The fortress, built by Panahali khan for defensive purposes, was built in an inaccessible and even besieged place in the Shusha lowland. The fortress was surrounded by dense forests on all sides and ended in ravines in some parts, which was considered an impassable barrier by the enemy. Poet Molla Panah Vagif also supervised the construction of Shusha fortress.
The repair and restoration work of the fortress and the continuation of its construction took many years.
After the death of Panahali khan, during the reign of his son Ibrahimkhalil khan and even after the annexation of the khanate to the Russian Empire, the construction and strengthening of the fortress continued.
After the Qajar marches, the condition of the fortress worsened and needed to be rebuilt. In the 19th century, the appearance of the castle was changed and new defensive towers were added. The fortress had three main gates - Ganja, Yerevan and Agoghlan gates. Some sources even mention that it is the fourth gate of the castle, but there is no exact information about its location and name.
The construction of the Ganja Gate dates back to the reign of Panahali Khan and since the 18th century it has been called the Ganja or Chilabord Gate. This gate connected Shusha with Ganja city and Chilabord district of Karabakh khanate. After Ganja was united with the Russian Empire in 1805 and renamed Yelizavetpol, this gate was also called Yelizavetpol Gate. Compared to other doors, it is in a better condition today.
The Iravan or Khalfali Gate, located on the west side of the fortress, connected Shusha with the village of Khalfali and the city of Iravan. The difference from other gates was the reinforcement with two-tiered battle towers placed symmetrically on both sides.
The other gate on the east side of the fortress was Agoghlan Gate, also known as Mukhtar, Topkhana or Shushakend Gate. It connected the city of Shusha with the villages of Shushakend and Mukhtar and extended to Agoghlan Castle.
According to some sources, Shusha fortress has an inner fortress, ie a castle belonging to Panahali khan was built inside.
Shusha Tourist Attractions
The house of Khurshidbanu Natavan: The two-storey house of Khurshidbanu Natava, known as the famous Azerbaijani poet, khan gizi, is a historical and architectural monument of the XVIII century. On the first floor of the building there are seven service rooms for servants. There are three entrance gates on the south side. The door in the middle of them leads to the corridor, and the other two doors on the sides lead to the side rooms.
Museum-mausoleum of Molla Panah Vagif: The construction of the museum-mausoleum complex of the famous Azerbaijani poet Molla Panah Vagif began in 1977 on the basis of the project of architects A.V Salamzadeh and E.I Kanukov. The complex was opened in January 1982. The complex was built on the tomb of the great poet near the Cidir plain, a prominent place in Shusha. Here M.P. About 80 exhibits reflecting the life of Vagif in Shusha were also exhibited.
The house-museum of Uzeyir Hajibeyov: The house-museum of the great Azerbaijani composer Uzeyir Hajibeyov in Shusha was established in 1959. The house-museum functioned until the occupation of Shusha by Armenian invaders in 1992. Along with household items belonging to the Hajibeyov family, Uzeyir Bey's personal belongings, photos, books, books dedicated to him and donated to the museum occupied an important place in the museum's exposition.