History and Geography
Lachin serves as the largest district located between the Upper Kharabakh Autonomous District and Armenia, with an area of 1,835 square kilometers (709 miles). It includes the southwestern part of the Lesser Caucasus Mountain Range and the Karabakh Plateau. Numerous castles, shrines, mosques, tombs, and bridges exist throughout the region. The Lachin region of the Republic of Azerbaijan was established in 1930, after the foundation of Lachin was laid in a valley on the slopes of the Lachin Mountain in 1924.
The location of the capital of the eponymous region is said to have been chosen by Tagi Shahbazi Simurg who gave it its present name. It is likely a distorted form of the Turkish word Yalchin (steep). There are also suggestions that the name is linked to the word “hawk” (lachin in Azeri).
Many of the caves that litter the landscape are awaiting scientific research. The Aghoghlan Castle (pictured right), dating from the 6th-9th centuries, is situated in the village of Kosalar. Numerous legends speak to the derivation of the name Aghoghlan, white translates as “white boy.”
Near the village of Jijimli rests the shrine of the Jijimli Village Tombs. There are two tombs here, Malik Adjar Tomb, traditionally considered the older of the two, is circular inside and octagonal outside. A number of the site’s details resemble those from tombs in the village of Damirchilar in the Gubadli region. There are no construction inscriptions or carved surfaces, but historians date this tomb from the 12th–13th centuries.
Popularly called the “Deaf Dome”, the younger Jijimli tomb is cross-shaped inside and has a square outside. Possibly constructed in the 17th century, Caucasian Albanian influence is felt in the architectural concept of the Deaf Dome. Inscriptions in Arabic contain information about when and in whose honor this tombstone was erected. The mountain forests of Lachin are full of oak-trees, beeches and hornbeams, and cover an area of 33,300 hectares.