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Coordinates: 39°12′32″N 45°24′44″E / 39.20889°N 45.41222°E / 39.20889; 45.41222

—  City & Municipality  —
Nakhchivan is located in Azerbaijan
Coordinates: 39°12′32″N 45°24′44″E / 39.20889°N 45.41222°E / 39.20889; 45.41222
Country  Azerbaijan
Autonomous republic Nakhchivan
 - Total 15 km2 (5.8 sq mi)
 - Land 14.2 km2 (5.5 sq mi)
 - Water 0.8 km2 (0.3 sq mi)
Population (2008)
 - Total 74,203
Time zone AZT (UTC+4)
 - Summer (DST) AZT (UTC+5)

Nakhchivan City (Azerbaijani: Naxçıvan şəhəri; also, Nachitschewan, Nakhchyvan, Nakhicevan, Nakhichevan’, and Nakhjavan), is the capital of the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic of Azerbaijan, located 450 km west of Baku. The municipality of Nakhchivan consists of the city of Nakhchivan and the villages of Başbaşı, Qarağalıq, and Daşduz.[1] It is spread over the foothills of Zangezur chain, on the right bank of the Nakhchivan river at an altitude of almost 1000 m.



It was an ancient trading center and some historians consider that it was founded in the 16th century BCE. As early as the 2nd century CE it is mentioned by Ptolemy as a thriving city.

Nakhchivan City coat of arms under Imperial Russia (designed in 1843).

It was the capital of the Atabek Eldegiz emirate in the 12th century and the Nakhchivan khanate in the 18th century. In the same century the majority of Nakhchivan was completely destroyed. At the end of the 18th century Nakhchivan was included to the cities headed by Gazan Khan, the Elkhani ruler.[2] The reforms carried out by Gazan Khan on economy and policy gave an opportunity to develop the city as well as the other cities of Azerbaijan.

At the start of the 20th century Nakhchivan was the capital of a district in the government of Erivan. Its population was around 8000; three-quarters were Tartars and one-quarter were Armenians. The Tartars were wealthier than the Armenians and owned nearly all the land and property.[3]



According to official versions, the name Nakhchivan derived from the Persian Naqsh-e-Jahān ("Image of the World"), a reference to the beauty of the area.[4][5] The medieval Arab chronicles referred to the area as "Nashava".[6] The Greeks and Romans called it Naxuana.


Traditionally, Nakchivan was home to trade industry, handicraft, shoe-making and hatting. 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.[7]


The city has a wide range of cultural activities, amenities and museums.


Nakchivan’s signature cuisine includes plov with gravy (made with mutton, hazel, almond and dried fruits), dastana, komba, tendir lavash and galin.[8]

Museums and galleries

The aerial view of the city

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 Djakhan Pakhlevan, 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.

More recent (1993) is the white marble mausoleum of Hussein Javid. The Azeri writer died in the Gulag under Stalin. Both the mausoleum and his house museum are located east of the theatre. Although being a recent construction, Hussein 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 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.[9] There is also an archeological museum 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, and along the memorial museum and Heydar Aliyev museum.


Nakhchivan Airport (NAJ), in the north of the city, serves a number of domestic and international destinations including Iran, Turkey and Russia.

Currently, light rail line is working from Nakchivan to Ordubad beyond to Sharur.[10]


There are 3 professional, 6 musical, 22 secondary schools and a military cadet school in Nakchivan administered by the city council.[11]

Universities and colleges

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


Football and Futsal is the most popular sports in Nakchivan. The city's Araz Naxçivan is one of the top futsal clubs in the European futsal arena and regularly participates in UEFA Futsal Cup.[12][13][14]

Sister cities

Notable people


External links


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