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Qax

Qax

Qax is a pleasant and tranquil provincial town, northwest of Sheki, at the base of an appendix of Azeri territory that penetrates into Georgia and Dagestan. Not surprisingly a large proportion of the population is Georgian. The town was built on the bank of the mountain river Kurhumchai, near the base of the Greater Caucasus.

The town's name is translates as "fortress". There is a culture centre, but social life runs around the chaikana, an interesting building with a metallic dome, located near the Baku bus stop, on a park with a monument to Mammad Mammadov. The main bus station is in the south of the town, near the attractive main Georgian Orthodox church. Local food is mostly of Georgian inspiration.

Historical sites abound in Qax rayon

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Artificial hills suggest that the region was inhabited already in the Bronze Age. The village of Ilisu was once the capital of an independent sultanate. There is only one street but two castle towers, a mosque and a bridge dating from the 18 th century remain. Near Kakhi, in the forests of the village of Termechi, you'll find the tomb of Haji Murat, a naib (commander) of Sheikh Shamil - he was a fighter against Russian occupation, made famous by Tolstoy's story 'Haji Murat'. On his grave there is a mounted stone plate with an inscription in Arabic reading "A great martyr, Avar Hadzhi Murat Hunzah is buried here".

In the village of Kum / Qum there are several monuments dated to the period of Caucasian Albania, though Georgian also claim them as theirs: fortress Sirtgala of 18th century, Kum Basilica, ruins dated to the 5th century, The Round Temple (7th century). The Basilica in Kum was constructed in the 4th century and is one of the earliest examples of a three-nave Basilica in the region. During the time of construction, ancient Christian Albanians occupied modern Muslim Azerbaijan.In the village of Lekit there are the ruins of a 12th century monastery complex.

Qax

The Lekit circular temple (fifth or sixth century) is made of cobblestone, limestone, and burnt brick and, with similar monuments in Georgia and present-day Armenia, is typical of the Transcaucasian styles of that period. In the villages of Saribash and Dzhalai local craftswomen weave carpets with original patterns and sew woolen socks called jorabs. In the village of Gahbash the residents produce home-made wines. (400 km northwest of Baku)