Panahali Khan's Shahbulag fortress, damaged as a result of Armenian vandalism - PREPORTAGE - PHOTO

Panahali Khan's Shahbulag fortress, damaged as a result of  Armenian vandalism - PREPORTAGE - PHOTO
  • Clock-gray 17:21
  • calendar-gray 23 December 2020

Correspondents of APA have visited the liberated lands from occupation by Azerbaijani Army under the leadership of Supreme Commander-in-Chief Ilham Aliyev. Our employees have prepared series of reportages in the rubric “In the footsteps of victory”. We present the next reportage from these series:

Shahbulag fortress and the fictitious Tigranakert

Here is Shahbulag village... A fortress constructed by Karabakh Khan Panahali khan in 1751-1752 is located in Shahbulag. The name of the village and fortress has been taken from the name of a nearby spring with high-sounding water.

Armenians had begun large-scale excavations here in order to prove that these lands allegedly their ancient lands and found remnants of alleged ancient Tigranakert city. Therefore those territories were considered very important for Armenians. Therefore they were not greedy in spending money on Shahbulag, they built it. Of course, you should create the condition for showing something to foreigners who come here. After the destructions we saw along the way, suddenly we saw a fortress with an iron fence inside the pine forest. 

Azerbaijani flag is waving at the top of the fortress...

In 2006, an expedition of the Armenian Institute of Archeology and Ethnography was sent on an official journey to Shahbulag summer pasture. Armenian scientists according to the results of excavations carried out here claimed that alleged one of the“capital of ancient Armenian state” Tigranakert namely “hide” in Shahbulag summer pasture. Afterward, they constructed the Tigranakert museum on the remains of the Shahbulag fortress. Of course, causing damage to the historicity of the fortress constructed by Panahali khan. 

No sign left from the main walls of the castle. It seems that Armenians deliberately constructed the museum on the remnants of the walls of the castle for removing our history. However, they forgot one thing that the history which they tried to remove with cement-sand was restored by our army with weapon force.

Crossing the main entrance we enter the yard of the museum. There are a pool, benches, and several trees in the middle of the yard. Even in the flare-up time of the war Armenian archeologists carried exponents from the museum, of course, the found materials in Shahbulag during the excavations to Armenia, despoiled the museum, did not stop stealing.

We are walking in the museum. Posters, different brochures, labels, ticket papers, information boards written in Armenian and English about excavations in Armenia, were thrown everywhere, most of the glass showcases, exhibition stands, and benches which are exhibited have been overturned. Everywhere is in a messy situation. The writings on the labels that we found show that exhibits belonged to very ancient periods.

While looking from the citadels of the castle some places where excavations carried out seem very clear. However, is saying in military language, we did not know whether they are “clean” or not, we did not approach them. We go to the spring located at the bottom of the castle.

Church or mosque?...

Grove in front of the spring was pawed with stone, the park was built. Armenians created conditions for themselves in these places, where once Azerbaijanis had rested. Namely at the foot of the mountain, inside the trees, there is a building. It looks like a church. There is a pool adjacent to the building, the water of the spring, which boils under the rocks and the building, fills the pool, from there it flows into another pool and flows through the meadow in front of it. The pools are in a half-destroyed condition, there is alga inside of it, its appearance is inversely proportional with the beauty in front of the park. 

The building looing like a church is a Shahbulag mosque. The mosque was built by Panahali khan in the same period as the castle. The Shahbulag Mosque, built entirely of local limestone, consists of three arched balconies and a prayer hall. The arches of the balcony are supported by a pair of stone columns of proportionate stature. The ceiling is completed with arch form. As the prayer hall is square-shaped, the ceiling is completed in the form of a dome on the side, from the outside by adding new roofing materials to the dome, the roof was shaped into two slopes. It was for creating favorable conditions for natural waters to flow to the sides immediately. Apparently, the architect of the building used the architecture of Albanian monuments in the region during the construction.

It seems that Armenians did not touch the monument because it looks like a church. On the contrary, there were traces of burned candles in the hollows of the walls of the mosque. It was noted in the sources that I read before coming here, Shahbulag fortress has been used as a church by rebuilding. Because we did not find a church in the castle or nearby. So Armenians have not destroyed it because it looks like a church, they lit candles inside and prayed, but I think they prepared the ground to turn Shahbulag Mosque into an Armenian church by falsifying history next time.

These are my thoughts. But, dear scientist Bayram Guliyev thinks a little bit differently: “Albanian Temple Shahbulag dates back to the VI-VIII centuries. If we take into consideration that Christianity spread late in the northern part of Azerbaijan, building this temple out of sight is the normal situation. Most probably, the Temple that was out of sight during the Safavids underwent some changes during the Karabakh khanate, 3 arched balconies have been added to the temple. But it does not mean that this monument is a mosque” he said.

It is silence. To be honest, you do not want to live here. When you think that this amazing place has been under Armenian occupation for about 30 years, Armenians drank water from this spring, rested under these trees, it is impossible not to be disappointed, but there is a consolation that these places will again regain their former beauty, the real owners of these places will come here again, the noise of children will mix to the sweet smiles and pleasant voices of adults.

Tomb in Gizil Kangarli

On the left side of the road, an endless stone fence stretches along with us. “Once upon a time, it has been Aghdam prison,” says our guide. All the windows of the large greenhouse that came after the prison have been broken. The houses are safe in Golden Kangarli in comparison to other places of Aghdam. There are ripe dates in the courtyards. Armenians have burnt many of the houses in Golden Kangarli when the Armenians handed over Aghdam.

We are going to the Golden Kangarli Tomb without delay in the village.

This is the Golden Kangarli Tomb. It stood upright in the grass as if challenging the history and enemy. We stop the car and take a picture.

The Tomb belongs to the XIV century in terms of architectural style. The main body is octagonal, and this drives from architectural traditions of that time, the upper part is conical. According to B.Guliyev, it may be supposed that the temple has been constructed on the shrine: “Because the tombs of the XIII-XIV centuries has been built in this form. Because the sources do not indicate to whom the tomb belongs, it is impossible to say any accurate thing. But given that Sufism is widespread due to the weakening of Islam, it may be assumed that it belongs to the main Sheikh who spread Sufism. Because all tombs were built for such kind of Sheikhs at that time. Although the names of some of them remain in the sources, there is no information about the majority of them.

The truck of Russian peacekeepers appears from far away. They are coming towards us and give the signal, it means they say to get out of way. Our driver takes the car off the road, and we step aside. The truck passes us and goes to a place controlled by peacekeepers. We look after it until the car disappears at the back of the hill...

We have no work left in Gizil Kangarli, we will finish it and return. Our way is to Abdal Gulabli. We are going to visit the grave of Sakhavat Mammadov..

(to be continued)

Continue reading:  The pomegranate orchards planted by Armenians, the safe houses in Gulabli village, in the search of Sakhavat Mammadov’s grave, the grave of 9 years old girl in Abdal cemetery, the Mosque on which written “Allah” with Latin graphics on it...

Mirmehdi Aghaoghlu

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