Military Review

Kubachinskaya battle tower. Shard of Zirichgeran State

Kubachinskaya battle tower. Shard of Zirichgeran State

The ancient village of Kubachi gained fame as the cradle of the most skilled gunsmiths and jewelers. Kubachi daggers, sabers, yatagans, chain mail and various jewelry adorn the collections of the most famous museums of the world: the Louvre Museum in France, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, the Hermitage in St. Petersburg, the All-Russian Museum of Decorative and Applied Folk Art and the State Historical Museum in Moscow. According to numerous legends and traditions, Kubachinsky weapon belonged to Prince Mstislav, son of Vladimir Monomakh, and Alexander Nevsky. There are fantastic theories. According to one of them, the helmet of Alexander the Great himself has Kubachin roots.

Kubachi himself is notable for a battle tower, which is a unique creation of the fortification architecture of the Caucasus. It is completely unlike the solid Ossetian residential and battle towers; it is far from the sophisticated Vainakh towers. The unusual appearance of the Kubachi tower is associated with another cultural influence that Kubachi experienced for its ancient history.

However, no less mysteries are hidden in themselves and Kubachintsy. According to one version, the Kubachins are not just one of the branches of the Dargins with their own dialect, but the real European aliens from Genoa or France. This version is based on the fact that Laks and Lezgins called the Kubachins Prang Kapoor, i.e., Franks. And references to certain Franks or Genoese in the mountains near Kubachi are found by authors such as ethnographer Colonel Johann Gustav Gerber, traveler Jan Potocki and academician Johann Anton Guldenstedt. However, modern scholars studying tombstones decorated with carved eagles and dragons tend to believe that Kubachi has Middle Eastern roots.

Zirichgeran: a forgotten state

In the distant VI century, the state with the mystical name Zirichgeran began to develop on the territory of modern Kubachi. The state was governed by a council of selected elders. According to other sources, the early Zirichgeran (translated from Persian as “chain mail” or “armored”) had his own king or ruler. At the same time, Kubachi was the capital at that time. A little later, the state is isolated as a free society, which creates a council.

The council was directly subordinate to the military organization (squad) of Batirte, consisting of unmarried young people. They were engaged in wrestling, throwing stones, distance running, horse racing, archery, cold steel exercises and paramilitary dances of Askaila. The squad consisted of 7 units of 40 people each. It is noteworthy that the members of Batirte lived separately from the Kubachintsy in battle towers. The duties of the soldiers included a guard service, protecting the village from external attacks, robbery and robbery. Often, Batyrte fought with residents of neighboring villages in order to protect the forest and grazing lands, cattle and herds of horses belonging to the Kubachi.

Given the many civil wars, Batirte fought with neighboring villages and just for the sake of influence. At the same time, the geographical location of Zirichgeran, lost in the mountains at an altitude of more than 1600 meters, played a significant defensive role. Despite the fact that Zirichgeran periodically became dependent on neighboring feudal microstates like the Kaitag Ussmii, the capital remained formally independent. Even during the Arab expansion into the lands of Dagestan, the warlord Mervan ibn Muhammad, the caliph from the Umayyad dynasty, having seized Tabaristan, Tuman, Shindan and other possessions, decided to sign a peace treaty with Zirichgeran, and not risk an army in the mountains, fighting against a real weapons spring.

Kubachi daggers Kama

The relative independence of the ancient state can be traced in the religions practiced in Kubachi. In Zirichgeran, one could meet Muslims, Christians, Jews, and even followers of Zoroastrianism. And just the spread of the last religion determined the unique architecture of the Kubachi battle tower.

Akayla kala: watchman of Kubachi

Above the ancient village of Kubachi, a battle tower rises with its own name - Akayla kala, which served as the home for one of the Batirte warrior squads. From the height of the tower offers stunning views of all the surroundings of the village. The tower is located in such a way that the Batirte fighters could see in advance a possible enemy, from whatever side he tries to approach Kubachi. The Kubachin Tower is just a small echo of those powerful fortifications that once encircled the ancient village. Many centuries ago, the whole of Kubachi was hidden by the thick walls of masonry.

