Nagorno-Karabakh: In a country that doesn't exist


Where am I: in Azerbaijan, in Armenia or in the Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh? That depends on the point of view ...

The head of government Arajik Harutjunjan (Freedom Motherland Party) of the Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh would certainly contradict this, and the majority of the 145,000 mostly Armenian inhabitants would also disagree (the Azerbaijanis had to flee). Not even twice as large as the Saarland, it declared itself independent in 1991.

The front lines to Azerbaijan are controlled by Armenia , because internationally the area is still counted to the latter. After Armenia conquered the areas, a ceasefire was negotiated in 1994, but it is extremely fragile - a few days ago there were skirmishes with several deaths on the ceasefire line. The fact that Azerbaijan has increased its military budget thirteen-fold in recent years thanks to sparkling oil profits makes many here quite nervous ...

When I hear about the possibility of visiting the “Republic” in Yerevan, the capital of Armenia, there is no going back… who knows how long it will be there? The visa that you get in the foreign ministry in the capital Stepanakert is definitely colorful! The disadvantage: you cannot travel to Azerbaijan afterwards - but that's not on my route anyway. Together with the Taiwanese I-Fan, I set off on the eight-hour journey to a country that doesn't exist ...

In addition to the undeniable “been here” factor, there is also something to see: Aghdam, for example, a completely destroyed, gutted city that formerly had up to 100,000 inhabitants. A ghost town with just a few soldiers hanging around. The description does not sound bad, there is talk of views from the minaret that resemble those of Hiroshima after the atomic bomb!
The little problem: you can't go there. It is not known whether there are still mines or just want to hide the city from someone else's eyes. When issuing the visa, we had to indicate which places we were going to visit, and we were given a permit to do so. The question about Aghdam was answered quite convincingly with “You can NOT go there!”.

The next morning, after some searching, we find a taxi driver to take us to Aghdam.

I cheer inside! That gives great photos, I can already see them in my mind's eye ... The first rather rural ruins appear. The driver points into the distance and says "Aghdam".
But what happens? Damn, why is he turning ??? At that moment, I would have given a lot to speak Russian. However I talk to him, he refuses to go on and crosses his hands as if they were in handcuffs. I can't do anything, we're going back. Shit!

My disappointment is somewhat alleviated in the afternoon when we visit a beautiful monastery (for me the last one, I've seen enough now). And in the evening, as groups of girls, boys, couples, families and the elderly, yes the whole city, strolling on the main square, we both feel like small celebrities - people watch, smile shyly or giggle, sometimes even a quiet dare "Hello!" On the lips ;-) ... nice people.

After two nights in the Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh, we return to Armenia. It could have gone better. But maybe it was a good thing ... who knows ...

  1. Nice - how nice! Hach. You almost travel with it. On our own behalf: Thanks again.

  2. Mesrop Maschtoz monk

    You put it on - ko atshkern en meghavor!

    • իմ սիրելի, շնորհակալություն ձեր իմաստուն խոսքերը.

  3. Alex the Swede

    Very good article about the country that "does not exist". I believe that Stalin gave Azerbaijan the commandment although the people were Armenians and belonged to Armenia. After the conclusion of the Soviet Union the Armenians wanted to return the area ...
    Your Eternal Travel Councilor :)

    • you are absolutely right ... it is almost inextricably complicated, like so much here in the Caucasus!

  4. mayonnaise

    Jonny I don't know Armenian. What does your comment mean? Thank you in advance and good luck!
    For further construction:
    What are your next waystones?

    • Mayo, you will find out when the time comes for you. you are not ready yet, well. ;-)
      My further route: wait, wait, wait, get a visa, off to Iran. Ahmadine wants.

  5. I recommend you to watch it !!!!
    have fun

    • Leila, that's not nice. War is always horror, and the worst is revealed on all sides.
      But I do not want to and will not hold a political discussion here, especially not on such an emotionally charged topic for which there is no rational solution. All good.

