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Ganja is the second by dimensions and most populated city of Azerbaijan, being in the old times the core of the culture, and today is the industrial center of western Azerbaijan. The town is disposed in Ganja-Gazakh lowland and divided into two parts by the river Ganjachay.
In 1139 in Ganja happened a strong earthquake, as a result of which were formed beautiful lakes Goygol, Maralgel, Zeligel and others of which Goygol, placed 25 km away from Ganja at an altitude of 1566 meters, characterized by indescribable beauty and is the pride of Azerbaijan.
For the protection of the unique nature and rare species of flora and fauna in the region in 60th of the last century has been founded the National Reserve of Goygol.
The fact that Ganja in old times represented as the core of antique culture confirmed by the opinion of many scientists, also by archaeological sites, from which determined that the foundations of the city were laid in the times of Alexander the Great around 336-323 BC. The town, being at the intersection of the famous Silk Road had an essential role in the history of Azerbaijan. Here were stayed many famous travelers.
In the tenth centenary the role of Ganja in the social, economic and cultural life of the nation increased substantially, as it had the necessary economic potential for the advancement of handicrafts. Near Ganja mined iron, copper and other, which was the raw material for artisans in the making of weapons. A strengthening of the army had always been the most important elements of statehood.
Inside the town was sumptuously decorated, they were built Palaces, bridges and caravanserais. There were also minted coins. In 1063 it was made famous gates of Ganja by merchant Ibrahim. Thus Ganja became a major center with a developed economy and culture.
But the heyday of the town were the 12th and 13th centuries, when it became the second capital of the reign of Atabays. Thanks to celebrity of Ganja outside the country, it was called the mother of the cities of Albania. The fabric produced here, was extremely popular and highly appreciated in the Eastern markets.
In the eighteenth century it was formed Ganja khanate, which in the nineteenth centenary was vanquished by Imperial Russia and becoming part of it, so was renamed to Elizavetpol.
During the Soviet period the city got the name of Kirovabad and only in the 90th was once again returned its historical name.
From the ancient Ganja still preserved a beautiful images with rich architectural monuments. Here tourists can visit the Museum of History, where colorfully presented and traced the historical evolution of the city. The most important monument is the mausoleum of poet Nizami.