Oil-rich Azerbaijan has redefined itself over the past two decades from a struggling newly independent state to a major regional energy player. Azerbaijan, The Nation And Former Soviet Republic!
Azerbaijan, The Nation And Former Soviet Republic
Azerbaijan, in the Caucuses region, is a country that straddles both Eastern Europe and Western Asia. So expect a clash of east meets west and you will find a lot to enjoy here. Located on the Caspian Sea, there are quaint subtropical seaside resorts. You can embrace Azerbaijan’s name as the Land of Fire with a trip to a flaming mountain or a mud volcano. The Caspian Sea is sits on what looks like an ocean bed, and the water here is indeed salty. Although the saline content is lower than that of other seas and oceans, meaning that it is the perfect place for swimming as it is less likely to cause irritation.
Baku-Capital of Azerbaijan
Baku, the capital and commercial hub of Azerbaijan. Is a low-lying city with coastline along the Caspian Sea. It’s famed for its medieval walled old city, which contains the Palace of the Shirvanshahs. A vast royal complex, and the iconic stone Maiden Tower.
Other notable sites include the reconstructed Bibi-Heybat Mosque, a pilgrimage center, and the Azerbaijan Carpet Museum, housing a vast collection of ornate carpets from the region. The Baku Museum of Modern Art showcases 20th-century Azerbaijani painters and sculptors.
Gabala (also known as Qabala) is a city in northern Azerbaijan. To the southwest, Chukhur Gabala village has ancient ruins, including imposing gate towers, from the city’s time as capital of Caucasian Albania. On the city’s northeastern outskirts. The Tufandag Winter–Summer Mountain Resort offers ski runs. An ancient Albanian church is in Boyuk Amili, nearby.
Close by, Gabaland is an amusement park featuring kids’ rides, arcade games and flower gardens. Near town, a viewing deck looks out onto the Yeddi Gozel waterfall, which spills over a craggy rock face. Wild boar, deer and bears are among the animals roaming the hills and forests of protected Ismailli State Reserve, to the east.
Some key dates in Azerbaijan’s history:
1828 – Turkmanchay treaty between Russia, Persia divides Azerbaijan. Territory of present-day Azerbaijan becomes part of Russian empire while southern Azerbaijan is part of Persia. Twenty years later, the world’s first oil well is drilled south of Baku.
1988 – Nagorno-Karabakh region seeks to become part of Armenia. Ethnic Azeris begin to leave Karabakh and Armenia and ethnic Armenians leave Azerbaijan. Ethnic strife between Armenia and Azerbaijan will boil over into a full blown war by 1992.
1994 – Armenia, Azerbaijan and Nagorno-Karabakh sign a ceasefire accord. Ethnic Armenians remain in control of Karabakh and a swathe of Azerbaijani territory around it.
Absheron National Park
Sitting in the Azizbeyov region of the city of Baku. Absheron National Park spans 783 hectares of protected land and is the perfect place to come to witness the stunning flora and fauna of Azerbaijan. The national park has a whole host of local wildlife such as gazelles, birds, jackals, and Caspian seals.
The land here is mostly dry steppe, which lends itself to romantic rolling sand dunes and reed like grass that sways in the wind. The waters here are also known to be crystal clear and teaming with wildlife including the occasional sea snake.
The Caspian Sea
Something of a misnomer, the Caspian Sea is actually the largest lake in the world, and measures a whopping 371,000 square kilometres.
The Caspian Sea is sits on what looks like an ocean bed, and the water here is indeed salty. Although the saline content is lower than that of other seas and oceans, meaning that it is the perfect place for swimming as it is less likely to cause irritation. Popular activities on the Caspian Sea include bot cruises, diving opportunities, and fishing.
Museum of Miniature Books
The tiny library of books ins the museum is the result of the private collection of Zarifa Salahova. And has been amassed over the period of more than 30 years. In 2002, when she opened the museum, she finally shared her collection with the public.
A large portion of the books also stem from the donation of a Ukrainian collector, who presented his petite books to Salahova in 2001.
Bottle House of Ganja
The Bottle House, a local icon in Ganja, Azerbaijan is a perfect example of this synthesis. An entire house ostensibly constructed entirely out of glass bottles, this abode is unlike any most will ever see.
Mottled with shimmering colors, translucent in the summer sun. The Bottle House reflects and refracts light that passes through its walls like a prism in a window. The thousands of bottles that cover its walls are delicately placed to create works of art. M.osaics that form portraits, words, and designs on every square inch of the building.