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Azerbaijan in the Eyes of Polish Travellers and Exiles to the Caucasus

Author(s): Ewa Siemieniec-Gołaś

Journal: Khazar Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences
ISSN 2223-2613

Volume: 14;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 70;
Date: 2011;
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Keywords: Polish travelers and exiles | Literature about Azerbaijan.

In the mid nineteenth century quite a numerous group of Poles appeared in the Caucasus within its various regions, a territory which at that time was already almost totally within Russian possession. The reason for the appearance of Poles in the Caucasus was of a political nature, since at that time Poland did not exist as a country, but was divided between three empires – Austria, Russia and Prussia. Some young Polish patriots from the part of Poland that had been incorporated into Russia, in fighting for independence, used to organize plots and riots against the tsarist regime. The consequence of their activity against the tsar was deportation and exile along with others to the Caucasus, where they were forced to serve in the Russian army. For some of those Polish internal-exiles, their stay in the Caucasus afforded an occasion to travel and learn more about the Caucasian peoples, their lands, culture, languages and customs. Among those Poles living in the Caucasus in the nineteenth century, one can mention Mateusz Gralewski and Michał Butowd -Andrzeykowicz. Travelling across the territories of present-day Azerbaijan they wrote some books incorporating information on the local cities (Baku, Cuba, Gyanja and others), the peoples living there, their culture and customs. This literature presents the Azerbaijani realities of that time.

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