ŞUŞa qəDİm azərbaycan diyari шуша древний край азербайджана shusha

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The old land, land of flames, charming nature of Azerbaijan, lullaby of Shusha, our culture, today lives black pages of its history, but its sazli, speaking, with songs hearsay has in memory of nation.

This land, brought up ashugs, singers, poets, and was the motherland of some of the famous persons, who shows our rich nature culture to the world.


Shusha is one of the centres of culture of Azerbaijan. The city is the motherland of famous men of letters, poets, prominent composers and tender-voice singers.

Gasim bey Zakir (1784-1857), one of the founders of critical realism and satiric tendency in Azerbaijan literature was born in Shusha. One of the natives of Shusha is Khurshud banu Beyim (Natavan) (1830-1897) was a prominent poetess of 19th century Azerbaijan. She was famous in Garabag ?Khan gizi?(Khan?s daughter). Natavan was not only a potess but a painter as well.

On the progressive individuals of the 19th century Mir Movsum Navab(1833-1918) was also born in Shusha. He was a poet, a painter, a musicologist, an astronomer, a calligrapher, a pattern-maker, a chemist, a mathematic and a hypnosist.

A prominent representative of the 19th century Azerbaijan literature Najaf bey Vezirov(1854-1926) born in Shusha. He was a realist artist, founder of the genre of tragedy, a talented publicist and the first topical satirist.

Abdurrahim bey Hagverdiyev (1870-1933) played particular role in the development of culture and art in Shusha. He followed the traditions of M.F. Akhundov and N. Vezirov and was famous as a talented dramatist, prosaist, producer and a prominent scientist.

Yusif Vezir Chemenzeminli(1887-1943), occupied particular place in the literature of Azerbaijan for his interesting stories and novels was also the native of this land.

Another prominent representative of critical literature Fifidun bey Ahmedaga Kocherli was also born in Shusha. For a long time investigating the history of Azerbaijan he wrote ?Literature of Azerbaijani turks?.

Hasim bey Vezirov(1868-1916), a journalist and a writer of early 20th century was born in Shusha. For 30 years he worked in the sphere of literary journalistic.

Kerim bey Mehmandarov is another famous person, a doctor and a social figure, born in Shusha. With his initiative and personal assistance first Russian school for Moslem women foundered in Shusha in 1912.

With names of Govhar Aga, Khurshud banu Natavan, Fatma khanim Kemire and Leyla khanim, people also mention the name of Hamida khanim. Hamida kahnim was from the family of Javanshir Ibrahim khan. She was a daughter of Ahmed bey Javanshir- historian of Garabag, and wife of Mirza Jalil (Molla Nasreddin). Her valuable work is ? My memory about Mirza Jalil?.

Valida Khaspolad gizi Tutayuk(1914-1980). -a famous native of Shusha, a scientific figure, the first woman-scientist in Azerbaijan, doctor of biological sciences, honourable scientific figure of Azerbaijan, professor, the real member of Azerbaijan Academy of Sciences, former director of the Republic Botany Institute.

Badal bey Beshir oglu Badalbayev(1875-1932) - was born in Shusha. He was a figure of Azerbaijan enlightenment and the master of Jafar Jabbarli, Mehdi Mammadov and many other talented people.

The national artists of the Republic Afrasiyab Badalbeyli, his son Shemsi Badalbeyli and his grandson Farhad Badalbeyli.

Ahmed bey Agayev(1869-1939) - born in Shusha. He was one of the ideologists distinguished with his prominent role in the history of national struggle of Azerbaijan. All Turkic world knew him ?Ahmed bey Agaoglu?. He engaged 50 years of his life in publicism and journalistic.

In the second half of the 18th century Shusha turned to musical centre of Azerbaijan and initiated progression of Azerbaijan music. Haji Husu, Mashadi Isi, Keshtazli Hashim, Abdulbagi Zulalov(Bulbuljan), Jabbar Garyagdiouglu, Meshedi Mammad Farzaliyev, Kechechi oglu Mahammad, Segah Islam, Zabul Gasim, Malibeyli Hamid, Musa Shushinski, Mutallim Mutallimov, Rashid Behbudov, Gadir Rustamov and many others, famous in the whole Near East with their tender voices and art were the natives of Shusha.

