Culture of Shusha

On May 7, 2021, H.E. President Ilham Aliyev signed a decree declaring Shusha the cultural capital of Azerbaijan.

The order reads: “Shusha has historically been one of the important centers of historical, cultural, socio-political life of Azerbaijan. In 1977, on the initiative of the National Leader of our people Heydar Aliyev, a decision was made to declare the historical part of Shusha a historical and architectural reserve. As a result of this decision, important steps have been taken to preserve monuments in Shusha and perpetuate the memory of prominent cultural and artistic figures”.  

Shusha is a conservatory of the Caucasus, which has rightly earned its definition. The brilliant representatives of the Shusha conservatory have brought fame to Azerbaijani music on all continents of the world. In February 1897, the first city library was established here. 

Later, there were 2 libraries in Shusha - city and children's libraries. By the order of the Minister of Culture in May 1977, the activity of the library was expanded and continued its activity as the Centralized Library System of Shusha region.

On May 8, 1992, the Central Library of Shusha, with a book fund of more than 200,000 copies, was destroyed by the Armenian Armed Forces.

Starting from 1848, theatrical performances were shown among intellectuals in Shusha. The same year, there were two large theater centers and a circus in Shusha.

In the summer of 1894, amateur artists-young teachers of Shusha, performed three compositions for charity purpose, namely "Haji Gara", "Monsieur Jordan and the dervish Mastali Shah", "Bear robber". In 1895, one of the local teachers Hashim bey Vazirov story "Marriage is not drinking water" was presented and 500 rubls collected at the performance were donated to the art school.

The play "Othello" shown in Shusha on August 22, 1904 was a great success, and the demand for the play caused an echo outside Azerbaijan. The play was staged by lead actor Hashim bey Vazirov. 

Our famous films were also shot in Shusha. Examples are "Koroglu", "Gilan gizi", "Haji Gara", "Singing Shovkat Alakbarova" and others.

"Kharibulbul" music festival has been held in Shusha’s Jidir Plain annually since 1989. The festival lasted only until 1991.

On November 8, 2020, the city of Shusha was liberated from the occupation of Armenian vandals by our heroic army and declared the cultural capital of Azerbaijan, thanks to the determination of Supreme Commander-in-Chief Ilham Aliyev and heroic bravery of Azerbaijani soldiers.

The Heydar Aliyev Foundation has restarted the Kharibulbul Music Festival and Vagif Poetry Days in 2021. Exhibitions "Karabakh is the pearl of Azerbaijani culture" and "Again in the native land: pearls of art of Karabakh" were demonstrated.