Six sights connected with the outstanding figures of Azerbaijan

Baku, June 6, AZERTAC

Mirza Fatali Akhundov’s house in Sheki

The founder of Azerbaijan dramatic art, writer and thinker Mirza Fatali Akhundov was born in 1812 in Nukha (Sheki). An old house, in which the writer spent his childhood, still exists. In 1937, a museum was created in it, where the personal belongings of Mirza Fatali Akhundov, his mother, his family, household possessions, household items of that time were kept.

Near the house of Mirza Fatali Akhundov there is a spacious exhibition hall where you can see the writer’s work. Here are books, documents, manuscripts, pieces of furniture, in particular the desk of Mirza Fatali Akhundov, portraits of the writer and his contemporaries, as well as other historical evidence from the life of the prominent Azerbaijani playwright.

Museum of Nizami in Ganja

Nizami Ganjavi Ilyas ibn-Yusif (1141-1203), the great Azerbaijani poet-romantic, was born, lived and died in the city of Ganja, where his nickname Ganjavi comes from. Nizami was engaged in poetry and science, was close to the court of the Azerbaijani rulers – atabek, who often visited the dwelling of the poet, famous in the people for his wisdom and modest way of life. The poet became famous for creating a large cycle of romantic poems, widely known in Azerbaijan and Iran.

More details about the life and work of Nizami Ganjavi can be found in the museum opened in 2014 in Ganja on the territory adjacent to the mausoleum of the great poet. The exposition of the museum contains ancient manuscripts, art illustrations for Nizami’s works, sculptures, everyday objects typical for the period of the poet’s life and other valuable exhibits. There are also books and monographs published on the occasion of the 800th and 840th jubilees of the genius poet. And on a separate stand you can see photos made during the celebration in 2011 of the 870th anniversary of Nizami Ganjavi.

The museum also has monitors displaying the life and work of the poet, and an electronic kiosk with detailed information. In the research department of the museum all conditions for scientific research have been created. There is also a conference hall for various events and recreation areas for guests and tourists.

Center of Mehseti Ganjavi in Ganja

Another great poetess of Azerbaijan, Mehseti Ganjavi, who lived in the late 11th – early 12th centuries, is also a native of Ganja. She was the first outstanding poetess of Azerbaijan, the first woman chess player, the first famous woman musician and the first female composer. A representative of the new urban poetry, Mehseti Ganjavi, in her poems, sang images of artists, poets, singers. The poems of Mehseti Ganjavi with a deep content of their philosophical essence and rubai, close in style to folk poems, played an important role in the history of Azerbaijani and Eastern poetry.

In 2013, Azerbaijan celebrated the 900th anniversary of the creative work of Mehseti Ganjavi. During the celebration, numerous events, exhibitions, concerts were organized, and in Ganja the Mehseti Ganjavi Center was opened. In front of the three-story building of the Center, in which the rich legacy of Mehseti Ganjavi is demonstrated, a majestic monument to the poetess is erected, and the Mehseti garden is broken.

In the building, erected in a classical architectural style, there is an art gallery dedicated to the poet’s work, a reading room, electronic kiosks with rubai of Mehseti in Azerbaijani, Russian and English. It also shows books about the literary heritage of Mehseti and Nizami, the wealth of Azerbaijani carpet weaving.

With the organizational support of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation in 2013, exhibitions and concerts dedicated to the 900th anniversary of Mehseti Ganjavi were organized in France in the cities of Reims and Mulhouse. The Center shows photos about these events.

In the center of Mehseti Ganjavi you can get extensive scientific information about the life and work of not only Mehseti Ganjavi, but also other prominent Azerbaijani poets and thinkers. There is an exhibition at the Center where Azerbaijani musical instruments are presented, as well as samples of national clothes worn by women who lived in the Mehseti era. In the picture gallery are displayed various panels, dedicated to Mehseti Ganjavi and her rubai, works of art, monumental works, carpets with images of the poetess. In the Mehseti’s room miniatures and works of art are projected onto the big screen. The Center has a music studio, a music library, a mugham and piano department, a meeting room.

Mausoleum of Javad Khan in Ganja

On the territory of Juma mosque in the center of Ganja city there is the mausoleum of Javad Khan, the last ruler of the Ganja Khanate.

