Nakhchivan: Noah’s Mausoleum & Yezdegerd Castle
he highest point in the city of Nakhchivan is the most spectacular and offers a trip of big attractions – Noah’s Mausoleum, Yezdegerd Castle, and the newly built Heydar Mosque. The castle probably was originally built in the 7th century and meticulously (perhaps too much so) restored in 2013. You can walk the perimeter fortress walls for panoramic views. Just outside the walls is the Noah’s Mausoleum, dating back to the 8th century and supposedly containing the remains of Noah (yes, Noah’s arc did sail through Nakhchivan and even tripped a couple local mountains). According to tradition, Noah founded Nakhchivan and the country’s name literally means “Noah’s Land”. The current structure is rather new and was built in 2006. The place is hugely historically important to both Christians and Muslims. Finally, just next door is yet still unfinished Heydar Mosque, the second largest in Azerbaijan and slated to open literally within weeks – a humongous structure with two minarets and lots of green domes. The mosque is named after the country’s previous president Heydar Aliev, the father of the current president.