The property of Malik-Aslanovs given to the kolkhoz, the palace of the Dizag maliks, the Albanian temple of the XII century - REPORTAGE FROM TUGH

The property of Malik-Aslanovs given to the kolkhoz, the palace of the Dizag maliks, the Albanian temple of the XII century  - REPORTAGE FROM TUGH
  • Clock-gray 13:20
  • calendar-gray 18 February 2021

APA employees toured the territories liberated from the occupation by the Azerbaijani army under the leadership of the Supreme Commander-in-Chief Ilham Aliyev. Our employees have prepared a series of reports from these territories under the heading "In the wake of victory". We present another reportage from this series:

You may read previous reportages:

Victory of Azerbaijani Army put an end to Armenian savage: What do I see in Aghdam

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

Destroyed cemetery of Abdal-Gulabli: Shelled gravestone of a 9-year-old girl

Armenian command point in Fuzuli, mined territory with the length of 2 km, finding monument to Fuzuli

Mosque turned into a warehouse by Armenians, caravanserai used as a stable, enemy soldier's helmet, unknown monument

Footsteps of Armenian vandalism in Jabrayil, “Ohanyan line” myth, destroyed by our Army

Khudaferin - the bridge got rid of the pain of Karabakh: The bridge of longing for both banks

Cradle of Humanity, 135-year-old school, wines that were sent to the Kremlin

Stolen bones, 200 letters in one night, a soldier who liberated his land

On the roads of Kalbajar: from the height of 3395 meters to Khudavang monastery

In a magical world: Amazing Khudaveng monastery, which Armenians wanted to appropriate

End of longing: Returning to Lachin through the same road 28 years later

Every inch of paradise Lachin

Well, we have already said that we will talk about historical and cultural monuments in Tugh, and we will start with the property of Xudadat bay Malik-Aslanov.  As we mentioned in our previous reportage, property of Xudadat bay Malik-Aslanov is located in the center of Tugh. When the Soviet government was newly founded, the house was taken from the Malik-Aslanov and given to the kolkhoz and for some time the kolkhoz board was located here. After the 1960s, the house was returned as a result of numerous appeals to the state by members of the generation.


Their neighbor Camil Bayramov says that Malik-Aslanov's relatives and representatives of his generation came here every summer to rest: “This is also the grandfather's house of the mother of the National Hero of Azerbaijan Salatin Asgarova. Salatin Asgarova visited this house many times, and even her son Jeyhun came here. I remember that after his mother was killed, little Jeyhun took a stone and said that he was going to kill Armenians. We held him hardly.”

Jamil Bayramov also regrets that the appearance of the house has changed significantly since then: “After occupation of Tugh, as most of our buildings and houses, this house was also destroyed. It used to be a building with a big balcony, and there were two windows towards our house. They closed those windows. New constructions were added. The exterior of the house is in bad condition. You can enter and view it, it is as if nobody has ever lived here. They did not paint even the door.”


Let’s hope that the property of Xudadat bay Malik-Aslanov who was Minister of Roads, Post and Telegraph during the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic will be restored and this will become a museum that combines the history of the the great generation of Tugh.

Speaking of the well-known generation of Tug village the Malik-Aslanov, it will be wrong not to mention Dizag malikliks. Because here used to the center of Dizag maliklik. The Dizag malikliks, whom the Armenians wanted to name theirs, were in fact of Albanian origin. Employee of the Institute of History of Science of ANAS, Doctor of Philosophy in History Bayram Guliyev states that the generation of Albanian Hasan Jalal were divided into five malikliks since the 15th century: “One of them was Dizag maliklik. It should be emphasized that those Albanians, who received the title of malik, used the same surname after converting to Islam. Although the malikliks were only a feature of Karabakh, they also existed in Yerevan, Syunik, and Shaki. It shows that they migrated. During the Safavi period, the Dizag maliklik, which came under either Safavi or Ottoman rule continued to exist as a province within the Karabakh khanate.”

According to Bayram Guliyev, Dizag maliklik pursued independent policy neither in the rule of Nadir shah Afshar nor Karabakh khanate.  “Even having special privileges during Nadir shah, Panahali khan did not give them these privileges.  Despite this, they were not elected by the khan, and the status of malilik was inherited. However, the term of their rule was determined by the khans. For example, Ibrahim Khalil khan overthrew Malik Yesayan, the malik of Dizag, in 1781 and brought Bahtam to power in his place.

