|Elevation||369 m (1,211 ft)|
Ağdam (also, Agdam and Aghdam) is a ghost town in the southwestern part of Azerbaijan and the capital of its Agdam Rayon. In July 1993, after heavy fighting, Agdam was captured by the forces of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic during its 1993 summer offensives. As the town fell, its entire population were forced to flee eastwards. In the immediate aftermath of the fighting, the Armenian forces decided to destroy much of Agdam to prevent its recapture by Azerbaijan. More damage occurred in the following decades when the deserted town was looted for building materials. Agdam is currently a ruinous, uninhabited ghost town. The town's large mosque survives intact but in a derelict condition.
The city's name is of Azerbaijani origin and means White House, in which ağ means "white" and dam is house or "attic", thus referring to a bright sun-lit, white house which was given by Panah Ali Khan of Karabakh Khanate.
Another possibility is that it was derived from ancient Turkic glossary meaning "small fortress". In the distant past, Turkic speaking tribes built small fortresses for their protection and safety.
Agdam was founded in the 18th century but granted city status only in 1828. Located 26 kilometers from Stepanakert, prior to the Nagorno-Karabakh War, butter, wine (Industrial Association for processing of grapes - Agdam Brandy Company), machine factories and a railway station functioned in the city.
Agdam was the scene of fierce fighting during the Nagorno-Karabakh War. According to journalist Robert Parsons, Agdam was used by Azerbaijan as a base for attacks on Karabakh, launching GRAD missiles and bombing raids from this location against civilians. During the Battle of Aghdam, violations of the rules of war such as hostage-taking, indiscriminate fire and the forcible displacement of civilians were committed by Armenian forces. As city fell, almost its entire population fled eastward and in the immediate aftermath of the fighting.
The ruined city once had a population of almost 40,000 people, but today it’s an almost entirely uninhabited ghost town. All the houses are ruinous, some by shells fired in the war, others looted for their building materials.
One of the few buildings to remain intact is Aghdam Mosque. Its derelict condition drew criticism from Azerbaijani and Turkish communities, who complained to Pope Benedict XVI about the mosque's current situation.
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- Azerbaijani cities
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- Adil Nadirov: «Bizi az qala döyüb öldürəcəkdilər" (Azerbaijani)
- Vaxt olmayan yer (Azerbaijani)
- Ermənilərin xarabaya çevirdiyi Ağdamın «İmarət» stadionu (Azerbaijani)
- “Caqa” ikinci dəfə lotereyada uddu (Azerbaijani)
- Aghdam: This is no Hiroshima
- Fleeing from Aghdam. Refugee poem
- World Gazetteer: Azerbaijan – World-Gazetteer.com
- Pictures of the deserted town: "Abandoned War-Torn City of Agdam, Azerbaijan"
- Pictures of the deserted town: "Aghdam"