“Alexander Dumas in Caucasus” cultural-tourism regional project that was in Ministry of Culture and Tourism of Azerbaijan Republic initiative was included as one of the basic items to European Council’s regional programme “Kiev initiative” for 2007-2009 years.
This project is aimed to a new reviving of historical and cultural relationship of European people, strengthen these relationship in the level of region and throughout Europe, popularization and agitation of cultural variety and dialogue ideas among nations, and importance of this project was represented in Agreement about cooperation in tourism sphere between Azerbaijan Republic Government and France Republic Government in January, 30, 2007.
Azerbaijan is one of the habitations of ancient civilization and is one of the richest cultural centres. Azerbaijan is a native land of primitive man commune. Azerbaijan is a Land of Fires and is located in 9 climate zone and is proud of with its variegated nature beauties.
There is a trace of all historical formations in Azerbaijan. Azerbaijanians take pride in their delicious cuisine & hospitability.
There exists a French word “gourmand” in the world characterizing person loving eat delicious food. There is also another word-“gourmet”. Gourmet –is a person investigating to a nicety of refined food, expert on cookery.
One of the greatest gourmets of XIX century is the outstanding writer- traveller Alexander Dumas- father, the author of worldwide famous novels “Three musketry”, “Graph Monte-Cristo”.
Having made fascinating travel to Azerbaijan in 1858, visiting the cities of Baku, Guba, Shamakhi, Nukha (Sheki), he made numerous travel notes, which later found their reflection in his work “Caucasus”-these unforgettable meetings with interesting persons, majestic architecture & religious monuments of Azerbaijan, historical traditions & the customs on local population & surely, recipes of national cuisine.
Fascinated by the beauty of Baku, A.Dumas, seeing the sights of “Shirvanshahlar Palace”, makes sea sail to the Shikhov settlement, where he pays a visit to the tombs of Saint Fatima at the Bibiheybat mosque. In one of the elite clubs of the city, A.Dumas gets acquainted with the famous Azerbaijani poet Khurshudbanu Natavan. The hospitality of Azeri people astonishes him. While seeing the sights of the Temple of fire worshippers-“Atashgah” (Fire-temple) in Surakhani settlement, the commandant of the village invites him to dinner and lavishly treats him to many national meals. When walking on Baku bazaar, A.Dumas, to his surprise, gets many gifts from unfamiliar persons. In Shamakhi Maecenas Mahmud bey amiably invites him to supper, where three eastern dancers play for A.Dumas, reminding him of boyadras.
Visiting Nukha(Sheki)-“Palace of Sheki Khans”, silk bazaar, meeting with people of Udin, acquaintance with their religion, language, traditions and of course, solemn supper from the national cuisine, arranged in the honour of great writer by the head police of the city Nukha by king Tarkhanov, where more than 100 persons participated.
In his work “Caucasus” particular place is given to Azerbaijani cuisine, tasted by A.Dumas in numerous receptions.
“As I travel for my personal pleasure and if I see good meal, then I know at once secret of making so that to enrich the cookery book, which I have thought of for along time”-wrote A.Dumas.
Recipes of separate Azerbaijani cuisine meals belonging to he published in his 3-volume dictionary “Cookery”.
In his work “Caucasus”, A.Dumas often compared the food prepared for him with French cuisine. Thus bread baked for him by nomads in saj (griddle) in Sumgait station reminded him of crickets and puff rolls, prepared in French country weddings.
A.Dumas liked very much Azerbaijani pilaf with chicken and fish kebab. But he particularly enjoyed meat kebab in Nukha (Sheki).
“I learned recipe of Azeri kebab, follow iot and you will always be thankful to me for this present”.-wrote A.Dumas.
A.Dumas liked kebab so much that, after leaving Azerbaijan and when in Georgia, in the city of Poti, he remembered the taste of Nukha kebab with pleasure.
Azerbaijan was famous for its national cuisine since olden times. Even the most experienced gourmands, coming to Azerbaijan from every corner of the world, are delighted with inimitable taste and delicate aroma of these meals.
We hope that by visiting Azerbaijan you will discover-this unique land of colourful sceneries, interesting traditions and wonderful cuisine.
PROGRAM FOR INTERNATIONAL TOURIST ROUTE
“ALEXANDER DUMAS ON CAUCASUS”
Meeting in Baku airport & seeing off to Guba by bus.
Arriving in Guba, accommodation in hotel or in houses.
Lunch prepared from national cuisine in Guba (in restaurant or in house)
Getting acquaintance with Guba, visit to historical-ethnographic museum, excursion to carpet factory & Krasnoya Slaboda where live Jews & visit to Gusar
Supper in nature.
9 00 -1000
Getting acquaintance with Guba market & bazaar.
Departure to Baku by bus.
Arrive in Sumgait. Having lunch & walking in city.
Returning to Baku. Accommodation in hotel “Monte Carlo”.
Having supper in restaurant “Chanaggala”, meals from national cuisine, national show program.
9 00 -1000
Walking in city by bus: museum of history, excursion to Inner city, Maiden Tower, Palace of Shirvanshahlars, visit to ancient shops & shopping.
Sea trip & having lunch in Yacht club.
Visit by phaeton to Bibiheybat mosque.
Having supper in “Karvansaray” restaurant, concert & show program.
9 00 -1000
Excursion to “Ateshgah” (Fire Worshippers) in Surakhani (XVII century).
Having lunch in city restaurant .
Departure to Shamakhi from Baku by bus.
Arrive in Shamakhi.
Excursion in Shamakhi.
Excursion to Lahich & shopping there.
Arrive in Gabala. Accommodation in “Karvan ” hotel.
Having supper in “A.Duma” restaurant (Qabala) with national cuisine.
9 00 -1000
Getting acquaintance with place of interest in Gabala, excursion to ethnographic museum, visit to ancient Alban-Chukhur Qabala & Nij village where live udins
Having lunch in Udin families.
Take part in village wedding parties, getting acquaintance with wedding party traditions.
Departure to Nukha (Sheki) & accommodation in “Karvansaray” hotel.