Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic consists of the capital city Nakhchivan and 7 administrative regions-Sharur, Babak, Ordubad, Julfa, Kangarli, Shahbuz, Sadarak. İt has 5 cities (Nakhchivan, Ordubad, Julfa, Sharur, and Shahbuz), 8 settlements, and 206 villages.
According to the Constitution of Azerbaijan Republic worked out by special constitutional commission under the chairmanship of Heydar Aliyev, national leader of the Azerbaijan, and adopted by referendum in November 12, 1995, Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic was given the status of the autonomous state within the Azerbaijan Republic.
The supreme legislative power is the Supreme Majlis of Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic (consisting of 45 deputies).
According to the decree signed by the Chairman of the Supreme Assembly of Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic on May 5, 2006, Nakhchivan Tourism Information Center was incorporated in the structure of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic. It began to operate within the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic with the 69th decree of the Council of Ministers of Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic signed on July 08, 2010, conforming the Centre's regulations and staff table. The center has four staff members. It continues to function in the building of Zaviya madrasa - a historical and architectural monument of XVII-XVIII centuries - which was reconstructed on July 5, 2012.
By Peter Tase
Tourism Sector in the Autonomous Republic of Nakhchivan is a fundamental component of the Azerbaijani Cultural Diplomacy and National Heritage. One of the main priorities of the current government of Nakhchivan, led by Chairman Vasif Talibov, under the guidance of the President of Azerbaijan Mr. Ilham Aliyev, has been the strengthening of Tourism Industry in this region of Azerbaijan. It must be noted that Nakhchivan is the perfect place for visitors who admire and appreciate natural monuments, picturesque landscape, Duzdag salt mines and natural geological phenomena’s – suitable to conduct compelling scenes for Hollywood movies - reflected upon the massive rocks that are observed on the sidelines of the paved highway that connects the Nakhchivan City with the Region of Ordubad. Moreover, European visitors will find magnificent samples of Islamic Art and Architecture, Nakhchivan is the cradle of the most progressive CaucasianArchitectureSchool and home of the world’s most prominent architects whose works have influenced the urban development of many European capitals.
According to Prof. Biancamaria Scarcia Amoretti, from La Sapienza University in Rome, “Nakhchivan is the most important destination for all of those scholars and visitors who are interested in Islamic Art and Islamic Civilization, with important architectural treasures and unparalleled monuments that are preserved to this day.”
Prof. Amoretti adds that: “Nakhchivan is a small territory but beautifully situated in an area rich of medieval monuments built by Turkish Muslims, although there are less expensive and more weekly flights that connect Nakhchivan to Istanbul, tourists are still focused only on visiting the Turkish territories. The extraordinary monuments that were built between the eleventh and fourteenth century are unique and important to human civilization. The excellent relations that Nakhchivan has with neighboring countries, the Republic of Turkey, Iran and Georgia; makes it very easy to cross the border by bus or car, meanwhile internal security in Nakhchivan is impeccable.” Such advancements could further facilitate the growth of tourism excursions and strengthen cultural diplomacy and multiculturalism projects of Azerbaijan.
According to Italian Emeritus Professor Gianroberto Scarcia: “Azerbaijan can serve as the starting point of regional tourism expeditions that could include: Georgia, Iran, Turkey and Bulgaria. To conclude, according to our experience in Nakhchivan, this region of Azerbaijan waits to be discovered and won’t disappoint anyone.”
According to a group of Norwegian tourists, “Nakhchivan is a place that generates wonderful memories.” In May 2011, four distinguished Norwegian tourists and scholars had visited the NakhchivanPhysiotherapyHospital, Carpet Gallery and the HistoricalMuseum. Earlier they had visited the cities ofBaku, Kish, Sheki and Gandja and later on visited Nakhchivan region.
Their observations were exceptional: “Geographically, this was a special territory. We could see Mount Ararat in the west, and on south, on the other side of the River Araz, at the border with Iran. That was exotic for us. We were also very impressed with the influence of The Silk Road, and the special monuments connected to this historical commercial artery.”
Moreover for the Norwegian delegation: “it was a unique feeling to listen to the story of Noah and see his burial place and grave monument. The story of Noah is common and brings together Muslims and Christians. We visited several museums, and some of us enjoyed particularly the Carpet Gallery.”
Mrs. Nicoletta Hermann, a visitor from Switzerland shared her thoughts with Foreign Policy News about Nakhchivan.
