Shamkir (Azerbaijani: Şəmkir) is a rayon in Azerbaijan. It is located in the northwestern part of the Azerbaijan Republic. The rayon was previously called “Shamkhor” during the Soviet rule and was renamed to Shamkir only in 1991 after restoration of independence of Azerbaijan. The district was established in 1930. The capital of Shamkir Rayon is Shamkir city.
There is one city, Shamkir city, 4 city-type settlements Chinarlı settlement, Dallar settlement, Zayam settlement, Kura settlement and 59 villages in the district. There are 59 large and middle-size, 53 pre-school, 81 secondary education, 1 technical vocational establishments, 22 hospitals and healthcare offices, 156 cultural establishments in the raion.In the Middle Ages, Arab and Persian sources mentioned the city name as Şəmkür (Shamkur), Turkish sources varied from Şəmkür (Shamkur) to Şəmkir (Shamkir). Historian Zeynaloğlu who published a book on comprehensive history of Azerbaijan in 1924 in Istanbul he argued that name was translated as Şəms (Sun) – Kür (Rayed).
Jahangirov explained otherwise referring to Şəm (Bank of) – Kür (Kür river), i.e. on the bank of the Kura River. The ruins of ancient Shamkir city which was in the form of a fortress and was 20 ha big is located on the right bank of the Kura river. The city had two bridges over Kura. In the 7th century the city was occupied by the Arabian Caliphate and was named Mütəvəkkilliyə. It was renamed back to its original name later. The times of prosperity of Shamkir are attributed to 9th-12th centuries when it was conquered by Seljuqs. In the 12th century when Shamkir was a part of Atabek Empire, special attention was given to the city. In the 13th century Shamkir was one of the main points of resistance to Mongol invasion. In the 16th century, the leader of local Zülqədəz tribe took the power. Later, Shamkir was part of Ganja khanate. In 1803, Shamkir was occupied by and annexed to the Russian Empire. During the Russo-Persian War of 1826-1828, Shamkir was one of the frontlines where Russian troops defeated the Persian army on September 3, 1826. In the first half of the 19th century, Russian Tsar relocated a large number of German colonists to Caucasus, placing a big community in Shamkir. From that time on until 1938, Shamkhor was called Anino. It was renamed to Shamkir in 1991.