Yes, it can probably be called “Machu Picchu” on the former Soviet territory. The main difference – real Machu Picchu has tourists but no locals, this place has no tourists, only locals.
Xinaliq village, Azerbaijan
This place is a UNESCO historic monument that is often compared with a museum under open sky.
Xinaliq, “an island in the mountains”, is situated 65 km from the regional centre Quba. Local houses resemble aeries and new constructions are prohibited.
There are 8 cemeteries here, whose total area is bigger than the village territory itself. Most of the very wide and long graves are burials of 3-4 layers. And inscriptions are written with different alphabets.
Local tribes built fortifications and a fortress to protect themselves from nomadic tribes in the X century. There was a temple of fire-worshippers in the fortress tower.
They say that this territory is somehow connected with Noah. According to the legend it was the very place where he dropped the anchor and ordered everyone to go ashore.
Locals are very pious. Before Islamization they were fire-worshippers. Now there are about 10 mosques in Xinaliq.
It has always been dangerous to drive here, the roads are very narrow. But the higher you go the more breathtaking these views become.
Griffon vulture – a huge scavenger whose wing spread is almost 3 m!
People of Xinaliq speak an absolutely unique language that is not included in any family of languages. Nobody but them understands it.
There are 380 houses in the village today. A roof of one house serves as a yard for another one located higher. The houses are very old, 200-300 years old. Xinaliq has preserved its architectural style. When you stand on the roof you feel like a bird flying in the sky.
The villagers keep their traditions and have special appearance. Severe climate makes their skin chap, their cheeks are always red. They are not tall but sturdy. Brave and enterprising.
The population (1300 people) lives in 220 houses. An average family consists of 6 persons.
In the background is an Azerbaijani border point and the territory of Russia is not far.
Location: Quba, Azerbaijan