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On Easter Tuesday in 1819, nearly a year and a half after leaving their native land, German settlers from Schwaben [Stuttgart, Ulm and Reutlingen in Southern Germany] arrived in a valley region in what is present-day Azerbaijan. They finally made the decision to settle and try to make this place their new home.

It was Russian Czar Alexander I who bestowed the name "Helenendorf" upon the German settlement, in memory of his beloved sister Helen Paulovna who had died at an early age. Today, the town is known as Khanlar or "place of the khans".

The Germans were deported to central Asia by Stalin, but the place still reflects some of their presence, in the tree lined streets, the wooden houses and the church (now converted to a school).

There is the usual history museum, a music school and a cinema as well. You can also visit a bridge that predates Khanlar by seven centuries. The "Ag korpu" of Khanlar, that means "White Bridge", dated from XII century is one of the most interesting historical sights of this district.

Located south of Ganca, in an agricultural area, around Khanlar there are forests, orchards, mountains and the seven scenic 'Tears of Kapaz' lakes. Since the cease fire line is rather close, access to some areas may be limited by the military.

There is a nice tea place, and you can stay at the hotel Koroglu, located in front of the post office. The hotel, built mostly in wood, is more charming than comfortable.

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