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LENKORAN, a town in Russian Transcaucasia, in the government of Baku, stands on the Caspian Sea, at the mouth of a small stream of its own name, and close to a large lagoon. The lighthouse stands in 38 45' 38" N. and 48 50' 18" E. Taken by storm on New Year's day 1813 by the Russians, Lenkoran was in the same year formally surrendered by Persia to Russia by the treaty of Gulistan, along with the khanate of Talysh, of which it was the capital. Pop. (1867) 15,933, (1897) 8768. The fort has been dismantled; and in trade the town is outstripped by Astara, the customs station on the Persian frontier.

The DISTRICT or LENKORAN (2117 sq. m.) is a thickly wooded mountainous region, shut off from the Persian plateau by the Talysh range (7000-8000 ft. high), and with a narrow marshy strip along the coast. The climate is exceptionally moist and warm (annual rainfall 52-79 in.; mean temperature in summer 75 F., in winter 40), and fosters the growth of even Indian species of vegetation. The iron tree (Parrotia persica), the silk acacia, Carpinus betidus, Qucrcus iberica, the box tree and the walnut flourish freely, as well as the sumach, the pomegranate, and the Gledilschia caspica. The Bengal tiger is not unfrequently met with, and wild boars are abundant. Of the 131,361 inhabitants in 1897 the Talyshes (35,000) form the aboriginal element, belonging to the Iranian family, and speaking an independently developed language closely related to Persian. They are of middle height and dark complexion, with generally straight nose, small round skull, small sharp chin and large full eyes, which are expressive, however, rather of cunning than intelligence. They live exclusively on rice. In the northern half of the district the Tatar element predominates (40,000) and there are a number of villages occupied by Russian Raskolniks (Nonconformists). Agriculture, bee-keeping, silkworm-rearing and fishing are the principal occupations.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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