Ismailli - Lahij

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Lahij is the ancient dwelling of Azerbaijan.

Lahij possible is Girdiman Gastle.

 Lahij is a city type settlement which situates in the lap of Big Caucasus mountain chain and on the left bank of Girdiman River. Lahij still is a city as in middle centuries with all its features.
The main direction for investigation was admitted the fact that, Lahij population language was tat languate and sometimes was made rude mistakes.

Writers about Lahij history usually tell that the population of Lahij was Persians migrated from Lahijan city of Gilan province in early middle centuries.
But there is no any scientific reason for this opinion. It's true that, there is city named Lahijan in Iranian. The language of that city population is tat language. That population talks in tat language, not in Persian. There is no explainer the reason of the fact that, why that population don't talk in Persian, but in tat language. We should note that, instead of the fact that, tat and Persian languages are included to Iran language group, they don't understand each other.

It's interesting that, though there is no any historical information about migration of Lahijan city population of Iranian to Lahij, why nobody thinks about migration of Lahijan population from Lahij. If to approach to the issue logically, it becomes clear that the historical truth is so.

There are different opinions about origination of Lahij name. In one of existing legend it says: There was city named La in that area. Population threatened by flood arose in the result of heavy storm, left to mountains. After storm and flood became calm, when population wanted to return back they saw that, the city was destroyed by stream and shout La hech (no La).  Later the city created on the place of city La was named la hech – Lahij.

 As seen from legend the name of Lahij was not originated from the name of Lahijan, but the name of Lahijan was originated from the name of Lahij.
Other explanation of Lahij name is related with holy Baba Mountain. Holy shrine in Baba mountain, may be said, was visited by population of all Azerbaijan regions. The way to holy shrine passed through Lahij. «La» means direction in Arabic. «Hej» word is used in the meaning of holy. So Lahij word originats from the combination of words La and hejj, and means «holy way».   Opinions about beginning of Lahij history from early middle century also have no scientific reason. Stone tools – stone knifes, arrow headers and etc., founded around the settlement show that, Lahij was dwelling place as early as Stone Age. Lahij also was formed as city when in the middle of I millenium in north of Azerbaijan the process of cities appearance begun.

Lahij was the significant defence importance city fortress of Albania. After coming to the rule in Iranian in III century B.C. Sasaniler begun to override Albaniya to themselfs and extend their borders till the natural borders - Big Caucasian which has strategical significance. At this time the importance of Lahij increased more. According to the information given in sources, it is known that, Sasany rulers I Ordubad (488-531) and I Xosrov Anushiravan (531-579 built fortification for stregthening the north borders of government. They transmigrated considerable Iranian languaged population from Iranian near to north borders of government for creation ethnic support among the native population. Probably some of migrants were located in Lahij also. But at that time Lahij existed. Population quantity was not few there also.

At the end of VI century and at the beginning of VII century settlement of Mehraniler in north areas of Azerbaijan, increasment of Girdman province significance was important event in Azerbaijan political life. At that time Lahij also developed as city. Having natural suitable devence feature Lahij was stronghold main stronghold of Mehraniler. It's nonrandom that, Girdman river with the same name as Girdman govenment and the Castle related with the name of Girdman govenment ruler Javanshir are not so far from from Lahij. Niyas castle which has pecular place among the monuments of that state is also around Lahij.

 Our historians wanting to precise the place of Girdiman castle correctly tell that the castle was namely in Lahij Girdiman. From this point of view, opinions in book «Here is homeland» of Qafar Jebiyev candidate of historical sciences, historian schientist, our countryman notice attention.  Coming to a very exact conclusion he writes that, Lahij itself may be Girdman castle.
Natural geografical place of Lahij provides its role of center for around territories. Due to this Lahij during all his existance history has plaid offical and non-official role for around territories. This feature is still remains. Lahij was the capital of not big Lahijan kingdom existed in IX-X centuries. It was shown in information written about this in our history that, Shirvanshahlar consolidated Lahijan kingdom to them in 917 year. It was put an end to the independence of Lahijan kingdom with this. Lahij saved its significance as city after it also. Its handicraft productions were famous more far off the borders of Azerbaijan. Merchants coming through mountain passes from Girdman river pool and Shamakhy bought the handicraft production made in Lahij with a great enthusiasm. Coppersmith art go at the head of developed craftmanship fields in Lahij.

 Coppersmith art has passed its prosterity age. May be nowhere in the world coppersmith art didn't develop as much as in Lahij.   Mastership of Lahij coppersmiths was pattern for coppersmiths of other territories; they tried to learn more from Lahij coppersmiths.

