Regina was born and raised in Red Settlement, located in Guba. She works as a guide in the Red Settlement, where she shares her knowledge with the visitors.
The Oguz Old Jewish Cemetery has not lasted to the present time day. The early twentieth-century shifts, the coup, and the repression of the clerics and religious servants, followed by the war, had to have repercussions on the cemetery's destruction. In addition, the Oguz Jewish cemetery is situated on a deciduous forest mountainside. The old graves were washed away by rains and floods, and tree roots ended up moving the tombstones, hiding them beneath the ruins. As result, the old graves are barely visible.
Rahimov Karim, through his father's will, facilitated the dissection and construction of a new cemetery in 1930. The territory of the cemeteries now has trails and gazebos for visitors to rest. The memorial to the Great Patriotic War participants
Although Jews began
to leave Muju in the 1860s, no one remained in the village after the unrest of
1918, when they were threatened by Armenians and fled to different parts of the
country. During that time, the village's Jewish cemetery was also destroyed.
Only a few graves from as recently as the 1910s have survived. It has now been
restored, and the land has been cleared and fenced in. On a separate small stone
podium, small headstones are displayed. When people didn't have enough funds,
they erected small tombstones and replaced them with larger ones when they
Of the seven bridges that existed in the Guba region between the 17th and 19th centuries, this is the only one that still remains. This longest bridge was built in 1894 by Alexander III to strengthen Russia's military presence in the Caucasus, replacing a wooden bridge built over the Gudialchay river in 1851. Originally, a 19-span bridge was planned. However, due to landslides during construction, lower numbers were chosen.
The bridge has 14 spans, a
total length of 275 meters, and an 8-meter width. Because of its multi-span
design, the bridge can withstand powerful massive flooding and mudflows that
raise the river's water level. This is Azerbaijan's only bridge of this type
from the nineteenth century. The bridge is now only used by pedestrians and
offers a spectacular view of Red Village. It provides easy access to Red
Village from Nizami Park, the city's oldest park. The bridge has been
designated as an architectural landmark by the state.
Many young Mountain Jews have
relocated to cities to further their education and learn trades. The burnt
bricks used to build the old bridge saw many changes in Red Village, from the
heyday of religious life in the early twentieth century, when the village had
13 synagogues, to the arrival of Soviet power and subsequent religious
repression, to soldiers being escorted to the front in World War II, many of
whom never returned. It has come to represent the settlement and the close ties
between two cultures: the Muslims of Guba and the Jews of Red Village.
Monuments to soldiers who died
fighting for peace and freedom have been designed and built throughout
Azerbaijan. Red Village is home to one of them. On June 22, 1941, Azerbaijan,
as part of the Soviet Union, joined the Great Patriotic War to defeat fascism.
The Nazi command was particularly interested in Baku's oil during the war and
attempted to seize control of it during the battles for the Caucasus.
Albert Agarunov, who
was born in Baku's Amirjan settlement, joined the Azerbaijani army as a
volunteer during the First Karabakh War in 1991. He was able to eliminate 9
tanks and 7 armored personnel carriers in only a few months as a tank commander
in the 777th Special Battalion. However, on May 8, 1992, while climbing out of
his tank to separate the bodies of fallen comrades, he was shot by a sniper. On
the battlefield, he was killed. Albert Agarunov was posthumously honored as a
"National Hero of Azerbaijan" in 1992 for his bravery and heroism in
defending Azerbaijan's territorial integrity and civilian population.
Both the mullah and the rabbi
prayed at Albert Agarunov's memorial service. He was laid to rest in The Alley
of Martyrs, located in Baku. Albert had numerous opportunities to leave
Azerbaijan, but he chose to stay and fight for his country. His valiant life
continues to be a symbol of Azerbaijan's centuries-long Jewish-Muslim unity and
the Second Karabakh War in 2020, when Azerbaijan liberated its lands after 30
years of occupation, Albert remained a hero and source of inspiration for all
Gisori is one of the main neighborhoods of the Red Settlement. Gisori is one of several neighborhoods that make up Red Village. Former residents of this neighborhood are laid to rest in Gisori Cemetery, one of Red Village's oldest cemeteries, located on the hill's steep slope. The earliest gravestones in this cemetery were erected between 1807 and 1814. They are approximately 80cm tall and made of fieldstone, with inscriptions chiseled into the stone slab. Other early 19th-century tombstones are plain rectangular stela. Simple ornaments in the form of an open rosette first appeared on stones in the mid-nineteenth century, and those from the second half of the 19th century are adorned with leaves and David's stars. The inscriptions are framed by a pointed arch. A pointed arch frames the inscriptions.
This park, named after Azerbaijan's national leader, Heydar Aliyev, was built in 2011 for the local community and visitors. The area of the cafe includes gardens with blooming roses, benches for visitors to rest, an administrative office, and a teahouse for the village elders.
In the park, there is a well-known club and teahouse where local agsakkals (literally "white beards," or village elders) gather to drink tea and play backgammon, free of charge. The club teahouse is built on the site of a synagogue that was built in 1911 and subsequently transformed into a manufacturing site during the Soviet era before being demolished.
From the main street, one of Red Village's most
spectacular and unique structures may be spotted. Despite its remarkable
coloring, the building organically blends into the architectural and historical
character of the settlement. The structure was built in the second half of the
nineteenth century and was designated as a historical monument of local
significance. The murals on the front portraying children, as well as the
simple plaque over the door, reveal that this historical building was formerly
a maternity hospital. According to stories of locals, the building formerly
belonged to a wealthy Jewish businessman who, despite never having children of
his own, covered it with murals of happy children's faces.
Telman Benyaminov initiated the construction of
both Mikvehs in 2013. The mikve for women was erected in honor and memory of
his mother, Shushan Bat Mardahay.
The mikvah construction incorporates an ablutions
pool, as required in Judaism. Mikvah is now practiced not just for family
purity, but also for the initiation of male and female proselytes into Judaism.
A woman must bath in the mikvah at the end of her monthly menstrual cycle in
order to maintain marital purity. As a result, the mikvah, more than the
synagogue, is considered as the grounds of Jewish family life. Only "living" water - that is,
water of natural origin - can deliver spiritual purification. As a result, a
mikvah is built to seem like natural water.
Trade was the primary occupation of Red Village residents at the turn
of the twentieth century. Some were highly successful, with shops not just in
Red Village, but also in Guba and Khachmaz. Among them was the Agababayev
family, who traded carpets.
The Agababyevs were among the first family to settle themselves in Red
Village's Gileki district. Several generations later, the brothers Ikhiil,
Asaf, and Nuvakh became carpet experts, Guba being one of Azerbaijan's key
carpet hubs. Asaf worked his way up through the carpet trade, traveling Turkey
and Iran. The Agababayevs' residences had running water and electricity,
which was exceptional at the time. They also owned a large garden on the
outskirts of town.
Unfortunately, the building is currently sealed, but the magnificent
architectural elements of the front facade may be observed from the little yard
in front of the house.
The Red Settlement
Tourism Information Center provides comprehensive information on the
settlement, including history and facts, the Jewish people of Azerbaijan,
places to visit, and so much more. Souvenirs, Mountain Jews cuisine books, kippahs,
postcards, tiny carpets, and kosher jam varieties are available here.
Visitors may also get
cool and hot drinks, as well as snacks, from the center's little barista
Enjoy the greatest delicacies of Azerbaijani, Turkish and European cuisines, in one of the newest restaurants in Baku, while taking in the stunning views of Baku city from the Highland Park. It's worth mentioning that "mənzərə" means landscape or scenery, which you'll undoubtedly love from the top of Highland Park.
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