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A SEVEN-DAY TOUR TO THE SHAMKIR REGION.

A seven-day tour to the Shamkir region.

 

Reasons for traveling to the region?

 

 

This is a wine tour.

This SPA tour.

This is a historical ethnographic tour.

This archaeological tour.

 

There is a Lutheran church and a Muslim mosque, a Gothic architecture and the oriental flavor of the buildings, the house museum of the German colonists, fine wine, which has the highest score in international competitions, alpine meadows, high waterfalls, glaciers, beaches, ancient fort.

 

Shemkir - it's gourmet kitchen, tasting fine wines, fresh mountain air, the hospitality of people and a lot of impressions!

 

Shemkir always for you!

Shemkir always with you!

 

 

Ladies and gentlemen!

Shamkir region is located 30 kilometers from the international airport of Ganja (Ganja), 380 kilometers from the international airport of Heydar Aliyev in Baku and 170 km from the Tbilisi Airport. These airports are equipped with the latest technology, has the most advanced technology of service for passengers.

 

Day 1

Upon arrival you will be met by our representatives and then - in by car on the track "Silk Road" hold you in Shamkir region. On the way, you get all the information about Azerbaijan and the "Silk Road."You will enjoy the surroundings. Along the road planted vineyards, fruit gardens, forests are located. When you leave the airport in Baku, during follow-up will be made halt for lunch at one of the restaurants. The restaurant is located in the mountains, in the woods with beautiful views of the surrounding area.Lunch will be held in the open air, outdoors. You will be given a menu of European and local kitchen. Local kitcen - a dish of lamb and beef, vegetable dishes, fish dishes.

If coming from the airport will be Ganja, the dinner will be at the hotel.

Travel time from the airport of Baku – 4 hours, from Ganja Airport - 20 minutes, from Tbilisi airport – 2,5 hours.

On arrival in Shamkir region, you will be given the hotel located in the private estate of 0.5 hectares.The hotel is located in a historic building of the former German colonists, which was built in 1888. Total area - 500 square meters, plus a mansard of 200 square meters, plus a basement - bar - wine cellar of 150 square meters.The building is constructed from ecologically pure materials, wall thickness 64 cm, height of ceilings - 4 meters. Your room consists of two rooms - a bedroom and living room, each room size of 30 square meters in the room - free internet, telephone, air conditioning, satellite TV.

At your service - a gym, bar, wine cellar, tasting room, located in the basement, a mini restaurant, gift shop, wine shop, a supermarket, a fruit garden, mansard, terrace, patio. All this complex is surrounded by the old centuries mighty plane trees .

Free lunch and dinner of local and European kitchen will be served to you according to your wishes either on the terrace or in the garden. Menu of local kitchen:

 

Day 2

During of your tour you will get acquainted with the old part of the city - five streets, built in the late 19th century by German colonists, with the new part of the city, parks, boulevards, Flag Square. You will visit architectural monuments - Lutheran church, fortress Coeur oglu.

Annanfeld

The village founded by German colonists on the territory of present-day Shamkir in 1819 was known as Annanfeld until 1938. The district was a settlement for German colonies in the 19thcentury with special permission of czarist govern­ment. The settlement was also known as Anino. Houses and buildings constructed in German architectural style and tidy streets create a special atmosphere here. Pear and plane-trees are planted along the street. According to German beliefs, pear is the symbol of open attitude to work, abundance and fertility. The start of World War Two affected local Germans as well. Stalin ordered to exile them and no-one came back. The German church (1909) in the central park is still there but does not function.

Ancient Shamkir

The ancient Shamkir was built on 30 hectares in the 5-6th centuries on the left bank of the Shamkir river on a trade route crossing Barda, Ganja and Tbilisi. In medieval Azerbaijan, Shamkir was one of the prosperous cities with grandiose buildings, good water supply and sewage system, big and crowded markets and developed handicrafts. 9th century historian Ahmad al-Balazuri notes that Salman ibn Rabia al-Bahili conquered the ancient town of Shamkir. After Arab invasion, in 854-855, great commander Buga rebuilt the town and settled the Caspians there. They sub­sequently adopted Islam. He brought merchants from Barda and named the city Mutavakkiliyya after a caliph. In early Middle Ages the town thrived on the Silk Way and turned into a signifi­cant centre in the 9-10th centuries. In the 13th, the Mongols invaded the town and destroyed it despite the resistance from the local people. The town lost its significance afterwards. Shamkir was known as Samkur in the Middle Ages and was looted several times as a result of foreign invasions. Local residents, fed up with such invasions, left the ancient town and built a new settlement 9-10 km away. During its renaissance in the 9-12th centuries, the town was con­quered by the Seljuk and, as part of the Ganja khanate, was occupied by Russia in the 19th century

