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a city; capital of the Nakhichevan ASSR. Located on the right bank of the Nakhichevanchai (a tributary of the Araks). Railroad station on the Yerevan-Baku line. Highway junction; airport. Population, 35,000 (1973; 15,000 in 1939 and 24,000 in 1959).
The founding of Nakhichevan dates to the sixth century B.C. As early as the eighth to tenth centuries, Nakhichevan was a large trade and handicrafts center. In the 11th century it was the residence of the Seljuk sultan, and in the 12th century, the capital of the Azerbaijan state of the Ildiguzids. It was ravaged by the Mongols (13th century), Tamerlane (late 14th century), and the Persians (early 17th century). At the turn of the 19th century it was the capital of the Nakhichevan Khanate, which was unified with Russia by the Turkmanchai Treaty of 1828. In 1849 it became the administrative center of Nakhichevan District of Erivan Province. During the Revolution of 1905–07 in Russia, Social Democratic cells appeared in Nakhichevan. In June 1918 the city was occupied by Turkish troops, with whose support the Musavatist regime was established. In November 1918 the city was captured by the British. On July 28, 1920, Soviet power was proclaimed in Nakhichevan, and on Feb. 9, 1924, it became the capital of the Nakhichevan ASSR.
The main branches of industry are food (a dairy, a meatpacking plant, and a winery), light industry (a garment factory and a leather works), and building materials (a building-materials combine and a plant producing reinforced-concrete articles). An electrical-engineering plant, a furniture factory, and tobacco-fermentation enterprises are in operation.
The scientific center of the Academy of Sciences of the Azerbaijan SSR is located in Nakhichevan. The city has a teachers college, a polytechnic school, a sovkhoz technicum, and a medical school. The Historical Museum of the Nakhichevan ASSR and the Azerbaijan Literary Museum, as well as the Dzh. Mamedkulizade Music and Drama Theater, are also in the city.
The architectural school led by Adzhemi (the mausoleum of Yusuf, son of Kuseyir, and Momine-Khatun), which was prominent in the development of Azerbaijani architecture of the 12th to 14th centuries, developed in Nakhichevan. A fortress (tenth to 14th centuries), a complex of mosques and mausoleums (18th century), and a mosque (19th century) have been preserved. In modern times, there has been widespread housing construction, and a number of public and cultural buildings have been built, including the buildings of the Music and Drama Theater (1964, architects E. Ismailov and G. Medzhidov) and the Nakhichevan Oblast Committee of the Communist Party of Azerbaijan (1965, architect Iu. Ibragimov). Construction in Nakhichevan has been based on a 1968 general plan (architects U. Ibragimova and N. Mamedbeili).