Gakh

Gakh is another picturesque region in the north-west of Azerbaijan. Here, the climate is dry subtropical and temperate in mountains. There are plenty of mountain rivers and waterfalls in the region.

PLACES TO VISIT


Ilisu

Every region in Azerbaijan has its own “pearl” and in Gakh it is certainly Ilisu – small mountain village located at 1400-1600 m above sea level, 12km from the Gakh town.  
Regardless of seasons, Ilisu is the best place to get rid of the stress of the big cities. Embraced by mountainous forests on all sides, the place is famous for its heavy rains and bright rainbows in spring and summer.
Actually, Ilisu is a state nature reserve that covers an area of 54,000 hectares and is home to hundreds of plants, animals, and birds, some of which are included in the Red Book.
Just one kilometer away from the village, you can find the picturesque Ulu waterfalls, a must-see place for anyone visiting Ilisu. Professional climbers can risk and mount Jinligala’s top on the edge of an abyss, which has access only from one side.
The emblem of the village, Sumug fortress, is a four-story defense tower commanding a great view of the surrounding areas. 
The 17th century Great Bridge over the Kurmuk River was built when Ilisu was a capital of a sultanate. Egg-yolk was used as solidifier of the bridge and for this reason, the bridge is believed to be still in usable condition.

Albanian Church 

Qax town has a couple of historic churches, the most celebrated of which is a ruined Albanian church. It is better to get there early in the morning and watch other people going to church. Some people even bring their sheep and chickens up in order to bless them before they are sacrificed for lunch. As you get close to the church, there would be some rocks which people use to stick their candles, light them and say a few prayers. A few short steps beyond the candle rocks you will reach the church itself. When you reach the church, you are supposed to walk around it 3 times before going in, then burn candles, and say prayers. The people who bring their live sacrifices up have their animals walk around the church 3 times too. When you come out of the church, you can walk up and stand on top of this rock.

Georgian Orthodox Church 

In the center, there is a Georgian Orthodox Church to check out. The Kurmukhi Church of St. George is a Georgian Orthodox Church located in Qakh District, northwestern Azerbaijan, on the border with Georgia. The church was probably constructed in the 12th century, when Georgia experienced a political, economical and cultural golden age. its name is first mentioned in Georgian Gospel, which dates back to the fourteenth century, 1310, that notes it under the jurisdiction of the Georgian Orthodox church. The old church, however, was destroyed as a result of Shah Abbas I’s invasions of Georgia and was rebuilt only in 1890, by the archimandrite Leonid (then Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia). The monastery is currently inactive.