Goygol &its German heritage
Ten kilometres south of Ganja, the story of Azerbaijan’s German colonists began in 1819 with the founding of a village called Helenendorf (now Goygol). Besides becoming a hub of German culture in the Caucasus, Helenendorf was also famous for its burgeoning wine industry that sold wine and spirits throughout the Russian Empire. The Germans may have gone – they were deported by Stalin in 1941 – but the Goygol Winery still functions and their presence continues to be felt in the town’s old German streets lined by towering plane trees. Over 300 distinctly German houses remain, one of which is the Victor Klein House, the former residence of Goygol’s last German and now a museum. Nearby is Azerbaijan’s first Lutheran church which was built in 1854 and today also houses a small museum collection. All the main sights can be discovered with the help of interactive info boards.