      /// I do not delete the link, but please only look at who can take very terrible pictures. ///

  6. I am Azerbaijani and come from Nagorno-Karabakh. Like the others from BK, I and my relatives are driven from Armenia by Nagorno Karabakh. I read your article with great disappointment and also looked at the pictures with attention. Thanks to them, the Armenian nationalists are continuing their propaganda. You wrote "a very good article" and made good propaganda pictures for them. They show the pictures of Agdam and do not say a word that Agdam was completely destroyed by the Armenian troops in 1993 and totally ethnically cleaned by the Azerbaijanis. Of course they are not naive not to understand that, but you do not want to see it. With inexperienced readers, the impression arises as if Agdam was destroyed by the Azerbaijanis. When you travel to BK you are of course aware that the Armenians have occupied not only Nagorno Karabakh but 7 surrounding areas around Nagorno Karabakh and have ethnically cleared this territory from the Azerbaijanis. The number of refugees in Azerbaijan. is over 1 million. You missed that in your article. Cleverly you try to give such an impression that you don't want to take sides in the conflict. They claim that the conflict has harmed both sides. But everyone is aware that with the help of their supporters in the north, Armenia does not occupy 20% of the territory of Azerbaijan but Azerbaijan. Not the Armenians, but Azerbaijanis are driven out of their hometowns. As a result of the war, which cost the lives of 30,000 people, not mostly Armenians but much more fell victim to Azerbaijanis. These are all known facts. You lack the objectivity to see everything. You certainly shouldn't do it, otherwise you would “lose the respect of the Armenian nationalists” because they “did a lot of pleasure” to you during your trip to Berg Karbach. I regret that and nevertheless I wish you much success in your life. Be sure that sooner or later justice will win and Azerbaijanis will return to Nagorno Karabakh !!!

    • Thank you, N. Ali, for your detailed opinion. And also for the detailed knowledge that you ascribe to me.
      In terms of content, I would like to leave your opinion as it is, I think you have raised some points that I did not mention in my article - other aspects of your comment can certainly be lengthy discussions.
      But I am not competent enough on this subject; nor is this travel blog the right platform for it.
      Of course, I hope that the Azerbaijanis, who were expelled from Nagorno-Karabakh and the occupied territories, will soon be able to return to their country and live peacefully with people of Armenian origin.

  7. I just love what N. Ali wrote. Mr. Klaus also had to report on Agdam and other cities devastated by Armenians.

    Mr. Klaus like most people in the world are on the Armenian side. Reported only pro Armenian !!!
    You always have to write the truth !!!

    • Sayin, you're funny !! You always have to write the truth, Mr. Klaus? : D
      So for those who still haven't understood: This is a travel blog, not a platform for political discussions. I will reject any further comments that I do not like in this regard. Because this is not an annoying democracy, NO !, it is the new imperialist world order of the absolutist Klys! * devilish laugh, slowly fading away *

  8. Karl Shirvanian

    nice trip with unforgettable experiences, although we don't see the Armenians Nagorno Karabakh as a conflict zone, because it belongs to us culturally and historically. However, I congratulate you for your independence.
    Karl Shirvanian

  9. Vincent Templer

    Unfortunately I had to spend two days in Armenia-Dilijan "Dili Villa gasthaus". It was terrible. The staff did not speak English and was generally very rude. The man looked at me in the morning after breakfast as if I had to put my plate away myself! You don't even get the suitcase to your room! The rooms haven't been cleaned in months. Fortunately, I had my Sagrotar towels with me, otherwise I would not have been able to endure in the dirty room. overall very uncomfortable. The only positive thing is the free internet access.
    No recommendation, never again Dili Villa!

    • I'm sorry. somehow. I don't know it.

    • it's really amusing ... "You don't even get the suitcase to your room!". Right, I wouldn't go to Dilijan for the wellness vacation ;-)

  10. Hah! The last Picture. That's Grisha with his horse, I met him there in Vank. He shared his "snack" with me when it was raining and I was hungry after the climb to the monastery. He was really terrific. Especially when he wanted to couple me with his daughter, really cute. :-)
    (was there in 2011)

  11. PS: my taxi driver didn't want to go to Aghdam either, we just drove along the edge.

  12. Elisaveta Schadrin-Esse via Facebook

    Nagorny Karabakh. I was there as a child before the new riots in the late eighties. Of course I don't remember a visa :), but I would like to.

  13. Argisti Simonyan

    Very good country hopefully the country will finally be recognized
    And you presented it really well congratulations :) :) :)

  14. Pingback: Nagorno-Karabakh: In a country that does not exist | ReiseFreaks ReiseBlog

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