Throughout its history different Azerbaijani states were in regular and active relations with foreign countries which in turn led to the exchange of art and culture among their peoples. Ancient and historical Azerbaijani towns and cities were in fact the primary sources of reflection of this multicultural diversity and rich heritage of the Azerbaijani nation. In that regard, it should be noted that Shusha is one of these unique centers of Azerbaijani culture.
Founded in the 1750s as a city-style fortress, town of Shusha immediately became famous for its architectural structure and beautiful monuments and at the same time, the capital of Karabakh khanate of Azerbaijan. The dynamic landscape of the area had played a decisive role in determining the position of the fortress walls and towers. Along with being a strong city-castle, Shusha was one of Azerbaijan’s important political, economic, and cultural centers in the 18th–19th centuries. Trade relations with both east and west led to the emergence of a developed commercial center in Shusha. The main square in the center of the city was also the main trade complex. Shusha’s main religious buildings, caravanserais (roadside inns), and trade squares were located in those streets alongside the shops. The name of “Shusha” means glass symbolizing pure, remarkable transparent mountain air.
By its picturesque sight having been allocated highly in mountains Shusha caused admiration and surprise among travelers. Painter Vereshagin wrote: “Its houses are correct, beautiful, high and illuminated by splendid windows. The city was made of rock taken from bluffs on which it is located. Streets are paved everywhere with wide plates, roofs were made of cutting”. Along with its natural beauties, Shusha was the precious monument of the national architecture and medieval town building art. The wall fortress – “Ganja Gates”, Garden of the Khan, Gara Boyukkhanim castle, Upper Govharagha and Lower Govharagha mosques were the brilliant examples of the town architecture in XVIII and XIX centuries.