Agdam

Ruins of Agdam
The mosque survived the conflict and is a now political sore spot

Agdam was a city in Southern Azerbaijan. Today the city which bustled with life more than 20 years ago is completely deserted and in ruins. Azeris hail it their Hiroshima as it was largely wasted when they lost it to Armenian forces during the war which saw the Azeri loss of Nagorno-Karabakh. Officially, tourists are prohibited from entering Agdam without permission due to its close proximity to Azerbaijan border; however, this rule is totally unenforced in practice, and travelers who encounter soldiers stationed in the region will not be turned back.

The town will not be repopulated since the Karabakh republic treats it not as part of the republic but more as a buffer zone that might be given back in a peace treaty some day.

Get in

A taxi should cost something between 8000-12000 drams (16-24 €). It is up to the driver if he takes the risk to take you there. It is also easy to hitchhike into Agdam from nearby Stepanakert. However, tall grasses throughout the city make it difficult to find your way, and hitchhiking out can be moderately challenging.

Get around

Tall weeds makes visibility difficult during parts of the year. Try to locate the minarets of the Agdam Mosque and walk towards them. Climb to the top of a minaret in order to better orient yourself.

See

The Agdam Mosque was one of the few buildings not destroyed during the siege. The bottom floors are inhabited by cattle, but you can escape the stench by climbing a terrifying flight of stairs to the top of one of the minarets. From the top of the minaret you will have an opportunity to see most of the abandoned city. A must do. An old mural on the side of a building a few hundred meters from the mosque is a reminder of the city's once vibrant past. Difficult to find, but don't miss it.

Eat

Unless offered food/drinks by one of the friendly Armenian families that picnics here, there will be nowhere to get supplies.

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This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Wednesday, July 08, 2015. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.