New period of Azerbaijan culture of music starts with ?the sun of the oriental music? Uzeyir bey Hajibeyov(1885-1948). He was not only a genius composer and the founder of opera music in Azerbaijan, but also a talented journalist, prominent dramatist and a musicologist.

Singers in Shusha were accompanied by tar-, kamancha- and garmon-players. The most famous among them were sadigjan, Mashadi Zeynal, Mashadi Jemil Amirov, Gurban Pirimov and others.

Shusha is also famous for its composers famous all over the world. Fikret amirov, Zulfugar bey Hajibeyov, Niyazi, Afrasiyab badalbeyli, Soltan hajibeyov, Ashraf Abbasv, Zakir Bagirov, Suleyman Aleskerov and may others were those who spent their youth in ?Giz Gayasi?, ?Uch Mikh?, ?Jidir Duzu? and ?Chanakhgala?.

Firudin Shushinski-the investigator of art of music of Azerbaijan and prominent musicologist. Mehdi Mammadov(1918-1985). - an author of many works on dramaturgy, the theory of art and aesthetics.

A bright star of the art of Azerbaijan theatre Barat Habib gizi Shakinsaya born in 1914 in Shusha. She is from the family of Ibrahim khan.

Shusha is also the birth place of the prominent architect, calligraphers, design makers and talented painters. Latif Kerimov, Jalal Garyagdi, Amir Hajiyev, Nadir Abdurrahmanov and Togrul Narimenbeyov are modern painters of Shusha birth. Latif Kerimov should especially be mentioned for his great role in the creation of carpet ornaments and interesting carpets.

General Mehmandarov-a prominent military figure of Azerbaijan army was born in Shusha in 1856 in the family of ?the Mehmandarov?s ?. In the period of establishment the Democratic Republic of Azerbaijan Samed bey was the first Minister of War.

General Yagub Allahgulu oglu Guliyev, a prominent commander and the hero of Stalingrad, Aslan Farhad oglu Vezirov, the hero of azerbaijan born in 1910 and major Khalil Mammadov(1916-1989), the Hero of Soviet Union were the natives of Shusha.

Jalal Eyvaz oglu Allahverdiyev-doctor of physical-mathematical sciences, professor, the real member of ANAS, laureate of the State Prize born in Shusha in 1929.

Jamil Bahadur oglu Gliyev-doctor of historical sciences, professor, laureate of the State Prize of Azerbaijan SSR, born in 1927 in Shusha.

Surayya Sadraddin gizi Gajar-the national artist of Azerbaijan SSR, the awarder of ?Emblem of Honour? order born in Shusha in 1910.

Rustamov Pasha Habib oglu-doctor of chemical sciences, professor, correspondent member of NAS of Azerbaijan SSR born in Shusha in 1920.


Azerbaijani music was developing through the centuries. The traces of ancient music of Azerbaijan were found in a number of monuments, excavated in time of archeological digs, as well as in rock carvings of Gobustan (18-3 millennium B.C) and Gemigaya (3-1 millennium B.C). Kitabi Dede Gorgud (8th century), creative works of Nizami, Fizuli provide full coverage of medieval music art, music genres and music instruments. The records of such prominent medieval scientists of Azerbaijan as Sefiaddin Urmevi (18 century), Abdulgadir Maragai (17 century), Mir Movsum Nevvab (19 century) pointed out the highly developed art and culture of music and mastery performance and cited theoretical issues of music in medieval Azerbaijan.

Beginning in late 19th century music meetings, associations and circles (by Mahmud Agha in Shamakhy, Kharrat oghly , Mir Movsum Nevvab in Shusha, Meshedi Malik Mansur in Baku). In the 1880th M.M.Nevvab and Hadjy Husu organized meetings of Musicians, which were dedicated to discussion of esthetic problems of music, mastery performance and mugam . Meetings were attended by famous singers and saz players Meshedi Djemil Amirov, I.Abdullayev, S.Shushinskiy, Sadykhdjan and others. Hadji Husu, progeny of Kharrat Gulu, is one of the great representatives of vocalism of Shusha. He studied mugam , improved a number of them and created new mugam s. Mirza Sadyg Esed ogly was a maestro of tar of the 19th century, he reconstructed tar and created the tar of modern type. Meshedi Zeynal , Meshedi Djamil Amirov, Shirin Akhundov, Gurban Primov were all representatives of this art.