Rich merchants from Baku, Tbilisi, Gedeber, Borchaly and Zengezur bought raw copper from copper mines and sent to Lahij by camelcade. Copper was carried to Lahij from foreign from Heleb, Istanbul, England and  Ethipia. Master gave prepared handicraft productions to merchants instead of raw copper. And merchants profited enough selling these handicraft productions in most crowded bazars of Azerbaijan. There was a strong competition between merchants on buying productions prepared by Lahij masters.
Master melted the bought copper, purified it and moulded to special shapes. They added different mixture to copper for softenning the copper. Workshops of coppersmith were first class from mastership point of view. The quality of necessary equipments and instruments for making handicraft productions there was in highest level. Nearly all instruments were prepared for Lahij. There were workers (hammer striker) together with follower, assistant of master in every workshop.  Everybody of them had great habits of work. Tinmen bleached copperware with tin. Tinmen was seperate profession.

The price of copperwares was very high in XVII-XVIII centuries, due to big requirement to them. But because of different dishes production expansion in factory-plants on XIX century, requirements to copperwares reduced and their prices descended. At next times coppersmith art continue its decline in Lahij, but not disapearred completely. Masters keepin alive this art still are repectable.

 Blacksmith art also was one of developed art field in Lahij. Blacksmiths usualy were preparing farming related instruments, horseshops for animals, nails.  Masters shoeing working animals, preparing nail and horseshoe were called Dəmirçilər əsasən təsərrüfat işləri shoeing-smith. Insturments prepared by blacksmiths of Lahij differed from instruments prepared  in other places by their quality. Blacksmith art is still keeping alive in Lahij.

Conflicts in society, strugles for the land many times had brought to wars.There were very few settlements, kins and nations in history which completely remained beyond the ruinos influence of wars. So every nation was able to think about defence issue, and had done definite preparations in this direction. To make weapons and perfect them was the sphere which always caused people to think.Weapon making work, reached to high level in different fields of this work developed in Lahij, too. Daggers, swords made by masters of Lahij in middle centuries were very popular in around territories. Steel prepared with special methods by masters of Lahij didn't differ from «Demeshq» steel by its firmness and quality. Lahıc ustalarının xüsusi üsullarla əldə etdikləri polad möhkəmliyinə, keyfiyyətinə görə "Dəməşq” poladından fərqlənmirdi. Masters of Lahij aborned with ornaments handles of swords which prepared and plated them with gold and silver. They can be bought only by richmen.

In next times history, masters of Lahij learned to make fire-arms also and became popular in this sphere. There were many people who tried to use experience of masters from Lahij, too. According to original sources specialists of Tula arm factory have interested with arms prepared in Lahij on XIX century. Arm masters of Lahij which has been in Tula arm factory are known also.

Rifles prepared by masters of Lahij were larglely used in Russia – Iranian wars happened in first half of XIX century. Arms producted in Lahij were sent to Iranian, Daghestani, Sheky, Kuba, Baku and Karabagh.

 At the end of XIX century and at the beginning of XX century production of fire-arms decline gradually in Lahij. If one of the reasons of this was concentration of fire-arm production from little workshops to big factories, another one was distrust of char authorities to azerbaijanians. As known, char authorities didn't call to army others except high-ranker representatives of Mussulmans, because they distrusted to azerbaijanians. The purpose was to enforce azerbaijanians to forget millitary operations, and always to keep them in slavery. It is natural that, the state following to such policy couldn't agree with the production of arm by nation to whom it didn't believe.
This field was not forgotten though so much it was falled into decay. Making of arms became necessary when in 1918 year Armenian gangsters began to hollocaust of mouslim families and to kill unarmed population. In such a difficult time Lahij masters made on cannon. Lahij defenders brought these cannon to ready position and began to wait for attack of ennemy. With comand of «fire» «atrilleryman» fired at direction of enemy when Armenian gangsters came near to Lahij. Not perfectly made cannon falled to pieces and the parts were destroyed completely because of fire power. Though this fire was the first and the last fire of these cannon, Armenian gangsters supposed that Lahij defenders were armed with cannons and runned away. So in result of this, Lahij and the neighbour villages escaped the attack of blood-thirsty enemy procreating terrible tragedies.

 Lahij wasn't developed so much after establishment of Soviet government in 1920 year. On the contrary the decay of some art fields were deepened, a part of Lahijians leaved their settlements because of unemployment. The quantity of Lahij popualtion considerably became lesser. Lahij residents suffered from roadless for a long time. Automobile way wasn't constructed to Lahij a long time, alsthough means of conveyance of middle centuries failed actively. True, on 60th years of XX century coming of automobils to Lahij from Shamakhy side through moutain passes was possible, but it was possible only in summer months. The main way to Lahij was walking or riding way which passed from Girdman River valley and sometimes from bosom of abyss rocks. In that years storming streams of Girdman stopped incomplete number of people lives.
It's lucky that, Azerbaijan people had lider as Heydar Aliyev. There is no such city, such village and such corner in Azerbaijan, which doesn’t fill care of genius lider, and which doesn’t benefit from his favourable actions. The automobil way to Lahij also was constructed by Heydar Aliyef, the national lider of Azerbaijan people. The bridge over the way also was put by arrangements of genuius lider. 
Fathers have been considering way construction, bridge building very well-wishing action in the world. Today everybody who passes through this way and bridge pray for the soul of genuis lider.


