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Shamkir is a city in and the capital of Shamkir District in western Azerbaijan, located in the northern foothills of the Lesser Caucasus, on the coast of the Chagirchay River on Tbilisi-Yevlakh highway, about 4 kilometers (2.5 mi) from Dallar railway station. It is the eighth largest city in Azerbaijan by population.
The historical Shamkur (also known as Shamkhor and Shamkir) has been known since the 5th century as a merchant and craft center of Persia. In 652, the city was seized by Arabs. In 737, Khazars settled in Shamkir after the Arabian commander Mervan's campaign to the Volga. In 752, the city was destroyed by the Sabir people, who lived nearby and rebelled against the Arabs. In 854, the Muslim Khazars took refuge in Shamkir. Later, the city was under the reign of Ganja amirs from the Kurdish dynasty of Shaddadids. In the 12th century and in the beginning of the 13th century, Shamkir was under the Georgian reign. In 1195, the Georgian Queen Tamar's commanders destroyed the troops of Azerbaijan's Atabey Abu-Bakr, who was from Seljuk dynasty of the Ildegizids. In 1235, Shamkir was destroyed by Mongols. From the first quarter of the 16th century till the beginning of the 19th century Shamkir was governed by hereditary rulers a Turkic tribe called Shamsaddinli-Zulgadar. In 1803, during the military actions against the Ganja Khanate of Qajar Iran, Shamkir was taken up by Russian troops and annexed to Russia.
In 1817-1818, a colony of Germans resettled from Wurttemberg, was established on the site of Shamkir under the name Annenfeld. There were also other Germans in Azerbaijan besides those associated with the colony. On September 3, 1826, during the Russo-Persian War, the Shah's guard consisting of 10,000 soldiers was destroyed near Annenfeld. In 1915, Assyrians from Turkey and Iran were resettled here and still lived here as of the 1930s.
Following World War I, Annenfeld was given the Russian name of Annino. In 1938, it was granted urban-type settlement and renamed Shamkhor after the nearby railway station and the historical Shamkir. In 1944, two years after the German population was deported as part of the population transfer in the Soviet Union, it was granted town status. In 1991, the name was changed to Shamkir.
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