History and Geography
Khojavand was formed as a result of administrative reforms on the basis of the Azerbaijani Martuni and Hadrud regions after the Soviet-era Nagorno Karabakh Autonomous Region (NKAO) was abolished in 1991. Khojavand was one of the first centers for Christianity in Azerbaijan, and there are many Christian monuments in the region dating from the 4th to the 19th centuries CE.
The Khojavand region of the Azerbaijan Republic covers 1,458 square kilometers (906 square miles). The region is comprised of one central city, which the region is named for, two urban cities, and 83 villages. Scattered on mountain slopes, the district, comprised of several Kharabakh hamlets, is located on the Aghdam- Fizuli highway in a foothill valley
The district is rich in grapes and green marble and has many architectural monuments and according to the press service of the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources, the district likely has a limestone deposit of 989,000 tons, as well 90,000 cubic meters of ground water.
Two specimens of oriental plane trees between 1,000-2,000 years preserved as relics of the past near the city of Girmizi Bazar, a forest of “azat” trees covering 0.5 hectares, and an oak forest in the region which covered over 25.5 hectares of land, existed before Armenians occupied Khojavand.
The Azikh cave (pictured, above) is the largest cave in Azerbaijan, located in Khojavand Region, at a height of 2,953 feet (900 meters). Excavations of the cave (pictured, right) started in 1960, and uncovered many artifacts from the Paleolithic Period, including ancient human remains. In 1968, a 350,000-year-old fragment of a lower jaw belonging to an ancient man was found as well as the ten distinct cultural layers evidencing the human inhabitation in the area.
Founded in the 4th century, it is claimed that the Amaras Monastery is one of the oldest Christian sites in the world. Amaras was the burial place of St. Gregory the Illuminator’s grandson, St. Grigoris. A tomb built for his remains still survives under the apse of the 19th century temple of St. Grigoris. The Amaras Monastery Complex was built in the 9th century, but was repeatedly repaired and modified over the next centuries. This complex was remodeled to its current appearance in the 19th century. The Amaras Monastery Complex is considered to be one of the important monuments of Caucasian Albania.