A distinctive feature of Akayla kala is its similarity to the Zoroastrian towers of silence - dahme, which served as funeral structures in religious rites of Zoroastrianism, widespread in Iran. Since Zirichgeran had deep and dense trade relations with various countries and entire civilizations, it can be quite assumed that during these relations the people of Zirichgeran were culturally enriched.

Tower in Kubachi

The Kubachin Tower is built of large, specially hewn stones with shell masonry with an internal backing of torn stone and earth. The height of the structure is about 16 meters, and the diameter is 20 meters. The wall thickness at the entrance reaches 1,45 m. There is a problem with the dating of the tower. Some believe that the construction of Akayla kala began in the XNUMXth century, while others, emphasizing the Zoroastrian architectural features, believe that the tower was erected in the XNUMXth century, since Islamic expansion could hardly leave such architectural traces.

The tower was rebuilt several times, but initially it had five floors above the ground and two underground floors. On the top floor, the Batyrte warriors trained and served. Two floors were allocated directly under the living quarters. Two more floors served as a pantry for food supplies and a Zeichhaus. One of the underground floors was a kind of guardhouse. This is due to the extremely harsh traditions of Batirte. For example, among the warriors the “union of the unmarried” or the “male union” was spread. Members of this almost sectarian movement devoted themselves entirely to military service, but when the flesh gained the upper hand, the warrior was sent to serve his sentence.

In general, legends still circulate about the severity of Batirte's rules. For example, they were allowed to appear in the village exclusively under the cover of twilight. According to one legend, once a mother recognized in one of the warriors her son with an open hand and dared to call him by name. The next day they sent her a severed hand of her son, so that she would not knock him off the right military path.

Despite the strictly organized military structure of Batirte and the craft power of Zirichheran, this tiny mountainous state could not forever be on the edge of the bloody winds of history. The strongest Islamic-Arab expansion, which was forced and violent in nature, by the 1467th century also affected this unique world. In XNUMX, the name Zirikhgeran first disappears and the Turkic name Kubachi appears, which, in essence, is the equivalent of the words “chain mail masters” or “chain mail”.

Save at all costs

Nowadays, Kubachi, despite the unfading weapons of fame, is a very modest village with a population of less than 3000 people. Not the best times are going through the unique Akaila kala tower, which, fortunately, continues to dominate the area.

In the mid-XNUMXth century, the tower was rebuilt into a residential building, because its combat functionality lost its meaning. Part of the upper floors was demolished, although at the beginning of the XNUMXth century the third floor was rebuilt. However, the unique historical masonry underwent significant changes, almost completely losing its original face. At the beginning of the XXI century, the tower was completely empty and began to collapse under mountain winds and snowfalls.

In 2009, with the support of the Ministry of Culture of Dagestan and the youth of Kubachi, the tower was restored as close to the original as possible. A unique museum was opened inside the tower, recreating the surroundings of an old Kubachin house. However, this is extremely small, since the ancient Kubachi needs to conduct fundamental ethnographic and archaeological research by a whole group of scientists so that there are fewer white spots in history.
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  1. Olgovich
    Olgovich 26 March 2020 08: 19 New
    Surrounded by ordinary houses, the tower looks like a somewhat alien element from other eras and times ...

