Ilham Aliyev examined progress of construction and landscaping activities in and around the Archeological and Ethnographic Museum Complex

07 september 2011, 16:00

President Ilham Aliyev has examined progress of construction and landscaping activities in and around the Gala Archeological and Ethnographic Museum Complex in the Khazar district and attended the opening of the Museum of Antiquity.

The head of state and his wife Mrs. Mehriban Aliyeva were informed that the establishment of the Archeological and Ethnographic Museum Complex on the premises of the State Historical and Ethnographical Reserve in the Gala settlement, one of the most ancient human dwellings on Absheron, with support from the Heydar Aliyev Foundation in 2008 was a move intended to preserve our history and turn Azerbaijan into a travel destination.

It was indicated that, on the initiative of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, the “Clean City” Joint-Stock Company has launched the “Clean Gala” pilot project in the Gala settlement. The objective of the project has been to organize integrated management of wastes on the territory of the settlement – collection, transportation and processing of wastes in line with contemporary standards. A water line was laid and 15 springs put into use.

President Ilham Aliyev and Mrs. Mehriban Aliyeva were first familiarized with the Gala Information Center. They were informed that the Center provides tourists and guests with detailed information about museums of the reserve and helps rent electric vehicles, electrobuses and bycicles.

Then the head of state and the First Lady examined the work carried out in the Gala park and reviewed photos documenting the initial and present appearance of the park. It was indicated that a lake and the surrounding area of 24.2 hectares has been cleaned and landscaped. A three-meter layer of soil stained with fuel oil and other wastes has been replaced. Extensive planting activities have been carried out – 170,000 trees and shrubs planted. An amusement park has been commissioned much to the delight of children.

President Ilham Aliyev and his wife Mrs. Mehriban Aliyeva planted a tree in the Gala park.

Then the head of state was shown the 12-14th century Gum bathhouse. It was indicated that the existence of rare gas and water pipes and a sewage system in the Gum bathhouse was evidence of a high level of our people’s household culture.

During familiarization with the Ethnographic and Ecological Center it was noted that the Center, intended mainly for children and youths, is properly equipped. It was indicated that the building was used as a mill in the 19th century, while in the Soviet time it was used as a club and then as a kindergarten. The Ethnographic and Ecological Center, established on the initiative of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, has all the conditions for children to have rest and study the ancient history and culture of our people.

While in the reserve, President Ilham Aliyev and his wife Mrs. Mehriban Aliyeva also examined the Gala memorial complex attributed to the 10-14th centuries. It was indicated that the “Absheron” archeological expedition of the Institute of Archeology and Ethnography of the Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences conducted excavation here in 2010-2011 on the initiative of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation. The excavation discovered various objects attributed to the 3rd-2nd millennia BC and to the 14-15th centuries. Bronze Age dwellings over and under rocks, rock engravings, remains of ancient foundations and walls, two underground roads dating back to the 10-14th and 10-15th centuries, an 18th century tandir oven are exhibited in the Gala memorial complex. Mainly figures of men and animals and various fragments are engraved on rocks here.

The 10-14th century Gala castle, which is also part of the complex, consists of a tower and fortification. The 13.8-meter tower, attributed to the 10-14th centuries, was used for observation and protection purposes. The fortification, which dates back to the 16-17th centuries, now exhibits 13-14th century gold coins, remains of a golden bracelet dating back to the 12-13th centuries, and ceramic objects from the 10-16th centuries. Also exhibited here are images of women, men and animals, as well as other figures, all attributed to the 3rd-2nd millennia BC.

The head of state was informed that the Gala Museum of Antiquity has been established on the territory of the reserve on the initiative of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation and on the basis of the personal collection of Shahid Habibullayev.

President Ilham Aliyev cut a ribbon symbolizing the opening of the museum.

It was indicated that the museum has a collection of 800 exhibits. The first and second floors of the three-storey building exhibit various objects of decorative and applied arts of the Azerbaijani people covering a period of many centuries, while the third floor exhibits objects produced in different regions of the republic, as well as the USA, Germany, Austria, Russia, France, etc. that have become commonplace in the life of our people.

President Ilham Aliyev left a note in the museum’s guestbook, while Mrs. Mehriban Aliyeva signed a book.

Then the head and the First Lady reviewed the caravansary restaurant which has an interesting design. It was noted that the caravansary restaurant, built on the initiative of the President of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, Mrs. Mehriban Aliyeva, will introduce various dishes of Azerbaijani cuisine to tourists. The caravansary in the rear part of the restaurant has seven outdoor and seven indoor rooms, all built in the Eastern style of architecture and providing tourists with excellent recreation conditions.

President Ilham Aliyev expressed his satisfaction with the work done and gave relevant instructions and recommendations.