The ancient city of Khachmaz is one of the oldest in Azerbaijan. There is a number of archeological evidences that the region was already densely populated during the Bronze Age. Today, it is one the country’s busiest cities for tourism as it boasts of several historic sites, museums, parks, and delicious fruits.
Three of its leading ancient monuments, among many others, are the Albanian Church, Mosque of Sheikh Yusif (XV) and Bostanly Village. The ancient Albanian Church is one of the first Christian Churches in the Caucasus region. It dates back to the 3rd and 4th centuries.
The Mosque of Sheikh Yusif (XV), on the other hand, was widely used in the 16th and 17th centuries in the village of Shikhlar. It is an important religious structure not only for its age but also for its namesake and architectural style. Sheikh Yusif was an important and well respected scientist and philosopher of his time. He, his family and a few followers were buried in this mosque, which was one of the earliest mosques that were architecturally designed as a mausoleum.
And third is Bostanly Village, an early medieval village whose most popular landmarks are the 25-meter-high Maiden’s Hill and the Seven Sisters tombs. A large number of tourists are regularly drawn to this ancient site. Most of the archeological relics found in this region are now displayed at the Regional Ethnography Museum.
Other historical attractions in Khachmaz (or Xachmaz) are the ancient city-fortress of Khudat, Gragurtlu mosques and madrasah (school), the old railway station, Janakhir settlement, and the Bronze Age houses and barrows in the villages of Mollabur¬han, Hasangala, Hulovlu, and Garajik.
Apart from the historical landmarks, the city also entertains its guests with interesting museums, which include the Veteran’s Museum, Carpet Museum and Regional Ethnography Museum a.k.a. Museum of Local Lore.
Azerbaijan is known as the home of original Persian and Caucasian carpets, the most expensive carpets in the world. The Carpet Museum in Khachmaz displays ancient rugs with exquisite designs, ancient national costumes and carpet-weaving tools.
The most important museum is the Museum of Local Lore that is found at the heart of the city. It boasts of possessing about 4,000 archeological relics that represent the rich history of the city.
A number of tourists and city visitors, however, may not be interested in history. For them, the city offers two inviting parks, which are the Heydar Aliyev Park and the Park of Culture and Rest. Those are exactly what these two parks offer: a time for rest and retrospection and immersion into the Azeri culture. The parks offer zoos, rivers, fountains, cafes and plenty of trees, greens and flowers for the tired tourist.
Finally, it is impossible to visit Khachmaz without tasting and enjoying its local fruits. As the country’s leading fruit exporter, this city is not called a fruit paradise for no reason. Tourists get a sampling of the many local seasonal fruits that are lined up and sold along the Nabran-Yalama-Khudat Road. The tastiest and most popular produce is the sweet, red and juicy Khachmaz cherry.