Wine-making

Today’s winery No 2 was founded by German brothers Christo Forer in 1860- 1896. The equipment installed at the time is still operation, which is further evidence of German quality. White and red wines made of various grapes are kept in hundred-year-old oak tanks with a capacity of several tons. The factory has a huge basement. It is very interesting to tour it, taste the wines. The winery also produces high-quality brandy.

In the early 19th and 20th centuries, three of eight German colonies, Eigen­feld, Annenfeld and Georgsfeld, were located in Shamkir. Annenfeld was na­med after the Queen of the Nether­lands, Anna Pavlova, while Georgsfeld was named George Alekseyevich, the son of Alexander III. They left Helenen­dorf (today’s Goygol District) due to a lack of arable land. There were several reasons of resettling Germans in the East. The main reason was the political and economic crisis in Germany and the disintegration of the country fol­lowing Napoleon-led war in the early 19th century. Another reason is said to be religion. Lutheranism, one of the leading directions of Protestantism whose followers protested against cer­tain some Catholic Church rituals, was adopted as official religion. Missionary activities began and as part of this ac­tivity some settlements emerged in the South Caucasus. In the first years of settlement colonists attempted to spread Protestantism among local pe­ople. The attempts backed by the czar government were even more visible in Kharabakh. Germans who lived in Azer­baijan for over 120 years did not for­get their major activities and traditions: vine-growing and wine-making.

Note

It is in the Ganja-Gazakh plain 400 km from Baku. Jeyranchol is in the north-east of the district, on the left of the Kura river. The Ganja-Gazakh plain is in the center and north-east of the Lesser Caucasus and south of the district. The Kura and its branches (Zayam, Jahir) flow through here area. Noted for its water reservoirs, the district has power stations such as Shamkir (380,000 kilowatt) and Yenikand. The 42nd km of the Baku-Tbilisi railway passes Shamkir. It is an hour’s dri­ ve from Ganja. The district was founded in 1930 in the north-west of the country and was known as Shamkhor until 1991

Place-name

Arab and Persian sources of the Middle Ages describe it as Shamkir, while Turkic sources refer to it as Shamkur. Zeyna­loghlu, author of the 1924 “Short His­tory of Azerbaijan” published in Istanbul, described the name as someone wors­hipping the Sun. A group of linguists describe the name as Shamkur, i.e. the side of the Kura river. A. Bakikhanov links the etymology to the name of the ruler of Tabaristan bin-Ziyad. Six rulers of this dynasty conquered many parts of Iran and the South Caucasus over 150 years. There is written evidence that the second ruler of the dynasty Shamkir bin – Ziyad (935-967) named the town he founded near Ganja after himself. The remains of a dual-entrance fortress, an ancient bridge and a minaret, are still there.

Historical sites

As everywhere else in the western zone, this area is rich in historical sites. The­re are monuments such as the Shamkir fortress, the Koroghlu castle, bridges built in the Middle Ages and the Didivan tower. There are ruins of a 9-11th century ancient town, maiden towers and sanctu­aries in Seyfali and Tatarli villages. Some of the surviving remarkable sites include a small castle, Irmashli caves, the Irmash­li sanctuary and the old cemetery of the Iron Age in the Atabaylar village, a 17th century Didivan tower in the Yeni Hayat village. There is an Alban temple of the early Middle Ages in the Dag-Dashbulag village which is now as sanctuary.

 

 

Day 3

You will visit SHEMKIR Wineries and will taste their wines. These wines have won prestigious awards - the Grand Prix and Gold Medal at the International Festival. These wines - Chardonnay, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz and others are successfully sold in Europe, Canada, South Korea, Russia and Japan.

Shamkir’s vineyards gave rich crops and 8 sorts of grapes were planted in the region.

Grape plantations were created in Shamkir at an area of over 100 hectares this year. Like in all previous years, the Shamkir farmers have given preference to technical sorts this year. For example, eight sorts of grapes were planted in Sharg Ulduzu, all of them are intended for wine production. 3 sorts are local and 5 are foreign.

