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Mingechaur (Mingechavir)


The monument "Mingachevir is Ancient Place of Living" was build at the entrance to the city, inviting the visitors to explore the city. The monument consists of a three meter-long broken pitcher, a model of III century BC pitcher found on the territory of Mingachevir. The monument's pedestal is the exhibition of pictures, historical documents and sculptures about the Albanian culture of V-VI centuries. Two columns opposite to each other symbolize Mingachevir's hydro-electric station. Two hawks on the monument represent Azerbaijan as "the land of fire." The monument's designer is Elman Leleyev, a member of the Azerbaijan Architects Union.
Mingechaur is an ancient town and since the 1940s a significant centre of light industry, including the production of cotton and woollen textiles, knitwear, household items, souvenirs, and assorted consumer goods. The population today is almost 100.000 and the archaeological findings in the area revealed human occupation dating as far back as 5000 years ago, a prosperous town from the Albanian period and rich strata for other periods, revealing a intense trading and manufacturing activity.

There is some interesting architecture in the centre and the town was generously dotted with parks. The area near the Kura river is particularly pleasant, with nice restaurants and tea houses. There is some entertainment with a drama theatre and the Kosmos cinema. Some of the modern monuments are quite original, don't miss the war memorial. Have a look also at the huge new mosque. The modest football field is home to F.C.Kur Nur.

There is a grim hotel in the city centre (the Kur), but if you are looking for a decent place try the hotel Kainat, in the western side of the town, across the river. The Mingechaur Reservoir, with an area of 605 square kilometers that makes it the largest body of water in Azerbaijan, was formed by damming the Kura river. Operated by Azerenergy, the Mingechaur hydroelectric power station was built in 1953, providing Mingechaur not only with energy, flood control and irrigation but also with a large and pleasant artificial lake nearby which has a small beach. Production capacity is 360MWt.

The waters of the Kura river also submerged several important archaeological sites, although some of the findings can now be seen in Baku. The Kura River rises in Georgia and flows southeast towards the Caspian Sea. The lower 500km are navigable and prone to flooding. There is a network of canals linking the Kura to the Araz River. (275 km west of Baku).

The construction works in Mingachevir were started in 1945-1948. The population of this small town was increasing rapidly and there was a need for new apartment buildings, educational and cultural institutions. One of the main cultural institutions of the town in 1956 became the Drama Theatre named after Marziyya Davidova. Headed by the architect Muhammad Rustamov, the building's construction work was completed within a year. The Mingachevir Drama Theater is one of the biggest and most ornately decorated buildings in Mingachevir combining western European and eastern architectural styles. The building functioned as the Winter Club that consisted of several smaller clubs. Since the drama club was the largest, the board of Azerbaijan's Ministry of Culture renamed the Club "the Mingachevir Drama Theater." The building consisting of foyers, a library, a reading-hall, a buffet and two auditoriums has an area of 4,200 sq. meters.

Built of black marble, the monument is a feather framed on the "Azeri Language" book, which in Azeri titled "Ana Dili" ("Mother Language"). The monument's designer, Elman Leleyev, tried to emphasize importance of knowing ones native language in today's world. The "Mother Language" monument is unique because of its having been dedicated to Azerbaijani language. The picture of the "Mother Language" is the cover design for the Azeri textbooks used in high schools.

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