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Introducing Şamaxi

For centuries, Şamaxı (Shemakha) was one of (northern) Azerbaijan’s most prominent cities, an important cultural and trading centre and the royal seat of the Shirvanshahs (9th to 18th centuries). Sadly, earthquakes, fire and invasions have left virtually nothing visible to remind the visitor of Şamaxı’s past importance.

In the Soviet era the surrounding hills produced famous wines and cognacs but that industry was decimated by Gorbachev’s anti-alcohol campaign and has never fully recovered. These days the town is best seen as a staging point for reaching Pirqulu rather than as a destination in itself.