    It’s good that they restored that they remember their story!
    1. Kote Pan Kokhanka
      Kote Pan Kokhanka 26 March 2020 11: 22 New
      I join Olegovich!
      Additionally, I want to say thanks to the author for the essay on the tower !!!
      Regards, Kote!
  2. Trilobite Master
    Trilobite Master 26 March 2020 11: 49 New
    In general, the ancient defensive structures of the Caucasus are simply a very interesting topic and, I am not afraid of this word, mysterious. Take, for example, the Derbent fortress, the Kelasur wall, numerous solitary castle towers, I’m not talking about such an interesting structure as the Dzivgis fortress ... You can write a separate article about each such object, but it seems to me that it would be more interesting to get acquainted first with some kind of survey work, considering and describing the defensive architecture of the Caucasus in the complex.
    How personally can I appreciate the uniqueness and value of the Kubachin Tower if I don’t know what to compare it with.
    А вообще гипотеза существования "Великой Кавказской стены" нуждается, как мне кажется в некотором освещении и кому это делать, как не автору этой статьи?
    1. Undecim
      Undecim 26 March 2020 13: 56 New
      The fact is, Michael, that the author posed the question at the eighth grade level of the school. The author at this level basically writes
      Есть такая книжица,"Магомедов Р.М. История Дагестана: Учебное пособие; 8 кл. - Махачкала: Изд-во НИИ педагогики, 2002", по ней написана статья в Википедии, оттуда автор и черпал информацию.
      In fact, the Kubachin defensive towers, of which three have survived to this day - Kunakla-kala, Akayla-kala and Tsillala-kala - are not housing and have nothing to do with Zoroastrianism.
      The towers are part of the powerful fortifications erected in the village itself and on its approaches in the XNUMXth – XNUMXth centuries and consisting of fortress walls and round defense plan towers.
      If you are interested in understanding the issue, read the Soviet orientalist Shikhsadinov.
      1. Trilobite Master
        Trilobite Master 26 March 2020 15: 29 New
        Viktor Nikolaevich, to specially study serious scientific works of adult authors in order to show off your erudition here or write an article (even a series of articles) on the defensive architecture of the Caucasus ... Which will eventually be read by fifty people, and half of them will be frankly boring .. I don’t know, somehow such a pastime does not appeal to me. smile
        I would like someone to do it for me, and I would read his creation, express my superficial opinion, maybe argue with someone regarding some issue, pour a liter of bile on another freak who would begin to prove that All this was built by the Russo-Arians or the Tartar Cossacks-wheelchairs, I would flood with my colleagues ...
        And I swear I don’t need more.

        And so, it’s just that the topic is really personally mysterious for me, fanned with some kind of romantic halo - mountains, ancient civilizations, stone towers overgrown with ivy, deep caves ... All that is needed is the gnome miners, golden-haired elves living in ice palaces on the peaks mountains, and gloomy giant trolls with dragons on piles of gold. smile
        Well, let the author work as best he can. Plus to him in karma. smile
      2. cost
        cost 26 March 2020 17: 34 New
        Даже обидно. Серьезный. грамотный автор, причем "автор в теме", а сегодняшняя статья - просто как путеводитель по достопримечательностям Кавказа получилась. С Вашим то потенцалом и любовью к Кавказу ожидалось гораздо большего. Ведь затронутая Вами тема очень прелюбопытнейшая.
        Respected Eastern wind, I look forward to hearing from you a separate article about Zirichgeran. It will be a bomb
        Best regards
        Your fan Dmitry
  3. ukoft
    ukoft 26 March 2020 13: 09 New
    It seems like they still made handguns, including trunks, flintlocks were imported from the Crimea, sort of. But any blacksmithing craft requires fuel. Whether they used wood in the district or cow dung (in this case, phosphorus made the steel brittle at low temperatures) I would like to know
  4. Elturisto
    Elturisto 26 March 2020 15: 13 New
    Good article, thanks to the author.
  5. cost
    cost 26 March 2020 17: 13 New
    Zirichgeran: a forgotten state

