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Best things to do in Nakhchivan
Where in the world: Asia / Azerbaijan / Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic / Nakhchivan
Top 15 things to do in Nakhchivan
1. Mausoleum of Momine Khatun
One of the most iconic landmarks of Nakhchivan is without doubt the Mausoleum of Momine Khatun. The ten-sided structure, adorned with intricate mosaics and tilework, dates all the way back to the 12th-century, when it was built by the famous architect Ajemi Nakhchivani. Its construction was commissioned by a local ruler, Shamsaddin Eldeniz, in honour of his beloved wife Momine Khatun.
Suggested duration: 2 hoursTours from $400 › Learn more about Mausoleum of Momine Khatun
2. Nakhchivan Khans' Palace
Don't miss one of Nakhchivan City's main attractions, Nakhchivan Khans' Palace. This exquisite oriental-style building is a real treat for history lovers. For almost 200 years until the early 20th century, this was the residence of the rulers of the Nakhchivan Khanate, one of many independent statelets that arose in the Caucasus following the death of Nadir Shah in 1747. Formerly a carpet museum, the palace’s beautifully furnished three floors adorned with local 'shebeke' stained glass windows currently house a museum devoted to this eventful chapter in Azerbaijani history.
Suggested duration: 2 hoursTours from $400 › Learn more about Nakhchivan Khans' Palace
3. Alinja Castle
For Azerbaijan’s answer to Machu Picchu head to Alinja Castle - a recent reconstruction of an ancient fortress sitting atop a cragged mountaintop in the Julfa region. Built sometime between the 6th and 8th centuries AD, the castle was used by Nakhchivan’s various ruling dynasties for many centuries and was famed for its invincibility. One person who did eventually manage to capture it after 14 years of seiges was the feared Turko-Mongol ruler, Tamerlane. It was used variously as a residence, a garrison, a prison and a treasury. There is a museum to visit at the bottom of the mountain, then it's a fairly strenuous climb up about 2,000 steps to reach the fortress at the top. But the jaw-dropping views and peaceful atmosphere up there make it well worth it.
Suggested duration: 4 hoursTours from $400 › Learn more about Alinja Castle
4. Nakhchivan city - Private 2 days tour
Nakhchivan is one of the oldest cities in Azerbaijan. The first information about the city is given by the historian Josephus Flavius (e. G. I century BC) and the Greek geographer Claudius Ptolemy in his book "Geography". Nakhchivan is located in the south-eastern part of the Caucasus.
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5. Ashab-i Kehf
Ashab-i Kehf is a natural cave complex shrouded in legend. It is claimed to be the site of a story in the Koran known as the ‘Seven Sleepers’, in which seven youths suffering from the oppressive regime of a despotic local flee to a cave with a dog and fall asleep there for over 300 years. Today the complex, complete with a mosque and shrines accessed via a network of stairs, is an important pilgrimage site for local Azerbaijanis who come to make wishes and pray. The peaceful site is located about 12 kilometres east of Nakhchivan City and off the main road to Julfa.
Suggested duration: 2 hoursTours from $400 › Learn more about Ashab-i Kehf
6. Noah’s Mausoleum
Local legend has it that after the Great Flood Noah’s Ark actually came to rest in Nakhchivan, where Noah is said to have then settled and later died. Thus Nakhchivan is known as the Land of Noah and Nakhchivan city is home to a mausoleum built over Noah's alleged remains. The current rather beautiful hexagonal brick structure adorned with fancy mosaics and tilework was built in 2006, however a much older version had reportedly existed since the 8th century AD.
Suggested duration: 2 hoursTours from $400 › Learn more about Noah’s Mausoleum
7. Juma Mosque, Ordubad
Suggested duration: 2 hoursLearn more about Juma Mosque
8. Gulustan Mausoleum
This medieval mausoleum near the Araz river in the village of Gulustan (meaning ‘heavenly garden’), Julfa region, is thought to date back to the beginning of the 13th century. The mausoleum is built of beautiful red stone in the style of a tower, has 12 sides adorned with exquisite mosaics and a pyramid-shaped top. It bears some resemblance to the iconic Momine Khatun Mausoleum in Nakhchivan city, built by local architect Ajemi Nakhchivani.
Suggested duration: 2 hoursLearn more about Gulustan Mausoleum
9. Shahbuz National Reserve, Shahbuz
Suggested duration: 2 hoursLearn more about Shahbuz National Reserve
10. The State Carpet Museum of Nakhchivan
Housed in a grand building on Heydar Aliyev Avenue, the Nakhchivan State Carpet Museum has a collection of roughly 300 antique carpets. The Nakhchivan region has a rich carpet-making heritage, especially the cities of Nakhchivan and Ordubad, and browsing the museum you’ll see stunning examples of flat weave and pile carpets, as well as bags and holdalls, various handicrafts and carpet-making tools.
Suggested duration: 2 hoursLearn more about The State Carpet Museum of Nakhchivan
11. Aras Dam
Suggested duration: 2 hoursLearn more about Aras Dam
12. Bahruz Kangarly Museum
Suggested duration: 2 hoursLearn more about Bahruz Kangarly Museum
13. Open Air Museum
Suggested duration: 2 hoursLearn more about Open Air Museum
14. Heydar Aliyev Museum
Suggested duration: 2 hoursLearn more about Heydar Aliyev Museum
15. Nakhchivan State History Museum
Suggested duration: 2 hoursLearn more about Nakhchivan State History Museum
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