Before 2006, the site of Naxçivan's 7th-century citadel was just a series of muddy undulations, almost indistinguishable from the nearby graveyard. It has since been 'reconstructed' as a large square 'fortress', surrounded by crenellated walls which look better suited to a funfair than a historical site. Still, they provide many fine viewpoints and the circular building in the middle displays some fascinating archaeological discoveries.

There's a gigantic new mosque behind the southeast wall along with Noah's Tomb.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Azerbaijan attractions

1. Noah's Tomb

0.12 MILES

An octagonal tomb-tower with gilded roof-point stands just outside the small side gate at Naxçivanqala's south tip. It was built in 2008 but the brickwork…

2. Xan Sarayı


The former palace of the Naxçivan khans has been so enthusiastically restored that it might as well be new. It's an attractive structure, however, and…

3. Möminə Xatun

0.63 MILES

Perfectly proportioned, if gently leaning, Naxçivan’s architectural icon is a 26m brick tower dating from 1186. It’s decorated with geometric patterns and…

4. Carpet Museum

1.21 MILES

A superb collection of carpets from the Naxçivan region are clearly labelled, illustrating a remarkable range of styles. The rugs are interspersed by old…

5. Heydər Əliyev Museum

1.28 MILES

If you're intrigued by extreme hagiographical reverence, Azerbaijan's many museums to former president Heydar Əliyev can prove sources of inspiration. And…

6. Duzdağ

7.87 MILES

In decades past, being sent to a Soviet salt mine was a synonym for horror. At Duzdağ, however, a former mine site has been converted into a curative…

7. Əshabi-Kəhf

9.55 MILES

Əshabi-Kəhf is a series of holy caves, locally believed to be the scene of a Koranic miracle in which seven pious men managed to evade their enemies by…

8. Alinja Castle

15.21 MILES

For those prepared to climb over 1500 steps up a mountain crag, one of Naxçivan's great highlights is the magnificent view from the sparse medieval ruins…