The reign of Javad Khan (from 1786 to 1804) marked an unprecedented flourishing of Ganja. The Khanate had its own flag and coat of arms. Cultures, trade links and handicraft industries developed, new mosques, caravanserais were built, old architectural structures were restored. At the court of Javad Khan, scientists, writers and poets gathered. The writer at the court of Javad Khan was Kerbalai Sadykh, the father of the famous Azerbaijani poet Mirza Shafi Vazeh, the court poet was the famous Azerbaijani writer Mohsun Nasiri, the author of “Tuti-nime”, the Azerbaijani version of the ancient Indian fairy tale.

Given the important geopolitical location of Ganja, the fragmentation of the Azerbaijani khanates and the intensified predatory policy of the Russian Empire in the Caucasus, it became increasingly difficult for Javad Khan to pursue an independent policy. The command of the Russian army considered Ganja “the key to the northern provinces of Persia” and the primary task of Russia was to capture this fortress.

In 1804, two versts from the city in the area of Guru Gobu between Russian troops under the command of General Tsitsianov and the army of the Ganja Khan, a decisive battle unfolded, which ended in the retreat of the remnants of Javad Khan’s army in Ganja. After repeated suggestions to Javad Khan about the voluntary surrender of the city and a decisive refusal, Tsitsianov launched an assault on the city. In a fierce battle, Javad Khan and his middle son Huseyngulu Aga were killed, and the surviving warriors of the khan surrendered. After the conquest by Russian troops, the Ganja Khanate was abolished, and the city was renamed Elizavetpol.

Courage and fortitude of Javad Khan inspire Azerbaijanis for two centuries. In honor of the last ruler of the Ganja Khanate, streets and parks in Ganja and Baku are named. The emblem depicted on the flag of Javad Khan was adopted as the emblem of modern Ganja, as a symbol of the inflexibility of the Azerbaijani people.

Kamil Aliyev House-Museum

Kamil Aliyev (1921-2005) – carpet artist, People’s Artist of Azerbaijan.

Azerbaijani carpet is a riot of colors, rich motifs, an unusual combination of subjects and painstaking, at times long-term work of masters. It is not by chance that the “Traditional art of the textile of Azerbaijani carpets in Azerbaijan” is included in the representative list of “Masterpieces of the oral and intangible cultural heritage” of UNESCO.

In the Azerbaijani family, carpets are always in sight: they are put on the floor, hung on walls, given as dowries, left as inheritance, given for anniversaries. Valuable carpets are presented as a gift to diplomats, the first persons of states. It was these elite carpets that the People’s Artist Kamil Aliyev made. The main merit of K. Aliyev in the innovation of the traditions of decorative and applied art of Azerbaijan is the artist’s application of a realistic portrait genre in the art of carpet weaving. He was one of the first Azerbaijani artists to portray famous people on carpets.

Kamil Aliev was born in 1921 in Irevan, the center of the former Irevan khanate of Azerbaijan, which was handed over to Armenia in Soviet times. At the age of 11, the future artist moved with his parents to Baku. The family house-museum of Kamil Aliyev is located in a four-story stone building in Icherisheher in Baku. Here the artist died at the age of 83 years.

In the house museum you can see 127 copyright carpets, including unfinished works. On the first floor of the house-museum there is a painting room, where everything is preserved, as it was during the lifetime of the master. On the second floor you can see the workshop and carpet-weaving machines, on which the master and his assistants worked, and the entire third floor was given to the exposition of carpets. Also in the museum you can see jewelry, which are made according to the sketches of Kamil Aliyev, during the period when he was the director of the Baku Jewelry Factory.

House-museum of Vagif Mustafazadeh

The memorial house-museum of Vagif Mustafazade, an outstanding Azerbaijani jazz composer and pianist, was created in 1989. In 1994 it received the status of a branch of the Azerbaijan State Museum of Musical Culture.

Vagif Mustafazadeh conquered listeners with his uniqueness, virtuosic technique, a kind of harmonic language. He was the first to use Azerbaijani motifs, mughams in Jazz and became one of the founders of Azerbaijani Jazz. The author of a number of his own jazz compositions and arrangements, Vagif Mustafazadeh also wrote symphonic and chamber music.

The museum collected 1214 exhibits, housed in three rooms. The exposition presents photographs, posters, records, various documents, works of art, everyday objects and other things related to Vagif Mustafazadeh.

From 1989 to 1997, the head of the museum was the mother of Vagif Mustafazade Zivar Agasaf gizi Aliyeva. Currently, the museum is headed by the cousin of the musician Afag Aga Ragim gizi Aliyeva. At the same time she is the founder and the head of the cultural-charitable Vagif Mustafazade Foundation.

It should be noted that Vagif Mustafazadeh’s music is popular until now, often on the radio and published on discs that can be purchased in Baku.

Emil Eyyubov

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