Published: July 15th 2009July 13th 2009
Şamaxı is a place we have been through on the bus several times and we had always noticed a few monuments we wanted to take a closer look at.
Our taxi driver from Pirguli didn't believe us when we said we wanted to stop by the roundabout. He took us about 400m beyond before we shouted at him enough to make him stop! Then we walked back to the first monument we wanted to see. It's a strange one and so far nobody has been able to explain it! There are 3 faces, possibly female, with hair waving in the wind or maybe even flames, in the colours of the Azerbaijan flag. Any thoughts?
Next we walked along the road and met several people who said hello. I don't think they see many (any?) camera-touting tourists there! We got a good view of the reservoir where you can apparently go fishing. Many of the houses we have seen in Azerbaijan have unusual metallic decorations on the roof and in Şamaxı some of them were painted bright colours too. We also passed one of many "garages" where tyres and bottles of oil are on sale. The oil is often sold
in old coke or water bottles so who knows what the quality is like!!
Either side of the river are two cemeteries. We braved the geese to get to the one closest to the town where we saw the grave of Seyid Azim Şirvani
. He was one of, if not the first, to write modern poetry in the Azerbaijani language rather than Russian, Arabic or Persian. Next we crossed the river where local women were busy cleaning the sheep's' wool which lines their mattresses at home. The slap, slap sound as they beat the wool in the water was quite audible.
Climbing the hill on the far side of the river we were soon dodging thistles and exploring the old cemetery. We disturbed a local shepherd with his sheep resting in the shade. We didn't mean to, but Russ was determined to take a photo of the solitary black sheep amongst the flock! Soon we arrived at the Royal Tombs and were surprised that the doors are open for anyone to wander in. Inside, the gravestones still retain some of their bright colours as they are protected from the bleaching sunlight. The views of Şamaxı are nice from
up there too, but that was of little comfort to Trish as she got bitten by a wasp as we entered one of the tombs!!
We then wandered along the outskirts of town, on the bypass actually, but had to climb over some rubble alongside a massive ditch where the road is being renovated. We safely negotiated the obstacle course and avoided the kids selling corn-on-the-cob to get up to the War Memorial.
Şamaxı's war memorial commemorates both World War 2 and the Qarabak conflict. It was very picturesque for a war memorial, but our main reason for climbing up there was to see the Russian jet fighter we had seen abandoned in a nearby field. Nobody seems to know why an Su-15 has been left there, but looking at the damage it has suffered, pieces of it adorn many a mantelpiece!
Maybe one day somebody will be able to answer our questions about the monuments of Şamaxı!!!
There are more photos below