There are a number of cities in the world, which absorbed music by its stones, tower and its atmosphere. These are Vienna (Austria), Neapol (Italy) and Shusha (Karabakh, Azerbaijan). There exist a popular saying that infants in Shusha even cry under the music of mugam .

Prominent representatives of the Shusha Caucasus Conservatoire successfully represented Azeri music and glorified it all over the world.

Shusha is the home of Mir Movsum Nevvab, Kharrat Gulu, Hadjy Husu, Sadikhdjan, Meshedi Isi, Abdulbaghy Zulalov, Djabbar Qaryaghdyoglu, Kechedji ogly Memmed, Meshedi Memmed Ferzeliyev, Islam Abdullayev, Seyid Shushinskiy, Bulbul, Zulfi Adygozelov, Khan Shushinskiy, Meshedi Djamil Amirov, Qurban Pirimov, composers Uzeyir Hadjybeyov, Zulfugar Hadjybeyov, Fikret Amirov, Niyazi, Afrasiyab Bedelbeyli, Soltan Hadjibeyov, Ashraf Abbasov, Suleyman Aleskerov, and singer Rashid Behbudov. Yet this list is not a complete list of musicians of Shusha.

In the early 20th century, in the atmosphere of socio-economic and cultural growth, U.Hadjibeyov laid the foundation of the culture of modern professional music of Azerbaijan and created a synthesis of composer creations and folklore music. That caused the interference of Western and Eastern cultures. In 1908 U.Hadjibeyov staged the opera "Leyli and Medjnun" at the theater of H.Z.Tagiyev, thus, laying the foundation of opera not only in Azerbaijan but in the entire Muslim East and became the founder of the genre of mugam -opera. Realizing that the new genre will be difficult to comprehend, U.Hadjibeyov, referring to the poem by Fuzuli "Leyli and Medjnun" and genres of folklore music, created a stage work, corresponding to the spirit of that period and moral needs of people

U.Hadjibeyov is also the founder of musical comedy in Azerbaijan. Musical comedies of social character ("Husband and Wife", 1910, "Either this or that, 1911, Arshyn Mal Alan, 1913) based on composed folklore songs and dance music. His musical comedy Arshyn Mal Alan (staged in 1913) was a great success.

The comedy was translated into English, German, Chinese, Arabic, Persian, Polish, Ukrainian, Belarus, Georgian and other languages (nearly 70 languages), staged in 120 theater in Moscow, Istanbul, New-York, Paris, London, Teheran, Cairo, Beijing, Berlin, Warsaw, Sofia, Budapest, Bucharest and other cities and repeatedly put on screen (in Baku, 1916-1917, in USA in the 1930th, in Soviet Azerbaijan, in 1945 and 1960). With Rashid Behbutov (1915-1988), playing the principal role, the opera gained worldwide popularity. The popular actor of the USSR R.Behbudov sang folklore and composed songs, played the role of Balash of the opera Sevil by F.Amirov. He was also the founder and leader of the theater "Mahny"

U.Hadjibeyov is also the author of the popular heroic epopee "Koroglu" (received the USSR state award in 1941). The opera, marked for its innovative ideas, reflected the national spirit and psychological profundity. U.Hadjibeyov attaining the harmony of genre composition of folklore music, intonation devices and expressive means of opera music created masterpieces of national opera. The opera includes scenes of people's life and deep characters of main heroes. The role of Bulbul was played by Koroghlu over 400 times.

The ballet "Seven Beauties" by Gara Garayev (1952, based on the analogous poem by Nizami, choreograph P.A.Gusev, Azerbaijan Theater of Opera and Ballet) opened a new stage in the history of Azeri music. The ballet "Seven Beauties" played a critical role in the development of ballet in Azerbaijan as it founded the new musical dramaturgy in the ballet art of Azerbaijan.