 Lahij settlement of Ismayilly region, one of the beautiful corners of Azerbaijan Respublic is the city type settlement which situates on the north of the country, on south slop of Big Caucasus moutain chain, 1505 m higher from sea level. Geografical position of settlement and rich historical architectur and historical monuments, art fields which developed among aboriginal population and etc. made Lahij popular inside Azerbaijan and in some foreign countries.

Lahij which situates on the bank of Girdiman River is surrounded by Babadag and Niyaldagh mountain chains and it makes Lahij the natural castle. In old times such geographical space gave Lahij good defence opprotunity from external influences, attacks. Though, the name of Lahij was reminded in writing sources in works of historians lived in IV century B.C., in modern timens it is supposed that, people productied faience dishes in I century B.C. in Lahij. Currently the tombstones of I Keykhosrov and Bahadirshah is steel protected in Lahij cemetry, very ancient history of which not creats dought for anybody.

 The summer resident of well-known albanian ruler Javanshir which had fighted against arabians during occupation of Azerbaijan by Arabian caliphate , was situated on north slope of Niyaldagh, that is in slope from Lahij side.  Currently the remains of Niyal castle, one of defence objects of Javanshir supremacy and withnesses of those days stays in Lahij slope of Niyaldagh. Unique view is openning from the walls of these remains of castle and it is clear that the place of castle was not choosen accidentally.
The remainings of It castle still stays at Fit mountain near Lahij. This castle was the summer residents of last Shirvan khan – Mustafa khan. The remainings of cart way existed at one times from Fit mountain till Niyal mountain over mountains and the remainings of underground way beginning from Niyal castle are proofing that this place has ancient history.
Lahij was created from estimates and every estimate had its own Mosque, spring, bath and etc. Nearly hundred historical-cultural monuments which have local significance exist in Lahij currently. Mosques (Bedoyun, Zevero, Agholy, Ereghit Mosques) which are the monuments of that Niyal castle remainings (VII century) were constructed in XVII-XIX centuries, springs (Agholi, Zevero, Baba spring) were build in XIX centuries, baths (Haji Jahanbakhish bath, Haji Molla Huseyin bath, Haji Numammad bath) were constructed on XIX century and living houses more than 60, watermil, art workshops, bridges and etc. were constructed in XVIII-XIX centuries and still are using on assignment.

Bedoyun Mosque-1791 year

Agholu Mosque-1914 year

Zevero Mosque-1805 year

Coppersmith shop – XIX century

Dwelling houses of Lahij

Centrall street of Lahij

 One of private pecularity of Lahij and one of the features which causes to the interest of the people is the stone floor of its streets and squares. The sewers for floating the surplus waters are still using. The stone floor of streets and squares, side streets have signifcance from sanitary point of view, and at the same time it prevents the washing and destroying of streets by stream waters during brisk falling rains. System surrounding all settlement was created during construction of underground swears and it had possility floating surplus waters and slops substances of all people leaved here timely (before the second world war 18 thousands people lived in Lahij) Swears and floors are supposed to be constructed 8 hundred years ago.
One of the most importante features of Lahij town building and culture is existance of estimate squares.
Usually these squares built in front of every Mosque were used not only for helding religious ceremonies, also this squares proofs that, people living here could assemble together and they were able to here eldest word, adviser word, lider word.

 Lahij situates in mountainous place and this was not fertile circumstance for development of agriculture here. So, people dwelling here keep their existance save by being busy with national art. Lahij masters were engaged with 40 type of national art. The material-cultural specimans created by copper-smiths, jewellers, saddlers, accorders, carpenters, carpet-makers, engravers, designers, curriers, boot and bast shoe makers, cobblers, stocking makers and etc. living and creating here were sold not only in Azerbaijan, Iranian, Iraq, Turkey, Middle Asia and other countries, they are also adorning currently the most famous museums and expozitions of collections of world.

Though, well-known persons and scientists of our country as M.Efendiyev, M.Suleymanov, M.N.Memmedbeyli and etc. were wrote investigation characteristic monumental works about Lahij, it is still many features which should be learned, investigated, and Lahij is waiting for its investigators.

Lahij Guest House

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