    Zirichgeran is generally unique to the Caucasus state formation. Modern historians call Zirichgerans - Templars of the Caucasus. Since the VI century, the name Zirichgeran is mentioned in Arabic sources. This name in Farsi means "the country of those who make the armor", in Russian it turns out something like "armored" or "chain mail". Around 1467, the name Kubachi (or Gyubechi) was first mentioned, the word is Turkic, meaning "armored, manufacturers of armor." All three names of the aul and the people living in it mean one thing - craft. And this is strange: it turns out that the Kubachintsy are a people without an ancient, primordial name.
    Но есть еще одно имя, четвертое. Соседи (лакцы, кайтаги и лезгины) кубачинцев называют странно — пранг-капур, то есть франки. Более того, сами угбуги-кубачи считают, что их род из Франции.Эта интересная тема еще ждет своего освещения.Надеюсь уважаемый автор "Восточный ветер напишет о нем отдельную статью.
    Zirichgeran is a Dargin-Kubachin medieval state entity that existed in the mountains of Dagestan from the XNUMXth century to the XNUMXth century, when it was finally absorbed by the neighboring state of Usmiya Kaitagsky. The Kubachinians themselves call Uhbuk or Arbukan. Zirikhgeran was formed several decades before the Arab invasion of Dagestan, in the territory of the modern Dakhadayevsky district of the Republic of Dagestan.

    Political system and troops
    The main body of state power was the Council of Elected Elders (Chin), at the disposal of which was a select permanent squad of warrior soldiers, who lived in isolation from the rest of the population.
    The population of Zirichgeran professed different religions. Before the Arab invasion, Zoroastrianism was prevalent here. Then Christianity. In this regard, the most accurate and reliable information is contained in the works of al-Garnati and al-Qazvini. Both authors describe in detail both Zoroastrian and Christian rites of the funeral of Zirichgerans and note the important place of both religions in the spiritual life of this people. After the invasion of the Caliphate’s troops in Dagestan, a new religion appears - Islam. As a result of the gas campaigns on Zirichgeran of Badr Shamkhal from the west and Sheikh Hassan from the east, the center of Zirichgeran and Kubachi converted to Islam in 1305, although Zoroastrianism and Christianity still existed here.
    Зирихгеран пережил вторжения арабов и хазар в VII-VIII веках. Ал-Гарнати упоминает, что 1116 году на "неверных" Зирихгерана совершился "исламский поход", со стороны или Шамхальства или Уцмийства, но неудачно. В XIII веке произошло разорительное вторжение монголо-татар, а затем последовали бесперерывные междоусобные войны между Джучидами и Хулагуидами на территории Дагестана, затронувшие Зирихгеран. В начале правления Ахситана II (1251–1281) ширваншахи организовали безуспешный военный поход на территорию Зирихгерана Отряды Бадр-шамхала с запада и шейха Хасана с востока снова начинают газийские походы на Зирихгеран. В середине XIV века Зирихгеран попадает под власть Уцмийства, но к 1396 году обретает самостоятельность. В начале XV века Уцмийство окончательно присоединяет территорию Зирихгерана к себе. Жители Зирихгерана приняли ислам в 1305 году. О том, как это произошло, сведений почти нет. В начале прошлого века была обнаружена могильная плита, а на ней — надпись, из коей следует, что в Кубачи в 1305 или 1306 году был убит и похоронен Хасан ибн Мухаммад ас-Садик аш-Ширвани, шейх Сухравардия, весьма могущественного иранского суфийского ордена. Следовательно, в это время сухравардийские воины-мюриды из Ширвана штурмовали башни Зирихгерана. В Кубачи победно ворвался ислам из крепости Кала-Корейш. Предания утверждают, что Зирихгеран изо всех сил сопротивлялся.
    It was during these years that mysterious aliens appeared in Kubachi. It is only clear that they were belligerent, once they managed to seize power, and were notable, otherwise the proud king of Georgia would not have taken them to court. Alas, for now, for us, the Kubachi prang-carbuki are still nameless and faceless.
    In the fourteenth century, there were many in Europe who had reasons to flee beyond the boundaries of Christian civilization, deep into Asia. It is very tempting to assume that the Kubachi francs are Templars, knights of the Order of Christ from the Temple of Solomon. The main pillar of this version is the outcome of the Francs in Zirichgeran from Iran. All known records of the legend about the Franks converge on this position: they came from Iran, then settled in Derbent and were expelled from there, and therefore went deep into the mountains. It is known that around 1307, due to the interweaving of the Eastern Wars, the ancient Persian road to Tabriz was interrupted for a long time, from the West to the bowels of the East. And practically none of the Europeans could penetrate so deeply into Iran at that time. Except for the Templars.
    В первые годы столетия Иран решительно искал союза на Западе в противостоянии общему врагу -арабам. В 1306 году римский Папа принимал послов Иль-хана: шли переговоры о новом совместном крестовом походе. Орден Храма, непримиримый, все еще ведущий собственную войну на Востоке, был надежным союзником. Марсель Лобе в «Трагедии тамплиеров» утверждает: «В следующем [1300] году Жак де Моле вместе с госпитальерами принял участие в недолгом походе против мусульман, подготовленном персидским шахом Газаном. Жак де Моле возглавил один фланг "татарской армии». О том же писал Филипп Грувелль (Philippe Grouvelle): « В 1300 их [тамплиеров] еще видели сражающимися в одной из армий Татар против Сарацин» (в книге Ph. G. Memoirs historiques sur les Templières. Paris, 1994).
    In 1307, the destruction of the Order began, and some Templars managed to escape. Including without a trace knights from the eastern commanders, from the shores of the Adriatic and Aegean. It is only natural if some of them took advantage of the recently laid Order trail into the depths of the East.
    And perhaps, if you look closely, you can find traces of the Kubachi prangs. There are still ancient graves near the aul - according to legend, there are forty batyrs who died in the battle with Sheikh Kala-Koreish. All of them are from the brotherhood of Ak Bilhon. This phenomenon is completely special for the Caucasus, nowhere except in Kubachi, unknown. Ak Bilhon in modern pronunciation - “gualla ak bukun”; that is, the Union of Bachelors.
    And yet - only in Kubachi the only place in the Caucasus is weapons decorated with ivory. It was allegedly bequeathed by them to the single soldiers of the Ak Bilkhon fraternity
    Scimitar made of silver, gold; ivory insert, inlaid with precious stones. Photo: Art Kubachi