Mrs. Hermann’s Nakhchivan experience was memorable, proactive and had awakened an interest to her passion for the Caucasus region; “what a nice view when landing in Nakhchivan! The unique silhouette of mountain Ilandag where Noah stacked his ark is a visual pleasure. Anyone who flies from Baku to Nakhchivan should seek a window seat and not sleep through the landing. Our first impression of the city named after the autonomous region itself is extremely positive. The boulevard and the buildings remind us of western cities, others are representing the ancient past of Azerbaijan. There were no stressful traffic jams, car hours nor an urban chaos. There are no precarious dilapidated houses throughout Nakhchivan. Indeed we landed in Swiss Caucasus.”
In regards to her compelling explorations in Nakhchivan, Mrs. Hermann adds:
“For the first three days we explored the enclave of Nakhchivan accompanied by Hasan Pashali of Natig Translation and Travel Company LLC. It becomes obvious that this jewel is seldom visited by tourists; it is a dream for photographers and lovers of landscape and nature alike. Those who do not like hustle and bustle of the big city should look elsewhere. Our knowledgeable guide and diligent driver Hasan showed us major landmarks including Noah’s grave and beautiful tombs. We were also impressed by the Duzdag Salt Mine which also houses a hospital where families and individuals recover overnight. The salt helps to cure asthma and other respiratory conditions. I myself would like to stay here for a night.”
For Hermann the spectacular nature of Nakhchivan “exceeds by far anything created by mankind.” Her attentive eye has caught “the sand dunes - like the majestic hills, colorful mountains, clear lakes - and winding rivers and streets become very tempting to stop and take photos. Poor Hasan he was ever so patient! It was an unforgettable drive through the spectacular mountain landscape to Ordubad, a small town in the southeast of Nakhchivan. My camera never had a rest. The only negative about our time in Nakhchivan was that we did not stay for a longer period of time!”
The Autonomous Republic of Nakhchivan is home of a Classical and Middle Age city, it is the birthplace of Abid, an influential medieval sculptor and one of the founders of Nakhchivan’s Medieval Tradition of Art and Sculpture. Nakhchivan, as an historically influential Autonomous Republic in the territory of Azerbaijan – under the leadership of Chairman Vasif Talibov – in the last two decades has made a vast contribution and taken noteworthy steps towards higher education, religious architecture, preservation of archeological sites, restoration of fortresses and preservation of natural monuments which deeply exemplify the rich culture and portray the Republic of Azerbaijan and its unique history of nation building.
The works of Abid in Nakhchivan, the western most region of Azerbaijan and a cradle of human civilization, have established new standards in the EuropeanSchool of Sculpture that proved to be ahead of his time as well as taken the art of sculpture into new heights. Nakhchivan has produced more ancient and current history than any other region of the Caucasus, it has given many scientists to the world, visionary government leaders such as: National Leader Heydar Aliyev and Chairman Vasif Talibov, well respected architects and economists who have greatly contributed for the urban and economic growth of the Caspian Region and beyond.
Despite of all the past tragic historic events including the two decades long economic blockade imposed by Armenia; the Autonomous Republic of Nakhchivan continues to flourish economically and surprise the world stage with its compelling castles, religious architecture, sophisticated tourism sector, that have influenced many other urban centers in the nearby cross roads of Eurasia.
On the 9th of August with the organization of The Ministry of Culture and Tourism of Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic in Chalkhangala village of Kangarli region with participation of the residents of the village an educative event about development of the rural green tourism has been held. For the record, it was the 9th event related to the rural green tourism that the ministry held. Prior to this, similar events has been held in Kuku and Kechili villages of Shahbuz region, Khanagah, Arafsa of Julfa region, Channab, Bist, Ganza and Tivi of Ordubad region and Shahbulag of Sharur region. According to the plan which the ministry made, it has been taken into account that events related to the rural green tourism will be held in all regions of the autonomous republic.
The head of culture and tourism department of Kangarli region Maharram Aliyev who delivered an opening speech talked about essence of rural tourism and he stated importance of the event. The director of the apparatus of The ministry of Culture and Tourism of Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic Piri Naghiyev who delivered a speech about the topic of “The tourism potential of Chalkhangala village of Kangarli region” has talked about the opportunities of the usage of the rural green tourism potential. It was mentioned that Kangarli villages have a big potential with its own amazing nature, ancient customs, and historical-cultural richness in this sense. The modern infrastructure which has been created in Chalkhangala, increasing standard of living of the population of the village, high qualified agricultural products create convenient opportunities for the development of the rural tourism. It was emphasized that by creating minimum conditions for the tourists who want to rest in villages during tourism season, it is possible to get a good income. It is necessary for either growth of family budget, or promotion of the autonomous republic.
The advisor of the tourism department of the apparatus of The Ministry of Culture and Tourism of Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic Ayaz Aliyev who delivered a speech about the topic of “The rural green tourism in the search for new opportunities” talked about matters-by using tourism sources strengthening of the development of the rural tourism. It was stated that educating the population about this field will give an opportunity to increase the number of tourists who want to rest in villages.
The director of Nakhchivan Tourism Information Centre Gulnara Sadigova talked about the topic of “The role of the centre in the promotion of rural green tourism” and stated that there is a range of information sources in the centre for the promotion of tourism potential of the villages of Kangarli district. “Nakhchivan-Garabaghlar”tourist route has been prepared in the direction of Kangarli region. The new website of the centre has been opened for usage and in the site a new section has been created which is called “Village houses”. In this section pictures and addresses of about 25 village houses has been indicated. At the same time the participants of the events has been told that with the purpose of the development of the rural tourism, they can collect pictures, addresses, information of village houses which have normal conditions and send it to the centre and this information will be added to the website of the centre. For this, it was stressed that, it is important to benefit from organizing commercials of the houses which are offered to tourists and the other additional services and the strength of social networks.
At the end, the questions which interest village residents has been answered.
By organization of Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic Culture and Tourism Ministry, an educational event about the development of environmental and rural green tourism was held in the village of Ganza, Ordubad region on July 18 with the presence of the residents of Upper Andamij, Nusnus, and Ganza. To note that it is the eighth event that the Ministry held on this topic this year. Before this, this kind of events was held in the villages of Kuku and Kechili of Shahbuz, in the village of Arafsa of Julfa, the villages of Channab, Bist, and Tivi of Ordubad, and in the village of Shahbulag of Sharur. The Ministry plans to hold this event in all regions of AR.
Director of the Department of Culture and Tourism in Ordubad, Azer Aliyev opened the event by talking about the essence of environmental and rural green tourism. After him, Piri Naghiyev, the head of the tourism department of NAR Culture and Tourism Ministry, spoke about the tourism potential of villages Upper Andamij, Nusnus, and Ganza. He noted that because of its beautiful nature, traditions, and historical-cultural richness, the villages of Ordubad have great potential.
Senior Consultant of the tourism department of NAR Culture and Tourism Ministry Akbar Novruzov informed the audience about “Rural Green Tourism and how to get revenues in this area”. Finally, the Director of NAR Tourism and Information Center, Gulnare Sadigova talked about the role of the Center in promoting the rural-green tourism. She also asked the audience to send the photos of their houses if they can rent them to tourists. Those photos will be uploaded to the website of the Center.
In the end, the questions of the audience were answered.
A seminar about library work was held in Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic Library named after M.S.Ordubadi. Organized by Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic Culture and Tourism Ministry, the seminar was opened by the branch manager of ministry – Hasan Karimov.
It was noted that as a result of verification and notes done by ministry, shortcomings were revealed about clerical work. The purpose of the seminar is to help to remove these shortcomings practically and methodologically.
In the frame of “Azerbaijan Film Day”, “The target is Baku. How Hitler lost the war for oil?” documentary was displayed in Nakhchivan State Film Fund.
Before the film was displayed, the director of Nakhchivan State Film Fund Mirakif Seyidov noted that although a lot of novels were written and films were shot about the role of Azerbaijani oil in winning the Second World War, this documentary reveals several interesting facts.
The history of Second World War, which is called “engines’ war”, is looked from a new aspect – from the aspect of the war for oil in the film. More than 70% of the need of Soviet Union for oil, 80% for petrol, and 90% for motor oil were provided by Azerbaijan during the war. Baku and its “black gold” was a precious resource that Hitler wanted to get. One of the attracting features of film is that the sequences, that were never displayed, were restored and introduced in colorful format. The film shot with the support of Heydar Aliyev Fund was also displayed in the world famous channel “National Geographic” last year. The project manager of film is Arzu Aliyeva, the film’s producer is Louis Vaudeville, and director is Robert Magnerot. The film, which was shot by Baku Media Center and a French film company CC&C, was translated into 10 languages and was displayed in many countries of the world.
The III stage of “the Contest of Folklore Songs and Tasnifs - 2016”, which is organized by Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic Culture and Tourism Ministry and State Television and Broadcasting Radio Committee, was held in the culture house of Ordubad city.
The purpose of the contest is to promote national music culture and art, and also to discover talented people on performing folklore songs and tasnifs. The first stage of competition round started on April, 29.
According to the Regulation, a jury was created consisting of the organization committee of the competition and well-known art figures of NAR. There was no limitation on age or education in the contest. The voting of teachers, who were the members of jury, to their own students was limited. Till the concert, participants train with ensemble with the help of professional teachers 2 times a week. The final concert of the contest is planning to be held in November, in Nakhchivan. The winners will be awarded in the final concert.
Before the event, presenters introduced the jury of contest. Then short information was given about the participants of the second stage, and their scores were declared. Then folklore songs were sung.
To note that the fourth stage of the competition will be held in Julfa.