Laman Ismayilova Read more
Azerbaijan boasts a rich cultural heritage and a deep commitment
to preserving its historical sites and traditions.
The Land of Fire is home to a myriad of UNESCO World Heritage
Sites, which showcase the country's rich history and architectural
Recognizing the importance of safeguarding its cultural
treasures, the country has established a valuable partnership with
UNESCO to ensure the preservation and promotion of its unique
Azerbaijan and UNESCO have been enjoying successful cooperation
Over the past years, a number of Azerbaijani historical and
cultural sites have been included in the UNESCO World Heritage
Currently, Azerbaijan has five sites on the list, including the
Walled City of Baku with the Shirvanshah's Palace and Maiden Tower
( 2000), the Historic Centre of Sheki with the Khan's Palace
(2019), Hyrcanian Forests (2023) and the Cultural Landscape of the
Khinalig People and the Transhumance Route (2023).
During its 45th session held in Riyadh UNESCO World Heritage
Committee has decided to inscribe the Cultural Landscape of the
Khinalig People and the Transhumance Route ( Köç Yolu) as well as
the Hyrcanian Forests.
Delivering the speech at the session, the chairman of the State
Tourism Agency Fuad Naghiyev expressed his appreciation to everyone
who supported the bid, describing the route as one of the unique
examples of historical and economic model of not only Azerbaijan's
but also the world's heritage.
He also expressed gratitude to Azerbaijani President Ilham
Aliyev and First Vice-President Mehriban Aliyeva for their care and
attention to the preservation of the country's tangible and
Note that Khinalig village sits on a mountaintop 2,350 meters
above sea level in the Greater Caucasus Mountains. It's surrounded
by some of the highest peaks in Azerbaijan, including Bazarduzu
(4,466m), Shahdag (4,243m), and Gizilgaya (3,723m), and it boasts
over 5,000 years of history.
Therefore, Khinalig is often called an island among the
mountains. The village is famous for its unique historical and
cultural heritage. Here is a temple of fire worshippers, the tomb
of Khidir Nabi, Sheikh Shalbuz mosque, caves, and numerous
unexplored archaeological sites dating back to the Middle Ages.
Some ethnologists consider that the people of Khinalig are
related to the ancient tribe of Uti.
People in the area speak their own language and have unique
cultural traditions. Annually, they are using the Köç Yolu to bring
the livestock between winter and summer pasture. There are numerous
camping sites, mosques, and mausoleums on this route.
Meanwhile, Hyrcanian Forests also became the country's first
natural site to be inscribed on the List.
With a history dating back 25 to 50 million years, Hyrcanian
Forests form a unique forested massif that stretches along the
southern coast of the Caspian Sea.
The newly inscribed elements comprise full ecosystems including
top predators such as leopards, wolves, and brown bears, and the
forest has a high degree of rare and endemic tree species. The
oldest trees seen here are 300-400 years old, with some possibly up
to 500 years old.
At the same time, the nomination "Azykh and Taghlar caves -
prehistoric places of Azerbaijan", located in Azerbaijan's Garabagh
economic region was included on the Tentative list by the decision
of the 45th session of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee.
Armenia opposed the inclusion of two unique monuments in
Azerbaijan's Tentative list, but the leadership of the Committee
ignored this statement.
Known as one of the oldest human settlements in the world, Azykh
Cave became the target of Armenian vandalism. The Armenian
occupiers carried out illegal excavations in it with the
involvement of foreign scientists.
After the liberation of Azerbaijani territories from occupation,
part of the artifacts discovered in the Azykh Cave during illegal
archaeological excavations were transferred to the Archaeological
Fund of the Azerbaijan Institute of Archeology and Ethnography.
Archaeological researches will be carried out there after an
assessment of the current state of the monument.
Taghlar caves Khojavend in another archaeological site that was
inhabited by prehistoric humans of the Mousterian culture during
The cave was discovered during the Paleolithic archaeological
expedition of the Academy of Science of Azerbaijan under the
leadership of Mammadali Husseynov in 1960.
In 1968, the low jaw bone of a human-related to the Neanderthal
type was found there. The jawbone, with one molar totally intact
and another partially broken, is believed to have belonged to a
female about 18 years old.
As a result of the excavations, it was found out that 120,000
years ago, the Azykh cave was inhabited by Neanderthal people of
the Middle Paleolithic Mousterian culture, which makes the cave one
of the oldest Neanderthal settlements in the South Caucasus.
The partnership between Azerbaijan and UNESCO serves as a model
for effective collaboration in preserving and promoting cultural
Through joint efforts, Azerbaijan has successfully protected its
The recent inclusion of Azerbaijani sites in UNESCO demonstrates
the country's dedication to preserving and promoting its cultural