1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Elisavetpol (town)

ELISAVETPOL (formerly Ganja, alternative names being Kenjeh and Kanga), a town of Russia, capital of the government of the same name, 118 m. by rail S.E. of Tiflis and 31/2 m. from the railway, at an altitude of 1446 ft. Pop. (1873) 15,439; (1897) 33,090. It is a very old town, which changed hands between Persians, Khazars and Arabs even in the 7th century, and later fell into the possession of Mongols, Georgians, Persians and Turks successively, until the Russians took it in 1804, when the change of name was made. It is a badly built place, with narrow streets and low-roofed, windowless houses, and is situated in a very unhealthy locality, but has been much improved, a new European quarter having been built on the site of the old fortress (erected by the Turks in 1712–1724). The inhabitants are chiefly Tatars and Armenians, famed for their excellent gardening, and also for silkworm breeding. It has a beautiful mosque, built by Shah Abbas of Persia in 1620; and a renowned “Green Mosque” amidst the ruins of old Ganja, 4 m. distant. The Persian poet, Shah Nizam (Nizam-ed-Din), was born here in 1141, and is said to have been buried (1203) close to the town. The Persians were defeated by the Russians under Paskevich outside this town in 1826.