Mysterious Lahij: village of Craftsmen

Lahij being one of the oldest settlements in Azerbaijan, is an isolated places located on height of almost 1400 meters (4600 ft) above sea level and is completely surrounded by mountains. It is well known around for a unique architecture (tough stone house construction method was developed for years due to frequent earthquakes), old sewage system (locals claim it is about 1500 years old), an interesting dialect (along with Azeri, people of Lahij speak also a dialect of Persian language) and craftsmen whose works (mostly copper) were well known within the borders of Caucasus region for years. The art of working with copper has been developed for centuries as a family tradition. A tourist visiting this place will always find a unique hand-made piece of art to take home as a souvenir:

hand-made crafts (mostly copper)
Lahij is a village of Ismailly region and can be reached by turning right just a few km before city of Ismailly. From that turn, it is about a 20 km distance. The road itself is still under construction and by the time I traveled there (August 2013), less than half of it was plated with asphalt. The rest of the road was a mixture of rocks and stones (some even falling from top of mountains from time to time). Maybe now it is in a better shape, I don't know. But when I drove there it was very dangerous plus I drove at night and I have to admit it was an experience full of stress. As you can imagine there is no light on roads so I had to drive over rocks and stones a one way road making sure that I was not to close to the steep to lose control of the car and slip down into canyon, at the same time not too close to the mountain so that I could have enough time to bypass in case a rock falls from above. For some time I even cursed myself and thought it was a stupid idea to drive to Lahij. Luckily though, I made it safe and secure and as soon as I entered the village tiny streets of stone plated roads and "ticking" sounds of hammers on metal (craftsmen were still busy working hard despite the fact that it was already midnight) made me think I traveled through time and came somewhere to middle ages:

steets of Lahij
steets of Lahij
steets of Lahij
I didn't have time to see that much in the village because I had to leave early in the morning, but there are indeed some sights (a history museum, an old mosque and etc) to visit. Even if you don't visit sights, just walking through those old narrow streets will bring you a huge portion of joy. 

an old Mosque
more hand-made crafts
for those who want to take pictures wearing armors, helmets and weapons of Lahij defenders 
Make sure you drink ice-cold mountain water too, there's a pipe right in the middle of the main street:


Thanks for reading!