    In general, the topic is most curious
    1. cost
      cost 26 March 2020 21: 51 New
      I'm sorry, I had to urgently leave
      Продолжаю. Как известно жест "поднятый кулак" - знак приветствия друг-друга воинов Христа и Храма Соломона. Его изображения сохранились и в геральдике, и на многочисленных архитектурных памятниках тамплиеров. Гуго граф Шампанский и Годфруа де Сент-Омер носили этот знак на своих шлемах. "Всходя на костер великий магистр Ордена Жак де Моле и приор Нормандии Жоффруа де Шарнэ в знак приветствия Братству подняли вверх сжатые кулаки, причем Жак де Моле бережно поддерживал перебитую королевскими палачами правую руку де Шарнэ" -пишет Виллани, флорентийский хронист XIV века.
      Now carefully look at the photo from the Kubachi Museum. Do not find analogies?

      И еще сама "построенная по местному преданию "воинами-холостяками братства Ак Бильхон" кубачинская башня, где они и проживали, своими уникальными для региона зубцами ничего не напоминает?

      I repeat once again - this topic is waiting for more desktop coverage.
      1. cost
        cost 26 March 2020 22: 11 New
        On the secret signs of the Templars: link: https: // templars-sign-gray/
        One of the symbols revered by the Templars was the Graalead. Pearl Bone (Ivory)
        Mystical concept of Graalead. According to legend, the first man was created from the bone of the Grail. In the spiritual sense, the Grail is the spiritual sphere of divine secrets, which can be embodied and personified in a variety of ways - from dishes to the guardian of the Grail - from here, Lono, the Chalice, where the meeting and combination of God and man is possible, the image of the mother of pearl shell, etc. Therefore, the knights of the temple decorated their weapons and body crosses with ivory inserts
        Is this the tradition that has survived to this day among the Kubachin gunsmiths? In the Caucasus, rich in its weapons prowess, there is nothing of the kind. Nowhere. Only in Kubachi
        However, all this is just a hypothesis. Kubachi is still waiting for his true researcher.