Symphonic and chamber music of Azeri composers began to spread in the countries abroad. Symphonic Mugams by F.Amirov "Shur" and "Kurd ovshani", by Nizami "Rast" as well as symphonic compositions by G.Garayev and U.Hadjibeyov were introduced in different countries and received high appreciation. Compositions by A.Melikov, Kh. Mirzazade, A.Alizade, F.Alizade, F.Garayev, Dj.Guliyev, etc gained success in Europe, America and Asia. Singers from Azerbaijan frequently go on tour to foreign countries.

The professional performer of mugam A.Gasymov was conferred the gold medal of UNESCO for his contribution to the development and perfection of art of mugam in 1999.

In the history of Azerbaijan music culture there is deep sign of a lot of generations and family names. Behbudov’s reverberation is clearly heard among the sounds peeping from the centuries. The notable representative of Azerbaijan music art school Majid Behbudov (1873-1945) was the first who paved the art way of this generation.

Arising of such extraordinary voice at the master is connected with the birth in Shusha known as Eastern Conservatory of Azerbaijan. Its rich environment as well as climate could not not to bring up M.Behbudov as a master. The panorama, clean air, pure water and e.t. are the basic criterions for the use of the musician’s voice possibilities up to the mark. Rashid Behbudov (1915-1988) - the national artist, skilful singer of mugham, tesnif and national songs is the worthy follower of this generation.

Some generations and tribes have a deep traces in the history of musical culture of Azerbaijan. Sounds of the Behbudovs is heard clearly amongst the sounds emerged since the centuries. Majid Behbudov (1873 -1945), the well-known representative of the music art school of Azerbaijan made the first steps of this generation's art way. Extraordinary voice of the artisan is connected with his borning in Shusha, known as Eastern conservatory in Azerbaijan. Rich environment and circumstances of this place could yield only such a artisan, like M. Behbudov. The sight of the nature, clean air, clean water and others is one of the main dimensions the musician's applying his voice opportunities duly. Worthy successors of this generation is People's artist, skilful performer of mugam, tasnif and national songs, worldwide-known Rashid Behbudov (1915-1988).

The names of Afrasiyab and Shamsi Badalbayly occupy specific place in musical theatre world of Azerbaijan in the first half of the XX century.

On the 18th of September, 1940 on the stage of opera and ballet the ballet “ Maiden Tower” was performed. The author of the ballet, the famous composer Afrasiyab Badalbay oglu Badalbayli opened the first national ballet school way in Azerbaijan.

Farhad Shamsi oglu Badalbayly (1947), professor, People's artist, international prize laureate, talented pianist is the worthy continuer of Badalbaylis family, is develops mastery art traditions in Azerbaijan with his creative work. Farhad Badalbayly is the most brilliant representative of piano school, highly appreciate our nation culture on a world scale, and demonstrate our motherland art with all his heart and soul, and performance.



Shusha is a recreation city for composition, purity and medicinal effect of its air. Thus Shusha was famous for its marvellous and recreation places not only in Azerbaijan, but also abroad.

The zones of recreation of the city were full of people in summers. Local people and guests mainly gathered in Turshsu summer pastures, Sakili spring, Isa spring, Yukhari Dashalti (Shemil?s spring) and famous ?Jidir duzu?.

Turshsu-located 40 km far from Shusha on Lachin road, was famous as recreation and treatment zone. On the left of this place flows the river Dashalti. People from different points of our country came here, founded tents and underwent their treatment. Turshsu was famous for its curative and medicinal baths.

Yukhari Dashalti was another place of interest of Shusha. It was well known among the people as Shemil?s garden. The distinctive feature of the zone was that place of recreation located on the river Dashalti, under the mountain Uchmikh where ?Agziyasti kaha? was, with springs surrounding it.

The city rich with historical monuments is surrounded by the mountains and precipitous cliffs. Another lovely place of tourists from the distant points of the former USSR visiting world-fame recreation city Shusha was ?Jidir Duzu? having marvellous nature.

West of the ?Jidir Duzu? is surrounded by three highlands following each other. Those are ?Uchmikh? hills.

Tourists in the sanatoriums and rest homes often went for walks and admired the nature of Shusha and each year in May spent musical festivities ?Khari-Bulbul? in ?Jidir Duzu?. The place attracted and admired many people with pure and moderate air, flower smell, performances of Shusha pahlavans (athletes) and horse race contestants.

