Regional Co-operation for Cultural Heritage Development
რეგიონალური თანამშრომლობა კულტურული მემკვიდრეობის განვითარებისათვის
Տարածաշրջանային համագործակցություն հանուն մշակութային ժառանգության զարգացման
Національна політика щодо культурної спадщини
Mədəni irsin inkişaf Etdimilməsi üçün regional əməkdaşlıq
Рэгіянальнае супрацоўніцтва ў мэтах развіцця культурнай спадчыны
E- Journal №3
Architectural Heritage Conservation
Careful Restoration of Galabaghlar Complex

The  care of  Azerbaijan to valuable architectural monuments  increase day-by-day. It can be said according to restoration and conservation works carried out on monuments in different regions of Azerbaijan and  implementing  of  different local and international  projects  in this direction. Layout features of each of these  monuments  differ according to the regions they are  located in.  There are  specific features of every monument.  According to the classic restoration canons of conservation and restoration  projects, new approaches are searched through  carried  out  researches. This is mostly evident in conservation works. So, during  conservation of  monuments, in order to increase their structural stability and  in order to avoid any damage to them,  different modern  materials are used in the design of structural frameworks. Such an intervention is temporary and  applied in the case,  when the complete restoration of monument  is impossible. As an example, the  Garabaghlar  complex of tombs and minarets can be quoted.  During the conservation of monument, the srtuctural framework of the cover of minarets  was designed  from  glass on metal stands, but that of tombs -  with metal, because its original feature is unknown. This structural framework by  repeating  the form of monument,  was installed in its upper part. The restoration project of the monument was prepared  by “Delkmalpflege” Mecklenburg, on the basis of  statistic researches  carried out  by “Lippsmeier” on December  12, 2001.  The project has been implemented  during restoration works of  tomb and two minarets  located  in the village Garabaghlar,  Nakhchivan  Autonomous  Republic, Tomb of Momina  Khatun  located in Nakhchivan city, within the  “Protection of Cultural Heritage” project.

The works were carried out in three stages. The initial works  started  on December 20-21 , 2001, by Azerbaijani experts.  The second stage of  works  was implemented  on  January 7-13, and finally, the last stage - on 15-25 February 2002,  by Azerbaijani and international experts. Team members were selected very carefully in accordance with the requirements. Thus, this project was focused on the monuments of high historical value.  The main researches were concentrated on  the analysis of the historical  structure that implied the  state of  structural stability,  the historical  building  tradition, identification of the initial parts from the later added parts, analysis of the earliest substance, historical value of certain elements for the future solutions related to the building. Manfred  Shuler  from Germany was a chief archaeologist    scientific Head of the project. He was responsible for quality  control on  analysis of researches  and conservation of monuments.  Emil  Shakhsuvarov  was  a  head  of  “Condescon”, members of  Baku team, Azerbaijani experts. His main duty was technical and material provision of  the project in Nakhchivan.

Monuments  in Nakhchivan and Garabaghlar  are monuments of high historical value.  In spite of  the restoration works carried out  in 1980s, the complex  located at Garabaghlar, delights  with its appearance. High architectural value and the complexity of the buildings has preconditioned their inscription on the UNESCO World Heritage List. The monuments complex located at Garabaghlar village, in one of the ancient cultural centres of Nakhchivan, is placed in very favourable and beautiful area of Lesser Caucasus Range running down to the Ancient Araz. The monument dates to the 12th-14th centuries. Articles by E. Chalabi, Moryer, Shopen, Khanikov  and others  provide information about this city and its monuments. (Fig. 1)

Tomb, a pair of minarets and remains of religious building located between them create   Garabaghlar monuments complex. Researchers claim that this building, the only one of the remaining structures associated with minarets, is Khanegah (Abode), which is built near graves of people who are perceived holy. Monument attracts attention with its complete form, uniqueness in terms of construction and the richness of its decorative adornment. Due to the disruption of the inscriptions on the building, it was impossible to determine the exact date of its construction.

According to A. V. Salamzada, tombs, erected in honour of the ruler, had to express the wealth and power of his government. (Fig.2)

Tomb consists of two parts. The socle part of tomb, made of hewn stone, is 1.85 m from the ground level with very interesting surface. The body of tomb erected over it is formed by twelve semi-cylindrical compounds, giving special splendour to its appearance.  Analysis of Garabaghlar tomb shows that such semi-cylindrical projections are not only important in terms of artistic decoration, but also important in terms of engineering structure. Twelve semi-cylindrical projections combined with each other, along with reducing the total volume of the wall, at the same time, give the fortress-like appearance to the tomb. The tomb entrances are arranged from the East, West, South and North. The green glazed bricks over the tomb surface form large squares on the background of reddish bricks. These squares form a diagonally arranged pattern, inside each of them  words  “Allah”   and  “Bismillah” are  written.(Fig.3,4)

The height of the tomb is 16 m. The first cover of the monument was destroyed as a result of the earthquake in 1831. In 1980s, during the restoration works, the cylindrical form of the monument was covered with semi-spherical dome. The cover construction of the burial vault  is made from cross-shape arches. The entrance of burial vault is located at the north-west  side. Its width is 3.0 m. and length  is 6.9 m. The  central part of burial vault is  covered with light arched dome. There is a space in the centre of the dome for the lighting of the interior. The large part of the burial vault  arch was destroyed together with the dome  and  re-established at the time of the restoration in 1980s.

On 1926, I. Azimbayov  read  a part of  the inscription, which  survived  over the wide   blue  coloured  belt  on the tomb. It mentioned 778th year by Hijra (Milady 1376). Currently, it is impossible to read this inscription, since its most part  has fallen down. (Fig.5,6)

Researchers revealed that  Bashdagh  joins  twin minarets, and was constructed in honour of Hulaku khan’s  wife  Gutay  Khatun. The height of minarets is 16 m.  Minarets surface was provided with the decoration from bricks with green coloured tiles. There is an inscription  on the monument, showing that its belong to the 12th century. The restoration and conservation works of the site in 2002 were focused on the preservation of its authentic appearance. (Fig.7,8)

Our monuments preserve the traces of history. Learning them, giving them value and  transferring them to future generations  is the duty  of each and all mankind.

Sevil Amiraslanova
Scientific Research and Design Institute

1. General view of the site
2. Tomb
3. Fragment
4. Fragment
5. Mosque
6. Twin minarets
7. Restoration process
8. Restoration process
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