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Elisabethpol Governorate

Elisabethpol Governorate (English)
Елизаветпольская губерния (Modern Russian)
Елисаветпольская губернiя (Pre-1918 Russian)

Coat of Arms

Coat of arms of Elisabethpol Governorate
Established 1868
Abolished 1917
Political status
- Rank
38,782.5 verst²
Population (1897 census)
- Rank
- Density
- Urban
- Rural
878,415 inhabitants
22.6 inhab. / verst²
First Head
Last Head

Elisabethpol Governorate or Elizavetpol Governorate (Russian: Елизаветпольская губерния; in pre-1918 Russian spelling: Елисаветпольская губернiя) was one of the guberniyas of the Russian Empire, with its centre in Elisabethpol (official name for Ganja in 1805–1918). Its area was 44,136 sq. kilometres,[1] and it had 878,415 inhabitants by 1897.[2]


  • History 1
  • Administrative division 2
  • Demographics 3
    • Ethnic groups in 1897 3.1
  • Known governors 4
  • References 5


Elisabethpol Governorate was created in 1868 from parts of Baku Governorate and Tiflis Governorate. This included lands of the former Ganja Khanate, Shaki Khanate, and Karabakh Khanate. It bordered with Baku Governorate, Tiflis Governorate, Yerevan Governorate, Dagestan Oblast, and Persia.

Starting in 1905, there were attempts by the region's ethnic Armenians to separate the highland areas (commonly known as Mountainous Karabagh) from the rest of Elisabethpol. In these areas, 70% of the population was Armenian. Although the plan was eventually endorsed by the Russian viceroy, it was never adopted.[3] Another attempt to create an independent Armenian state in the region was the Republic of Mountainous Armenia in 1921.

On the establishment of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic in 1918, Elisabethpol Governorate was renamed Ganja Governorate. The area to the south of the Murov Range was made into Karabakh Governorate General. The governorate system was abolished in the early 1920s.

Today, the territory of the former Elisabethpol Governorate is in western Azerbaijan and adjacent areas of Armenia.

Administrative division

Elisabethpol Governorate was originally divided into eight uyezds:[1]


The 1886 population estimate was 728,943, living in 3 cities (Elisabethpol, Nukha, and Shusha) and 1521 villages. [4]

According to the 1897 census, the total population was 878,415. Azeris (called "Azerbaijani Tatars" at the time) at 534,086 (60.8%) and Armenians at 292,188 (33.3%) were the largest ethnic groups. Other ethnic groups included Lezgins (14,503 or 1.7%; reported at the time as Кюринцы and Гапутлинцы ), Russians (14,146 or 1.6%), Udis (7,040 or 0.8%), Germans (3,194 or 0.4%) and Kurds (3,042 or 0.3%).

According to 1886 statistics reported in Brockhaus and Efron Encyclopedic Dictionary,[4] the Orthodox Christians constituted 0.21% of the Governorate's population, and various "sectarians" (сектанты) around 1% (i.e., some 7,300 people). This means that most of the ethnic Russians in the Governorate at the time (1.11% of the Governorate's 728,943 population in 1886) were members of various dissenter communities, such as Doukhobors and Molokans.

Ethnic groups in 1897 [5]

Uyezd Azerbaijanis Armenians Lezgins Russians Belarusians Germans Kurds Udis
TOTAL 60,8% 33,3% 1,7% 1,6% ... ... ... ...
Aresh 70,1% 20,5% 8,7% ... ... ... ... ...
Jebrayil 74,1% 23,7% ... 1,1% ... ... ... ...
Javanshir 71,6% 26,9% ... ... ... ... ... ...
Elisabethpol 63,9% 26,4% ... 4,4% 1,7% 1,9% ... ...
Zangezur 51,6% 46,1% ... ... ... ... 1,3% ...
Kazakh 57,2% 38,9% ... 3,0% ... ... ... ...
Nukha 69,3% 15,7% 7,1% ... ... ... ... 5,8%
Shusha 45,3% 53,3% ... 1,0% ... ... ... ...

Known governors

  • Fokion Bulatov, 1868–1876
  • Alexander Nakashidze, 1880–1897
  • Ivan Kireyev, 1897–1900
  • Nikolai Lutsau, 1900–1905
  • Yegor Baranovsky, 1905 (acting)
  • Alexander Kalachev, 1905–1907
  • Samkalov, 1907–1908
  • Georgi Kovalev, 1908–1916
  • Mikhail Poyarkov, 1916–1917[6]


  1. ^ a b (Russian) Brockhaus and Efron Encyclopaedia: Elisabethpol Governorate
  2. ^ (Russian) Brockhaus and Efron Encyclopaedia: Elisabethpol Governorate – additional information to the article
  3. ^ Hovanissian, "Republic of Armenia", volume 1 page 81.
  4. ^ a b Елизаветпольская губерния (Elizavetpol Governorate) in Brockhaus and Efron Encyclopedic Dictionary (Russian)
  5. ^ Демоскоп Wekly - Первая всеобщая перепись населения Российской Империи 1897 г. Распределение населения по родному языку и уездам. Российской Империи кроме губерний Европейской России
  6. ^ Lands of Ganja

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