It is likely that some of those Albanians later converted to Islam or mixed with the Armenians. Because after 1828, Armenians were moved to these territories massively. This fact also played an important role in the Americanization of the Albanians in Dizag maliklik. 

Dizag maliks Malik Yegan (1737–1744), Aram (1744–1745), Yesaya (1745–1781), Avag Malikyeganli (1781–1785), Vakhtang Malikyeganli (1785–1789), Abbas Malikyeganli (1789–80) , Aslan bey Malikyeganli (1805–1822) were in power in Tugh for centuries. From the descendants of Malik Yegan, such influential generations as Melikaslanovs, Malikyeganovs, Melikabbasovs were born and took an active role in the socio-political life of Azerbaijan.

Palace of the maliks of Dizag

Remains of several ancient monuments are located in a quiet corner in the center of Tugh. Although at first glance here looks like an area destroyed by Armenians, it is the remains of the palace of Dizag malikliks. Once upon a time magnificent palace of the king was erected here.

As I said, as Armenians claimed that Dizag malikliks allegedly were Armenian, they protected the remains of palace where they lived before and conducting archaeological excavations at this historical architectural monuments complex revealed several new monuments.

From the plaque in front of the architectural monuments, it is felt that the complex was turned into a museum during the Armenian occupation.

The palace built by Malik Yegan was probably constructed over more ancient or buildings. Artistic and architectural features of the buildings included in the complex, as well as epigraphic examples, show that its different parts were built at various times. 

The length of the complex is 38, wide 13, it has a rectangular shape in the plan. There are remains of thick walls that lie to the perimeter of the castle walls in the north and south-east of the palace. Despite little changes, the king's palace almost saved its original appearance and survived in the present.  On the west side of the rectangular courtyard, there is a building with a facade with well-cut stones and a balcony with columns. The rooms on the second floor were built later and remind of traditional houses of Tugh for its plan characteristics.

The building of the school opened in Tugh in 1885 namely operated in one of these buildings included in palace complex of Dizag malikliks. Mirmehdi Khazani, a well-known writer of his time taught in the school. Moving to Tugh in 1859, the poet engaged in teacher activity here. He lived in this village until his death.


The grave of the poet located a little far away from the village. If we complete the shooting here on time, we will visit there to. 

There is temple of three Christian monuments in the village: “St. Johan, St. Stepanos and Anapat churches. We will visit each of them and give information about each of them.

St. Johan church

We talked about St. Johan church located in the center of Tugh in the previous writing too. The current church in the form of a basilica was constructed on the more ancient temple in the XIII century.


On the right side of the church apse, in front of the entrance to the auxiliary room, are the remains of giant column bases slightly above floor level.

Leading researcher of "Ethnoarchaeology" department of the Institute of Archeology and Ethnography of ANAS, Doctor of Philosophy History Ulviya Hajiyeva notes that the length of the church constructed on 4 columns is 21.9 meters, wide is 12.92: “The stone above the entrance reads: “1185 (1736). The roof of St. John's Church was restored by Malik Yegan, son of Archimandrite Gukas. May his soul be happy.”

 The Church of St. Johan was built on a large slope, and although the western wall was entirely enclosed by a rock, the eastern wall is completely open, and even the foundation is visible. Therefore, one window in the west wall and three windows on the east wall have been opened.  

Only the door of the church opens from the south wall, from the small yard surrounding fortress walls. The ceiling of the hall rests on four pylons made of local stones. There has been used from the square-shaped stones in the laying of the south wall and half-cut stones have been used in other walls. Because of the height of the ceiling, the sides of the roof are hard inclined.


This ancient Alban’s church has been in operation as a club. During 30 years of occupation, it has been restored and used as an Armenian church. During construction, the stone cell of the church has been replaced with an iron cover and a bell tower has been added to its construction.

Malik Gukas, Malik Yegan, Malik Aram, Malik Yesaya are buried in a narrow and long hut built on the left side of the church.

Holy Stepanos church

Unlike the Church of St. John, Holy Stepanos church locates in the north-west of the village, near the Christian cemetery. Because it is difficult to climb there on foot, we asked our driver Elchin to take us there by car. Mr. Vahid also joins us. Our car passed the Tugh hospital and turned towards the cemetery.

