remnants of past glory covered in greenery.

Shusha is located in the South Caucasus, in Nagorno-Karabakh region. The ancient city was founded by Panakh-Ali-Khan in 1751 and was named Panakhabad. It was renamed as Shusha because of its location on top of sharp cliffs; “shush” is translated as “sharp”. He served in Nader’s Shah army since and earned reputation of a brave warrior. After Nader Shah’s death in 1747 Iran, as a united kingdom, fell apart. Pnakah used destabilized political situation and founded own Karabakh Khanate.  For protection of the khanate new ruler built a fortress on the territory of Shusha. Panakh-Khan ordered to hire famous architect to construct palaces and buildings for khan. The fortress had two gates that were closed after dusk and no one could enter the city. The ancient city became famous after the battle against the Iranians in 1795. Shah Kadzhar wanted to take over the city with the army of 85,000 soldiers. Although, army of Shusha city consisted of 15,00 soldiers Shah Kadzhar lost the battle. 

Modern Shusha is called “a music conservatory of Caucasus” or “a cradle of Azerbaijani music and poetry”. The most ancient and unique kind of Azerbaijani music called “mugamy” is preserved in Shusha. 

Tours, where you will visit Shusha, Azerbaijan: