Geographically, Gobustan District is one of the closest to the capital city regions of Azerbaijan and situated on 90th km of Baku-Shamakhi Road. The administrative center of the district is an ancient city called Maraza. Not long ago, before 1990 (the year when Gobustan District was established) Maraza city was a constituent of Shamakhi District.
From this mountainous terrain the land of ancient Shirvan takes its beginning. In the 8th-16th centuries one of principal states of Azerbaijan – the state of Shirvanshahs with the capital in Shamakhi was located on the territory of ancient Shirvan. The word “Gobu” in Azerbaijani means “ravine”. By this toponym it becomes easy for us to understand what kind of landscape this area consists of – ravines, gullies, craggy canyons. It is very beautiful here in springtime – poppies, chamomiles, and irises blooming all around.
There are numerous natural and historical monuments still continuing their existence from that time. The most peculiar and attractive sight for tourists are the cave labyrinths (kures) located in a canyon not far off the town in the village of Sunlu.
The labyrinths introduce a natural galleries and grottos system. These galleries and grottos were artificially enlarged and made suitable for housing in the Middle Ages when Azerbaijan faced with internal power struggles and attacks of foreign invaders.
Here you can also observe a unique natural phenomenon, which is called Aglayan Gaya (“Weeping Rock”). According to a legend these are the tears of a mother mourning over her fallen sons-warriors. Another interesting sight near to Maraza is a mineral spring with brackish water, which is said to cure certain gastrointestinal diseases.
However, Diri Baba grand mausoleum of 15th century is the most famous attraction of the district. The majestic monument is preserved in the surroundings of Maraza City.
People of this land from ancient times were involved in the carpet weaving business. Local carpet patterns such as “Maraza”, Chukhanli , and “Jamjamli” are known all around the world. And today in Nabur Village, people still weave handmade carpets known as Nabur carpets.
Maraza is not a big city, and it doesn’t have any hotel. That’s why, for accommodation purposes, visitors can rent a room or even a house here.