Shusha Castle


Shusha Castle implies the castle walls embracing the city of Shusha in Azerbaijan. The castle defended the city from foreign invasions, and over a long period of time was a symbol of impregnability. There is no accurate information about how and when it was founded but it is located in a strategically favourable location in a mountainous area with steams flowing into the Dashalti and Halfali rivers. Given the unsuitable locations of other castles in the region, Panahali Khan, the Khan of Karabagh, enacted a decree to reconstruct the Shusha Castle in 1753, and the centre of the Karabagh khanate was transferred to Shusha castle. After reconstruction the castle was for a long time named Panahabad, according to sources.

 

Shusha Castle is one of the most beautiful pieces of Azerbaijani architecture and is constructed in the Arran style. The castle has three doors, circular guard towers and a fine bridge known as Gala Bridge ('gala' means castle). During the reign of Panahali Khan, four castle gates were built in order to connect Shusha with the outside world. The names of three of them – Ganja, Aghoghlan and Irevan – have survived until today, but the name and whereabouts of the fourth gate is still a mystery. It is thought to have been removed during reconstruction of the castle walls by Ibrahimkhalil Khan, son of Panahali Khan.