Welcome to Azerbaijan! This is the Land of Fire and the Pearl of the Caucasus, a land where eastern
colors combine magnificently with western progress. Azerbaijan is a country of unique nature, unmatched culture, centuries of
history with its customs and traditions and fine cuisine; a place which will satisfy the expectations of the most sophisticated
gastronomists, and finally, it is the country of Caucasian hospitality and friendliness.
Azerbaijan is situated at the eastern side of the Transcaucasia (or South Caucasus) on the shores of the Caspian Sea. The population of Azerbaijan exceeds
9.8 million and the territory covers an area of 86 600 square kilometers. According to both of these figures, Azerbaijan is the largest country of the
South Caucasus. The City of Baku is the capital and the country’s largest city.
Azerbaijan is an ancient country containing at least one detail from every slide of the timeline. Numerous cultures were created here and many others were brought
from East and West in the history. Moreover, it is the country which is being modernized day by day.
Why to visit Azerbaijan?
The architecture in Azerbaijan
is varied. From Baku’s modern Flame Towers and opulent House of Government to medieval palaces and temples dotted here and there. The Walled City of Baku
combines elements of medieval and traditional Islamic Azerbaijan styles. Europeans, attracted by Baku’s first oil boom in the 19th-century, designed the
Old City with baroque and gothic architecture.
Hospitality in the Caucasus is
second to none. Hosts welcome guests into their homes and offer endless cups of Azerbaijani tea while serving jam and other condiments. The roots of the
hospitality date back centuries. Former rulers were renowned for providing the very best for visiting dignitaries. Nothing sums up Azerbaijani generosity
more than the ancient saying which translates to something like this: ‘Let the houses which do not welcome guests collapse’.
The Caucasus Mountains stretch
across parts of northern Azerbaijan and Georgia creating a variety of historical and cultural villages. Quba, in Azerbaijan’s northeast, is a favourite
tourist destination. Nearby Laza, Xinaliq and Buduq communities make interesting villages to visit to experience a culture almost entirely lost to time.
The region is also home to the East Caucasus Mountain Jews. It’s advisable to visit as part of a tour.
Carpet weaving in Azerbaijan
dates back to antiquity. Family tradition and techniques pass from one generation to the next by word of mouth. Men sheared the sheep and women dyed and
weaved the carpets. Most use wool, a combination of green, red, yellow, cream and blue form complex motifs and patterns, each unique and with its own story.
Today, Azerbaijan has seven carpet producing regions.
Azerbaijan shares land borders with Russia, Georgia, Armenia, Turkey and Iran which forms a total of 2,648 kms. Of that
Armenia shares 1007 kms, Iran 756 kms, Georgia 480 kms, Russia 390 and Turkey 15 kms. The boundary which Azerbaijan shares with the Caspian Sea extends
to a total of about 456 kms. The country measures 400 kms from north to south and 500 kms from east to west. 40% of the country is covered by mountain
ranges, of which the three major ones are Greater and Lesser Caucasus and the Talysh. The highest mountain is Bazardüzü Dağı which lies in Greater Caucasus
range. More than half of the mud volcanoes in the world are located in Azerbaijan.There are nearly 8,350 rivers in the country of which only 24 are long
enough to be counted. All the rivers ultimately meet the Caspian sea. The longest river is Kur measuring 1,515 kms in length, but it flows from Turkey
through Georgia into Azerbaijan where it meets Aras river before flowing into the Caspian sea. Azerbaijan total territory also consists of four islands in
the Caspian Sea which form an area of 30 sq.kms.
Baku is the capital of the Republic of Azerbaijan. It is a large scientific, cultural and industrial center. Ancient foundations,
a large area and population all make Baku one of the oldest and largest cities in the East. Baku is situated on the shore of the Caspian Sea in the south of the
Absheron peninsula. It covers an area of 2,200 square km and has a population of 5 million.
People have lived and founded their settlements in Baku city and the Absheron peninsula since ancient times. This was motivated by continuous migrations from north to south and from west
to east due to the physical and geographical conditions, a favorable location in the center of trade routes that crossed Silk Road, climatic conditions, production of petroleum fuel in
ancient times and the availability of large power resources.
Baku was one of the main cities in the Shirvanshakhs State in the 12th century, in the Sefevids State in the 14th century, in the Ottoman Empire in the 16th century, and became the
capital of the Baku khanate in the 17th century. The oil boom contributed to the massive growth of Baku, and in 1920 Baku became the capital of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic.