Khojavand district

The region of Khojavand is the administrative region of the Republic of Azerbaijan. It is located in the south – eastern part of the Karabakh Chain of Minor Caucasus. The central town is the city of Khojavand.

The remnants of Amaras town, the episcopal centre of Caucasian Albania, are available in the village of Jutju located on the right bank of the same-named river. According to historical materials, the first Christian temple was erected in Amaras in the 4th century, and after one of the Albanian bishops’ burial this sanctuary became a place of pilgrimage.

Nowadays, that grave remains in a shrine under the altar in a church of the complex. This shrine was revealed by Azerbaijani archaeologists in 1970. The Amaras monastery complex was built in the 9th century, but for the next centuries it had been repeatedly repaired and modified. The complex was remodelled to its current appearance in the 19th century.

The Amaras Monastery had a rectangular plan and round towers at its corners fortified the construction. Its patio is surrounded by the castle walls with cells, dwelling and household premises built into along their perimeter. The household part of the monastery is separated from a church court by a number of additional rooms.

These rooms and premises imparting extra strength to the castle walls were built of rough stone and the archivolt – of good-hewn stones. The entrance to the monastery courtyard is at the western end of the south wall. Being the main construction of the complex, the church was raised in the middle of the court. The entrance to the church was built on the western side.

Azikh cave

Azikh is the largest karstic cave in Azerbaijan, located in Khojavand region, at a height of 900 m. There are 6 cells connected with each other. Azikh is one of those rare caves of the Palaeolithic period which started to be explored by the Azerbaijani researchers in 1960. In 1968, there was found a fragment of a lower jaw belonged to the ancient man lived 350 thousand years ago (Ashel period).

This is the third found relic in the world. 10 cultural layers evidencing the ancient man’s long-term presence in Azikh cave were discovered during the excavations carried out there. Primitive people living there were engaged in collecting, hunting and fishing. There were revealed some fireplaces with a large amount of charcoal and ash remains. Azikh cave confirms that the territory of Azerbaijan was obviously human inhabited 1 million years ago.

The region’s territory has been under occupation of the Armenian armed forces since October 2, 1992. An armed conflict erupted between the Republic of Artsakh and Azerbaijan in late September 2020 which saw more parts of the district return to Azerbaijani control.

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