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History of Nakhichevan


Nakhichevan is the capital of the Nakhichevan Autonomous Republic and one of the most ancient cities of Azerbaijan. The conducted archeological researches of Nakhichevan revealed the patterns of material culture dating back to the 2-1st millenniums B.C. The culture of Nakhichevan close to the leading cultural centers of the Near East had a great impact on the life of the tribes settling there and the properties of city culture and class society appeared early in this area. 
The first information about the Nakhichevan city is provided by the written works of historian Yosef Flavy (the 1st century B.C.) and Greek geographer Claudi Ptolemy in his work “Geography”. The said work mentioned the name of Nakhichevan as “Naksuana”. It should be noted that Naksuana is not the phonetic variant of Nakhichevan. As the Greek and roman languages did not have the hushing sounds ch, dj, s, zh Nakhichevan was called Naksuana. 
The Medieval Arabian and Persian sources about the city (Bin Khordadbeh, Al-Biruni, Bakuvi and others) mentioned Nakhichevan as Nashave and Nagchuvan. Other sources (by Mohamed Nakhichevani, Hamdullah Gazvini, Ovliya Chelebi and others) used the name Nakhichevan which is proposed to be connected with the name of the Prophet Noah and means the land of Noah. 
Nakhichevan was part of Manna later of Midia states in the 9th-6th centuries B.C, and was subdued to the Ahameni Empire after the downfall of Midia in 550 B.C. After the collapse of the Ahameni empire Nakhichevan locating at the junction of the trade roads of Near and Middle East was part of Atropatena from the late 4th century B.C, till the early 1 century B.C. Nakhichevan that turned into an important art, trade and cultural centers of the Near and Middle east maintained trade relations with the countries of Asia Minor, Iran, with the cities of Georgia and the Black Sea ports. 
During the war between Iran and Byzantium the Byzantium emperor Irakly occupied the city and ruined it in 625. Later Nakhichevan was restored and passed to the Arabians in 654. After the downfall of Arabian caliphate Nakhcivan was first annexed to the state of Sadjids and then to Salari state. It had been part of Ravvadi state from the late 10th till the mid 11th centuries. The city was annexed to the state of Saldjugs with the appearance of Saldjugs in Azerbaijan in 1054 and the downfall of the Ravvadid state. Following the split of Seldjugi state, Nakhichevan was annexed to the newly established state of Atabeys. Nakhichevan had been the capital of the said state from the late 1130s till 1175. Nakhichevan accounted for nearly 150-200 thousand people in the 12th century. It developed such spheres as weaving, jeweler’s art, pottery, carpentry and other types of art. During the first attack of Mongolians to Azerbaijan in 1221 Nakhichevan was subject to great destruction. Making use of the weakening of Atabeys state Djelaleddin Kharezmshah occupied Nakhichevan in 1225. Nakhichevan was annexed to the Elkhanids state in 1257. After the weakening of the state Nakhichevan was first annexed to the state of Chobanids and then to the state of Djelalis. 
In 1386 Nakhichevan was first occupied by the khan of Gyzyl Orda Tokhatamysh and then by Amir Teymur. Nakhichevan was part of Garagoyunlu state in 1412 and Aghgoyunlu-in 1468. During the war between Aggoyunlus and Sefevis the latter won the battle in Sharur plain in 1501 and occupied the city. Later Nakhichevan turned into a military ground for the wars between Sefevis and Ottomans. Shah Abbas 1 subdued Nakhichevan in 1603 and turned the city into the military camp. The reforms conducted by Safevis resulted in the inclusion of Nakhichevan into Tebriz in the 16th century and into the Chukhursedd lands in the 17th century. In the 16th-17th centuries the leaders were appointed from the Kengerli tribe. 
After the overthrow of Sefevis, Nakhichevan was occupied by Nadir shah in the early 18th century. Following Nadir shah’s death the leader of Kengerli tribe Heydaroghlu was declared himself khan in 1747 and turned Nakhichevan into the capital of the khanate. Nakhichevan was occupied by the troops of Tsarist Russia on June 26, 1827. As the result of Russian-Iranian war Nakhichevan was annexed to Russia in accordance with the Turkenchay contract of 1828. Nakhgchivan settlement was established within Georgian-Imeretian province in 1841. The reforms conducted by Tsarist regime in 1870 led to the progress in the trade, industrial, health and cultural spheres of Nakhichevan. As the result of genocide conducted by Armenians against Azerbaijanis in 1905-1907, mass bloodshed was committed in Nakhichevan as well. Later the event was repeated in 1918. The Araz Turkic Republic was established in Nakhichevan in 1918. The republic overthrew with the British occupation of Nakhichevan in the early 1919. The Soviet government was declared in Nakhichevan on July 28, 1920. At a referendum conducted in January of 1921 90% of the population voted for the status of Autonomy under the Republic of Azerbaijan. The status of the Autonomous republic of Nakhichevan was founded by the Moscow contract of March 16, 1921 and Gars contract of October 13, 1921. The Nakhichevan Autonomous SSR was established on February 9, 1924 and Nakhichevan became the capital of it. At present Nakhichevan is the capital of the Autonomous Republic of Nakhichevan. 
The administrative settlement Aliabad was included into the Nakhichevan city in accordance with the Law adopted by the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan of December 4, 2001 “On amendments to the administrative division of a number of regions of the republic of Azerbaijan”. The city accounted for one settlement (Aliabad) and covered an area of 35.5 km2. It has the population of 70 thousand people. Its climate is continental and the average temperature equals 3.8 C in January and 26.9 C in July with the average precipitation of 236 mm. 
The development of Nakhichevan started in the times of Heydar Aliyev’s ruling over the country in the 1970-es. Nakhichevan fell into a blockade as the result of Armenians’ intervention policy against Azerbaijan conducted in the late 1980s. Its gas line was cut in 1991 and the railway line was shutdown in 1992. 
After gaining independence, the city was equipped with the Chess school, the Olympic Sport Complex, the swimming pool, the new five-storied building of the State University of Nakhichevan, Electronic Library, corpse for the faculty of Law and Social administration, the new building for the Customs Committee, the National Bank, the Rehabilitation Center for Invalids, the school after Heydar Aliyev and a number of other schools and new residential building for invalids. The tomb of Huseyn Javid was erected in Nakhichevan, tens of administrative buildings underwent a profound repair, the park of Heydar Aliyev, the picnic places of Ajemi, Dede Gorgud were established and Heydar Aliyev’s bust and the monument of Heydar Aliyev in the yard of the school after Heydar Aliyev, the monuments of Babek, Koroghlu, Jalil Mamedguluzade, Ajami Nakhichevani, the industrial and production complexes were created and the modern Grand hotel and other guest houses and restaurants were commissioned and a number of reconstruction works were carried out. All these works are closely connected with the name and political activity of the national leader of the Azerbaijani people Heydar Aliyev.
Today Nakhichevan is dynamically developed Azerbaijani land, Turkic land.

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