And that is it, we stand in front of an ancient monument covered with crosses, mostly made of rough-hewn stones. Firstly, we saw the gravestones which have been covered with moss and lichen. Many artistic scenes and inscriptions in the language of Grabar are engraved on the stones, decorated with motifs of horsemen, hunters, and musicians. Mr. Vahid says that we were often visiting these places in my childhood: We were asking Armenians what have been written on these stones. They were admitting that these are not theirs because they could not read what has been written. But Armenians also were coming here and cut cock. They mainly were gathering here in 1988 events and crying “Miatsum, miatsum”. We ourselves also look this church as a shrine”.

Many parts of the monument have remained under the ground, and stones of its left walls have been demolished.

The monument owns a window from the front, and 3 small windows from the back. The inside of the monument is lightened exactly on the account of these windows.

We enter inside the church, but we could not see anything due to darkness. For the sake of security, we just observe inside of the monument from the door: there is a gravestone on the right, and inscriptions on it in Grabar language... and ... We also notice the size of the altar - it is 50 cm high.


 The church is in a rectangular shape. Coarse-grained stones were used to cover the facade, and arches, as well as well-hewn stones, were used to build window and door frames.

 As it is in Hasan Jalal church in the Khudafang monastery, Large crosses were erected on both sides of the entrance to holy Stepanos  Church. Generally,  crosses were carved on all the walls around the perimeter of the church, and many of them were decorated with inscriptions.


According to Ulviyya Hajiyeva, until the end of the 19th century, there was an inscription on the stone above the entrance: There has been noted on that inscription that in 1196 (1747), Malik Yegan and his son Malik Yesaya restored the roof of the church. As far back as the 19th century, Makar Barkhudaryans wrote that the church is very old, it was built 600 years or earlier, about the 12th century”.

Anapat church

Another Albanian monument stands at the foot of the mountain, about 200 meters above the church of Stepanos. According to Ulviyy’ Hajiyeva, this temple is called Anapat church: “Grave of Malik Bahtam is here. Makar Barkhudaryans writes that once upon a time there has been a women's monastery here.

The churches, situated closely with each-other, probably were a part of a woman monastery, which existed in this territory at some time, as it is written by Barkhudaryans. An interesting point is that the part of Tugh, where the Christian cemetery is situated, was known among people as “Gizlar Duzu” (“Plain of Girls”). It seems that just because the woman monastery here was called “Gizlar Duzu” among the population. We are jumping up to near the temple with difficulties. The back wall of the church, which was surrounded by an iron fence, entered into the mountain wholly and the roof of the building combined with the mountain. Most part of the other walls also remained under the soil.


There is a great hole on the wall, on which altar leans. It seems that the hole, caused by the collapse of the wall, was closed with stones in order to prevent the entry of cattle.

A cross-stone on the entrance door of the church from the side attracts attention. We enter the temple. Three graves are seen inside. The size of the altar is 50-60 cm like Albanian temples. Only this fact is proof of Anapat and other churches (Saint Stepanos and others) nearby belonging to Albanian culture (height of altar in Armenian Church is more).


There are many gravestones, sandugas at the yard of the Church. Although its walls were built rough carved stones, it is smoother in comparison with Saint Stepanos Monastery.

Unlike Saint Hovhannes Church, both temples are at miserable condition, their roofs were covered by grass and they face with danger of collapse.


Three of the monuments have been registered by the Ministry of Culture as locally-important architectural monuments. We believe that these churches will also be repaired within the framework of restoration of historical-cultural monuments in the territories, liberated from occupation, and will attract local and foreign tourists. We said at the beginning of spring, we will also visit the grave of Mirmehdi Khazani after completing our works in Tugh. But man proposes and God disposes...

We learned later that visiting the grave of the poet, which is in a great Muslim cemetery, now is dangerous. Armenians, who understand the importance of the cemetery for Azerbaijanis can mine there. We agreed with the recommendations and had to postpone the visit to the grave of Mirmehdi Khazani for another visit.

This ancient Albanian land returned to its historical owners after a separation of 30 years. Thanks to the victory of our Victorious Army, the three-color Azerbaijani flag is waving in Tugh. Tugh people will also return to their native territories soon. All that remains is our visit to Tugh as a guest…

Photo: Ilkin Nabiyev

Mirmehdi Aghaoghlu

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