PIR HUSEYN KHANAGAH

The State Service for Protection, Development and Restoration of Cultural Heritage under the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Azerbaijan “Pir Huseyn Khanagahi” historical-architectural reserve was registered as a historical and architectural monument of national importance by the order of the Ministry of Culture dated January 22, 2004. Immediately after that, under the leadership of the Ministry of Culture, restoration and reconstruction work began in the reserve. On October 1, 2007, the Minister of Culture, Mr. Abulfaz Garayev, and representatives of many embassies attended the opening ceremony.

Khanagah complex, built around the tomb of Pir Huseyn Shirvani, a unique pearl of art of the XI-XIV centuries, a great thinker, a prominent scientist, philosopher, who played an important role in the history of scientific thought and the formation of the Islamic-philosophical worldview of the Azerbaijani people, Hajigabul district. It is located in the territory of Gubalibaloglan village, on the bank of Pirsaat river, on the ancient Baku-Salyan trade road. “Pir Huseyn Khanagahi” historical-architectural reserve has an area of 67 hectares. Pir Hussein Khanagahi, a monument of national importance in terms of the perfection of the architectural-spatial solution, the weight of the functional load, occupies a high position among the khanagahs. 7 out of 14 historical monuments registered in Hajiagabul region are located in khanagah area. The khanagah complex includes a tomb, a mosque and a minaret, rooms for visitors, castle walls surrounding the buildings, a caravanserai, a medieval tomb, cells and an ancient cemetery. 5 of these monuments are monuments of national importance, medieval tombs, cells and ancient cemeteries are monuments of local significance. All the interior walls of the Pir Hussein Khanagah and the tomb inside the room are decorated with ornaments and inscriptions made with a special kind of tile art, which was made with great artistic skill at the time.

The khanagah was built in the architectural style of Absheron-Shirvan. Some architectural samples related to it were prepared by Tabriz masters, which proves that the khanagah is a single Azerbaijani architectural example. The khanagah is reflected in a fortress-like structure closed by strong walls and fortified with towers. The main buildings of the complex are inside this rectangular tower. Pir Hussein’s tomb is adjacent to the mosque from the south. The layout of the mosque, which has no date of construction, is the same as the Ashur mosque in Icheri Sheher. The mosque has a rectangular plan and an arch in the middle to give additional strength to the roof structure of the elongated prayer hall covered with a pointed arch. Its entrance door is asymmetrical on the east facade. Based on these details in the plan-spatial structure, experts say that the khanagah was built at the turn of the XI-XII centuries. The minaret, which is the dominant of the Khanagah complex, is located at the junction of two elongated buildings, away from the mosque. The minaret complex of Khanagah reflects a new stage of the composition of the minaret in the Shirvan region. The minaret is an example of the stage of development of the Shirvan minarets after Siniggala minaret. It has no physical connection with the building next to it. However, the architect used a new trick to strengthen the connection between the minaret and the building. The Khanagah mosque and minaret are masterfully built of well-hewn stone. From this point of view, the minaret reflects the artistic and technical progress after the Siniggala minaret, which has a more sloping shape, built of semi-circular stone. The interior of the monument, built according to local architectural traditions, is a result of the country’s strengthening between the North and the South during the Elkhanid period. Unfortunately, the high artistic value of Khanagah’s tile ornaments was looted and the tablets were taken to foreign museums. Today, the tile decorations of Khanagah adorn the exhibitions of museums around the world. It is exhibited at the Leningrad State Hermitage, the Georgian State Museum, the Moscow Museum of Oriental Culture, the Louvre,

Britain and other European museums. Pictures on the wall of the reception hall at the entrance to the Khanagah mosque show the tile ornaments on the tomb and kept in the Hermitage.

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