According to the farmers, this year the crops will be bigger than last year. The reason is a more stable weather. Currently Shamkir exports wine not only to the Russian but also to the leading European markets.

There is a plan to expand vineyards in the region in the future. The preference will mostly be given to the sorts of grapes used for wine production. 

 

 


 

Day 4

You will visit the valley of the Kura River and Shamkir sea.

 

Day 5

You will visit the alpine meadows of the mountains, mineral springs.

 


 

Day 6

You will visit the archaeological excavations of the ancient Shemkir city

Shamkir fortress 

Shamkir Castle is located in the north side of Mukhtariyye village of the same named region, on a shore of Shamkir River, in 600 ms to the south from the railway. The height of the remainders of the walls, especially the west and south walls is up to 4 ms in some places. The place of the city gates is clearly observed in these walls. The walls have been constructed from river stone, burnt brick and local white stone. There is a remaining of multi-span bridge in the Shamkir River-bed which was directed towards the Shehristan. The remainders of ruins of an inner castle (Naringala) settled on the shore of the Shamkir River with a territory more than one hectare had had a better defense system consisted of strong walls and a ditch. The castle walls have been raised with burnt brick, river stones and local white and blue stones using lime solution, what is typical for Arran architecture school. Remainders of the buildings constructed with brick can be seen in the inside of Naringala. Shehristan’s territory is regularly used for sowing; therefore its micro-relief has been destructed here. There are architecture parts and materials of ground-based buildings on its territory. It could be said that river stone, white stone and burnt brick had been widely used in the city architecture. There are remaining of production on the Shehrist’s territory, such as pottery and blacksmith profession. The excavation of 16 sq.m area in Shehristan showed 2.2 ms thick civilized layer in this part of the monument. The results of Naringala archaeological excavations were also interesting. 80 ms of Naringala’s east wall had been cleaned from land heaps and studied in the III excavation area. Investigations in the IV excavation area revealed two civilized layers inside of Naringala. 4 ms thick civilized layer related to IX-XIII centuries had been revealed under the civilized layer related to XVIII-XIX century. Remainders of fortification, farm buildings, oven and fire places, wells related to a farm and life, a construction built of burnt brick, a drainage line were found in this civilized layer. Iron labor tools and weapon examples, building materials and home things, glazed and without a glaze faience plate examples, metal and glass products, ornament things, coins have been found from the Middle Age layer.

 


 

 

 

 

Day 7

You will visit the city of Ganja, a city that 4000 years old, the city has a rich history, tradition and kitchcen. In this city you will visit the mausoleum of the poet Nizami, underground Hammam(baths), falling minarets.

8 and 9 days

You go to Adzhikend - tourist resort place, located in the mountains of relict forest. There's you also visit the lake Gek Gel - a lake formed in the 12th century as a result of the earthquake. The lake is a bowl filled with with melt water from glaciers and framed by forests.

If you wish, the night you can stay in our house - the cottage in Adzhikend. And there you will have a dinner.

 

10 - 12 days

two or three days - the days spent on the farm with guests.

At your service - translator.

Spoken language residents and hotel owners - Russian, Azerbaijani and Turkish.

The age of the hotel's owners - 60 years old and 52 years old, they are interesting interlocutors

During the tour you will be accompanied by the people, a good company, which will tell you about the region, traditions, local legends, and history of Azerbaijan and the former Soviet Union.

Often, your dinner will be accompanied by the singing ashug (local bard).

During the tour you will get acquainted with the life of the local people, their customs and folklore, craft hand-weaving.

 

Azerbaijan has a very high degree of security - a high level of police and special services, a ban on the wearing and storage of weapons and firearms, the rigid enforcement of the laws in respect of the security,

High level of security and the very complex and include a closed area, fenced off by a 3 meter wall, video surveillance cameras around the perimeter though these measures are unnecessary because of there is a high security in the country. Outside the territory you will be accompanied by a hotel representative.

Your attention will be presented souvenirs: rugs and carpets, handicrafts made of reeds, pottery, local wines, brandy, and more.

 

Day 13

Last day - a banquet in your honor pay the hotel.

 

Day 14

If you wish one day can be devoted to exploring the capital

Azerbaijan - Baku city.

Quantity of days of the tour can be changed depending on of your choice.


 

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