Qabala (Gabala; Azerbaijani: Qəbələ) is a city and the administrative centre of the Qabala District of Azerbaijan. The municipality consists of the city of Gabala and the village of Küsnat. Before the city was known as Kutkashen, but after the Republic of Azerbaijan's independence the town was renamed in honour of the much older city of Gabala, the former capital of Caucasian Albania, the archaeological site of which is about 20 km southwest.
Gabala is the ancient capital of Caucasian Albania. Archaeological evidence indicates that the city functioned as the capital of Caucasian Albania as early as the 4th century BC. Up to the present time, there are the ruins of the ancient city and the main gate of Caucasian Albania. Ongoing excavations near the village Chukhur show that Gabala from the 4th – 3rd centuries BC and up to the 18th century was one of the main cities with developed trade and crafts. The ruins of the ancient town are situated 15 km from the regional centre, allocated on the territory between Garachay and Jourluchay rivers. Gabala was located in the middle of the 2,500-year-old Silk Road, and was mentioned by Pliny the Younger as "Kabalaka", Greek geographer Ptolemy as "Khabala", Arabic historian Ahmad ibn Yahya al-Baladhuri as "Khazar". In the 19th century, the Azerbaijani historian Abbasgulu Bakikhanov mentioned in his book Gulistani Irem that Kbala or Khabala were in fact Gabala.
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