It is considered that Shamkir city was founded in V-VI centuries. According to Azerbaijani historian Jahangir Zeynaloglu, the name derives from Persian 'shams' (meaning "sun") and 'kur' ("relaying"), referring city was relying on the Sun.
Due to its wealth, and strategic location, throughout the history the city has always been attractive to the invaders. Being known as the great trade and handicraft centre of Persia, later on it was seized by the Arabian troops. For a while Shamkir was under the Georgian reign and Mongolian rule. From the first quarter of the 16th century till the beginning of the 19th century Shamkir was governed by hereditary rulers of Azerbaijani (Qizilbash) tribe called Shamsaddinli-Zulgadar. In 1803, during the military actions against Ganja khanate, Shamkir was taken up by Russian troops and annexed to Russia. In 1818, a German colony, resettled from Wurttemberg to Annenfeld in the territory of Shamkir. From 1914 the city was called Annino, but from 1938-Shamkhor. In 1944, Shamkhor was given the city status. In 1991, the historical name of the city was restored.
The economy of Shamkir district is based on poultry raising, cattle breeding and silkworm breeding. Agricultural machinery production, grape processing plants (winery), technical plants constitute a big part of the economy (wheat, barley, corn, grapes, onion, cabbage, tomato, cucumber, aubergine, sunflower, potato are grown in Shamkir).
Historic architectural monuments:
- Shamkir city ruins
- Shamkir bridge
- Maiden Tower in Seyfali village
- Shamkir fortress in Muxtariyyət village
- Oghuz cemetery in Yeni Seyfali village
- Baydar city ruins in Bayramlı village
- Mosque in Abbaslı village
- Maiden Tower in Tatarlı village
- Bridge in Tahnalı village
- Koroghlu fortress, Qalaboynu Fortress
- Bridge over Zayam River
- German Lutheran Church
Among the modern monuments:
- the Victory Complex (tribute to Great Victory of WWII)
- mosque in Duyarly village
- Memorials to Black January
- Ashig Huseyn Shamkirli monument
- Ali-Agha Shikhlinski bust
- Koroghlu monument
- Tribute to Azerbaijani National Hero, Zaur Sarıyev
- Alley of Martyrs
- Heydar Aliyev spring
- A monument to Ashig Alasgar
- Memorial to Genocide of March 31, 1918
Modern face of Shamkir city is defined by Heydar Aliyev Center, Flag Square, Zeka Youth Center, Shamkir City Park, Monuments Park, Shamkir Oxford School and Excelsior Hotel Shamkir among others.