“Alinjagala and many other monuments like this prove that Nakhchivan is an ancient land of Azerbaijan, throughout the centuries and thousand years Azerbaijanis lived here”.

Heydar Aliyev

 

 

 

 

 

The History of Alinjagala

One can come across with a lot of very interesting information about history of Alinjagala in the medieval Arabian, Persian, Azerbaijan, Turkish, Georgian, and western European sources. But the history of the construction of Alinjagala is not exactly known. One of the oldest sources, which is known for the time being, and where we meet the name of Alinjagala, is the epos “Kitabi Dede Korkut”. In one of the most valuable monuments of Azerbaijani Folklore – in the story named “Segrek, Son of Ushun Koja” of the epos “Kitabi Dede Korkut”, Alinjagala is described as a strong and reliable fortification. According to this epos, Alinjagala belonged to a man called Kara Takur who used the fortress as a dungeon and kept the captives taken from Oghuz there. “Kitabi Dede Korkut” is the first written source which mentioned Alinjagala which is known to us. The history of origin of this epos is also interesting. Prof. Damirchizadeh wrote that the epos is talking about the events related to the “prior to the XI century”. Analyzing published works about the epos “Kitabi Dede Korkut”, researcher V. Zhirmunsky noted that the stories happened in the IX-X centuries. Some of these stories even date back to the V-VI centuries.

According to some researchers, Alinjagala was built in the beginning of AD and restored in the V century.

Some chroniclers lived in the X century, while talking about contemporary events, note that Alinjagala was the main shelter belonging to local feudal lords. As it turns out from their writings, families of rulers and nobles were protected in the fortress during feudal military conflicts and wars.

Turkish traveler of the XVII century Evliya Chelebi, talking about Alinjagala, noted that it was built by Gutbaddin. Probably, the author meant one of the Seljuk Sultanate of Rum rulers Gutbaddin Malikshah II (1188-1192). Prof. M. Korpulu indicated that Alinjagala belongs to Seljuk period. The author of the article named “General view of the history of Azerbaijan Turkization” Faruk Sumer agreed with this idea. However, one of the modern Turkish researchers Fakhraddin Kirzioghlu stated that “the ancient and impregnable” fortress Alinjagala was famous by name Erandzhag during the reign of Ashkanides.

Thus, the assumption of an Azerbaijanian researcher, archaeologist, and ethnographer A. Alakbarov about Ashkanide or Sassanid bas-relief in one of the basins in fortress is of interest. The proof of this fact may reveal some issues about the history of fortress.

The name of Alinjagala is mentioned in the source informing about the clashes between the last Sultan of Iranian Seljuks Toghrul and his emirs.

Altogether, the analyses of the facts in the sources leave no doubt about the idea of the existence of the fortress before the VII century.

 

 

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Date: 20-10-2018