Shusha or Shushi is a city in Azerbaijan, in the region of Nagorno-Karabakh. Situated at an altitude of 1,400–1,800 metres in the Karabakh mountains, the city was a mountain resort in the Soviet era.
Most sources date Shusha's establishment to the 1750s by Panah Ali Khan, founder of the Karabakh Khanate, coinciding with the foundation of the fortress of Shusha, attributing this to an alliance between Panah Ali Khan and Shahnazar, the local Armenian prince of Varanda. In these accounts, the name of the town originated from a nearby Armenian village called Shosh or Shushikent. Conversely, some sources describe Shusha as an important center within the self-governing melikdoms of Karabakh in the 1720s, and others say the plateau was already the site of an "ancient" Armenian fortification. From the mid-18th century to 1822, Shusha was the capital of the Karabakh Khanate. The town became one of the cultural centers of the South Caucasus after the Russian conquest of the Caucasus region from Qajar Iran in the first half of the 19th century.