Statue of Nizami Gəncəvi


Azerbaijan's Gəncə-born 'national poet' (1141–1209) stands opposite the drama theatre, looking across the river towards a puppet theatre that is housed in a brick former church.

Behind Gəncəvi is the fascinatingly hideous 1970s bulk of the Kəpəz Hotel, with its decaying concrete balconies and a cavernous, almost-empty reception that would make a fine set for a suspense movie.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Azerbaijan attractions

1. Cavadxan küç

0.18 MILES

The city's most-appealing 'stroll street' has attractive sculptures and a succession of restored brick facades mostly dating from around 1900.

2. Xan Bağı

0.36 MILES

Escape the heat of the city beneath the deep shade of these thickly wooded gardens, where a mix of conifers and ivy-wrapped palms create a balmy sub…

3. Cümә Mosque

0.41 MILES

The 1606 Cümə Mosque features a disconnected double minaret and is credited to Persian Shah Abbas, in whose reign it was built.

4. City Hall

0.57 MILES

Gəncə's central square is dominated by the arcade-fronted City Hall, a powerful example of Stalinist architecture that contrasts with the tree-shaded 17th…

5. Alexander Nevski Church

0.65 MILES

This 1887 Russian Orthodox Church is still a place of active worship, with a central Byzantine-style dome and plenty of colourful murals and wafting…

6. Bottle House

0.72 MILES

Worth a 20-second stop if you're passing, this residential home has been transformed into a quirky artwork using hundreds of glass beer, champagne and…

7. Heydar Əliyev Park

1.99 MILES

In the unofficial 'Top Park' competition between Azerbaijani cities, Gəncə's vast Heydar Əliyev Park wins hands down. Along with a fairground, modern-art…

8. İmamzadə

4.51 MILES

One of Azerbaijan's most impressive Islamic structures, the İmamzadə is a masterpiece of brickwork and Central Asian–style blue majolica tiles on the…