Ismayilli, located in the north of the country, had been part of the Caucasian Albania since the fourth century BC. Here, at the top of the highest mountain there are the ruins of a medieval fortress. Its construction is attributed to Dzhavanshir, 7th century ruler of the Caucasian Albania. The most famous and most important historical monument of this region is the Virgo Tower (7th-12th centuries) – a defensive structure located at the top of the steep mountain near the village of Khanagah. In addition to the Azeries, other nations and ethnic groups also live there. For example, in the famous Azerbaijani village of Ivanovka, there are the molokan descendants of those who were resettled from Russia. And in the village of Lahij located on the banks of the Girdimanchay River, at an altitude of 1,200 meters, live the Tats. The Copper art of Lahij, as well as the art of producing kelagai, are both on the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage List.
Shamakhi is a former City of Azerbaijan, capital of the Kingdom of Shirvan, State residence of Shirvanshahs and one of the most beautiful cities of the East. The homeland of Khagani, Nasimi and Mirza Alakbar Sabir, this city was the center of the Khanate of Shamakhi from the middle of the 18th century. The unique nature, temperate climate and natural mineral springs give this area a special beauty. Also one of the Mountaineers ‘ favorite peaks, Badabag, is here. The most popular place of pilgrimage for tourists is the village of Pirkuli, located 22 km from the centre of the district, 1400 m above the sea level. Here there are opportunities to ski in winter and summer. The largest Astrophysical Observatory in Azerbaijan and the Caucasus is also in the village of Pirkuli. The Shamakhi Astrophysical Observatory, named Nasī al-Dīn al-Tūsī, has the most modern facilities and it is the home of one of the largest telescopes in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) with a 2 meter diameter mirror.
The Alpine settlement of Lahij located in the district of Ismayilli is an original monument of ancient urban and architectural art. It is believed that the legendary monomaque crown, worn for centuries by the Russian tsars, was made here. Lahij became famous particularly for manufacturing copper knives and utensils decorated with engraved patterns.