Karkar-Shikakar-Karaglukh-Shoushi,- the fortress was trying to survive and exist in different periods of time.
Shoushi is situated on the Eastern plateu of the Artsakh mountain chain, surrounded with deep gorges on three sides. It is the second important city in the Republic of Nagorno Karabagh.

Muracan's appartment in Shoushi Copyright (C) 2006 by Bakour Karapetyan

The first records about Shoushi belong to the Arab geographer Yakut al-Hamavi
Citing the famous Arab historiographer Ibn al-Asir(1660-1730), he writes in his “geographical dictionary”, “Karkar is a city in Aran, near Bailakan founded by Anushirvan”, Bailakan is an ancient city in Aran and is situated in the Mukhank region of Artsakh. Strabo too, has mentioned this city. It was said that the Persian King Khosrov Anushirvan(4th century), whose domain encluded the Eastern half of the Grater Armenia, reconstructed a number of fortresses to strangthen the Northern part of his empire. He was said to have rebuilt Derbent (Chora Pahak) and installed iron gates. As to Karkar-Shoushi the Arab geographer means the restoration of the ancient 2,5 km wall on the Northern side of the mountain. Khosrov Anushirvan was considered to be the author of a number of works which have been done not only by himself. The Arab authors Ibn al-Asiri and Yahud al-Hamavi insist that the fortress was reconstructed in the 6th century. The armenian name Karkar(great stone) says that it has been a fortress even before the reign of the great iranian king. Later parallel to the fall of Grater Armenia the city was weahened. The name of the river Karkar also is a proof of the existance of a stronghold. The name of the river comes from that of the fortress.

Another record belongs to the Armenian historiographer Movses Kaghankatvatsi. He writes, “It was the Armenian year of 270(821) when arab celebrities came secretly from Partav, plandered the region Amaras and captivated about 1000 people settled somewhere in Metsirank which was called Shikakar. Meanwhile the handsome and brave Prince Sahl Smbatian Aranshahik and his brothers attacked them with an army in the morning, slaughtered and scattered them all and took the captives back.” Later Sahl Smbatian was appointed as the agoverner by the Arab Khalif because Smbatian had arrasted the Turkish leader Babek and Sahl Smbatian got Shaki region as a remark.

It attracts attention with its megalitian monuments which haven’t been studied yet. The remains of different statues from this place are known to science and testify of a developed culture and the fact that Armenia was not apart of Etiunian civilization. The 13th century historiographer Kirakos Gandzaketsi in his “History of Armenia” evidence of the visit of the Great Prince Hasan Jalalian to Batu Khan to the capital of Monghol State Karahorum to ask for the fortress Karkar, Jraberd and Akanaberd. Another record of Shushi-Karkar belongs to the Shushi scribe Ter – Manuel who created his handwritten Bible in 1428 in the Shushi St. Astvatsatsin Church. This manuscript is in the Repository of Ancient Manuscripts (Matenadaran) now. The cross – stones dating back to the 8th century also testify of the Shushi Fortress, its culture and active life. The preserved Kromlekh graveyards of Shushi if studied could throw light to the past of the 3000 year old Shushi.

During the 1st quarter of the 18th century the officer Avan from Shirvan restored the fortress and founded a “sghnakh” which was one of the strongholds of the Armenian military state (Armenian Sghnakhner) in Artsakh. In 1726 a decisive battle took place in Shushi with the Turkish army of 4000 soliders. The Turks were defeated.
This state later turned to a semi – independent Khamsa state under Iran.

The Russians settled in Shushi in early 19th century. The population enjoyed the peace for nearly 100 years. The fortress flourished and became one of the most important cultural centres in Caucasus.

In 1920, March 23 the Shushi Armenian District was set to fire , the population massacred . The initiator was the Baku Government.
Shushi was liberated on May 9th,1992. Since then the churches Ghazanchetsots and Kanach have been reconstructed, and the theatre, and a cultural centere two schools and choir are functioning now.


 Home | Referendum | History | Projects | Aims | Photos | Contacts