People of Shusha greatly interested in sport. ?Gala? football team had a small ground in the centre of the city. Each year in spring the offices, enterprises and organisations, functioning in the city held football competitions in sport complex of ?Jidir Duzu?. The same complex was also the place for sport games under the name of ?Ufugda parilti? having military-patriotic character. Girls, went in for volleyball, became the champions of Azerbaijan in 1986 in Republic championship spent among the girls born in 1970 and 1971.

Judoists, wrestlers, athletes trained with sport equipment located in the school of health.


In 1992, in the night of 8th of may the Armenian units held the operation finishing with the occupation of Shusha town. The armenian military units with the direct participation and support of the former soviet army’s 366th regiment and its 40 armoured military equipments fired from artillery till the 6 oclock of the morning. After lasting artillery fire about one thousand soldier of the enemy attacked in three direction and Shusha was occupied.

With the occupation of Shusha the armenians actually occupied the whole of Daghlig Garabagh territory. During the occupation about 200 civil people were killed, 600 people were injured, 150 people were disabled, 552 children became an orphan, more than 20 thousand people were internally displaced. It was informed that as a result of occupation 279 historical monuments, 7 preschool institutions, 22 school providing general education, cultural and educational, as well as agricultural technical schools, secondary music-school, 8 cultural houses, 14 clubs, 20 libraries, 2 cinemas, 3 museums, tourist resources and eastern musical instruments were destroyed. 44 schools and other cultural monuments were demolished.


At present the Nagorno-Karabakh territory of Azerbaijan and the adjoining 7 administrative districts are under the occupation of the Armenian Republic.

The Azerbaijani territories occupied in 1988-1993:

  • The Nagorno-Karabakh: occupied in 1988-1993, territory – 4400 square kilometers (Shusha, Khankendi, Khojali, Askeran, Khojavend, Agdere, Hadrut);

  • Lachin: occupied on May 18, 1992, territory – 1875 sq km.;

  • Kelbadjar: occupied on April 2, 1993, territory – 1936 sq km.;

  • Agdam: occupied on July 23, 1993, territory – 1154 sq km.;

  • Jabrail: occupied on August 23, 1993, territory – 1050 sq km.;

  • Fuzuli: occupied on August 23, 1993, territory – 1112 sq km.;

  • Gubadli: occupied on August 31, 1993, territory – 826 sq km.;

  • Zengilan: occupied on October 30, 1993, territory – 707 sq km.

As a result of the aggression of the Republic of Armenia, 20 percent of the territory of Azerbaijan has been occupied; over 20,000 people have been killed, and over 50 000 people disabled. Over 10 years, about million of people have been living as refugees and displaced persons. They became the victims of ethnic cleansing, the policy of genocide of Armenia, and deprivation of elementary human rights.

As a result of the aggression, over 900 settlements have been plundered, burned and destroyed, 6000 industrial, agricultural and other enterprises destroyed and plundered, 150 000 residential buildings with over 9,000,000 square meters of living space, 4366 facilities for social and cultural purposes have been ruined, and 695 medical centers and institutions had the same lot. The total damage of the economy of Azerbaijan was US$ 60 billion.

927 libraries, 464 historical monuments and museums, over 100 archeological monuments, 6 state theatres and concert studios have been destroyed and plundered in the occupied Azerbaijani territories. Over 40 000 precious articles and exhibits have been robbed from these museums. After the capture of Kelbadjar the rare gold and silver articles, old handmade carpets of its museum have been taken to Armenia. The historical museum in Shusha, the museum of bread in Agdam, the museum of Rock Monuments in Zengilan shared the same fate. It’s impossible to identify and to asses the value of the stolen and destroyed historical-cultural heritage. In other words, Armenia grossly violated the provisions of the Hague convention “On the protection of cultural monuments during military conflicts” and those of the Paris Convention “On the illegal circulation of cultural monuments” and is engaged in plundering of the cultural monuments of Azerbaijan.

In direct violation of United Nations Security Council Resolutions 822, 853, 874, 884 adopted in 1993 obliging Armenia to recognize the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan and to liberate the occupied territories without any condition, Armenia is still pursuing a policy of occupation.
In the publication there were used from the materials of “Heydar Aliyev Foundation”, “Deyerler” AIN and “ The State Commission on prisoners of war, hostages and missing persons”

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