Lahıc is a village in the Great Caucasus mountains that’s packed with wonderful artisanal shops. Part and parcel of a visit to Lahıc is not just what you see, but also what you hear. Upon stepping in the village, the first sounds you’ll hear are usually those of metal being hammered in and out of shape, and metal clanging together as the shop owners re-arrange their merchandise.
A walk along Lahıc’s photogenic cobblestone alleys reveals a wealth of shops selling masterfully crafted copperware, and perhaps more interestingly, a glimpse at how coppersmiths can bring these wares to life. These artisans are not only keen on demonstrating their skills—they are also storytellers, and if you can overcome language barriers, you can learn about the artisans’ families and ancestry.
Items for sale include swords, daggers, statuettes, cups, plates, pitchers, kettles, alembics, cooking utensils, farming tools, incense burners, jewelry, and more, both new and old. The Azerbaijan Museum of National History has several copperware items manufactured in Lahıc on display.
Make no mistake: Lahıc is touristy. During those stuffy summer weekends, throngs of people flock here from Baku seeking cooler temperatures and a touch of Azeri traditions. Yet, visit Lahıc in winter and you’re likely to be the only tourist in town. For architecture buffs, Lahıc has a 1,000-year-old sewage system that has defied countless earthquakes.
Know Before You Go
Lahıc can be reached using public transport. People heading to Lahıc can take a marshrutka, which leaves at irregular intervals from Ismailli, a small town well-connected to Baku by public transport. The road from Ismailli to Lahic is scenic but at times hair-raising, with steep drops at an uncomfortably close distance.