What to see in Azerbaijan?
Azerbaijan is a country that combines the cultures of East and West and is of great interest for tourist vacation. There is a lot to visit in Azerbaijan. The capital of the country, Baku, attracts a lot of attention. Located at the crossroads of Europe and Asia, although small in size, Azerbaijan is famous for its many natural wonders, from snow-capped mountain peaks and boiling mud volcanoes to sultry deserts and subtropical forests. The most picturesque part of the country is probably in the northern interior because of the Caucasus Mountains, which soar to a height of 4,466 meters. The mountain peaks are home to bears, wolves and leopards, as well as nomadic shepherds who have been driving flocks of sheep up and down the mountain slopes in search of better pastures for thousands of years. Let's take a closer look at what cities to see in Azerbaijan, where to go and what to see.
What to see in Baku?
What can I see in Azerbaijan? First of all, you should visit the capital of the country - Baku. Baku has many unique sights.
The Heydar Aliyev Center is a futuristic building that was designed by the famous architect Zaha Hadid. Its unique whimsical shape was awarded the International Design of the Year Award in 2014. The exterior of the building is mesmerizing in its elegance. The center was named after former Azerbaijani President Heydar Aliyev, and inside there is a museum dedicated to his life and activities. The halls of the center display historical exhibits, mini-copies of the country's most famous buildings, and also host exhibitions.
Fountain Square is an ancient square in Baku, which has been one of the main attractions of the city for almost a century and a half. There are five fountains here: from classical to extravagant, for example, in the form of a platform with balls. Around the square there are many stores and cafes where you can have a snack and relax after a walk.
Icheri-sheher is the historical center of Baku and the first tourist site in Azerbaijan, which fell under UNESCO protection. It is a picturesque neighborhood where the houses of 1300 families are still located. In Icheri-sheher residential houses of 18-19 centuries, mosques, baths and other buildings have been preserved. The oldest of them is the Maiden Tower, which stands on the seaside part of the fortress wall of Icheri-Sheher. Some of its parts are said to have been built in the 7th-9th centuries BC.
There are two crafts in Azerbaijan that have existed for thousands of years. These are the production of copper utensils and carpet weaving. The Azerbaijan Carpet Museum is the heritage of this art and it is revered and loved by the people. Here you can study a wide variety of carpet production techniques and the history of the carpet weaving school. The exhibits of the museum are amazing in their diversity - here you can see carpets of various kinds. The collection of carpets and technological tools of the museum has been exhibited in 50 countries of the world.
What should a tourist see in the Republic of Azerbaijan?
Flame Towers are a symbol of light and warmth that will interest everyone who wants to visit Azerbaijan. These are the tallest buildings in Baku, made in the form of three tongues of flame. The total area of the architectural ensemble is more than 200 thousand square meters. The unique structures were put into operation in 2012. One of the main attractions of the towers for tourists is the lighting system, which allows you to simulate the movement of fire on the facades through screens. Visually, the three towers appear to be blazing at night and are associated with the city's coat of arms, which also depicts three tongues of flame. The functional purpose of Flame Towers is apartments and business center, and the tallest of the three towers reaches a height of 182 meters. The owner of the unique complex is Azinko Development MMC. However, tourists are more interested in the visual effect than technical characteristics.
Geygel National Park
Geygel National Park is located on the slope of Mount Kyapyaz. This place of pristine beauty of mountains and a lake surrounded by green shores served as a starting point for the creation of the national park. This park is the pride of Azerbaijan and was established in 2008 to preserve the natural beauty. The area of the park is more than 12 hectares and the biosphere is fully preserved here, which was the beginning of the development of ecotourism in the region. The lake, named "blue" in Azerbaijani, has a crystal blue color of water caused by natural crystals saturating the lake. The history of the lake's formation is interesting: it appeared in 1139 as a result of a terrible earthquake. When the earth shook, a large crack was formed and the water that had been flowing underground came to the surface and filled the resulting hole.
Gobustan Nature Reserve
Gobustan Reserve is located near Baku and is a unique combination of ancient stones with a huge number of petroglyphs. Gobustan is a mandatory stop on tourist routes passing through Azerbaijan. These petroglyphs are more than 4-5 thousand years old, located chaotically on the stones, and there is still no clear scientific explanation of their origin. In the reserve you can also notice a desert strip covering 20 km, with characteristic scanty vegetation such as thorns and dry grass. There are also interesting ancient sites in the mountains near the reserve, which attract archaeology enthusiasts. Gobustan Reserve covers a total area of 537 hectares. If you are looking for something to see in Azerbaijan, a walk between these sites and enjoying the rock art will definitely give you pleasure.
The Palace of Shirvanshahs was built between the 13th and 16th centuries. This architectural complex is included in the list of Azerbaijan's sights and includes the Divan-Khamer courtyard, mosque and tomb, as well as the bathhouse and mausoleum of Bakuvi. The Palace of Shirvanshahs is a solid architectural construction, the geometric proportions of which have been fully observed, and the carved pattern on every detail in the stone can be traced. The oldest part of the construction is the octagonal hall. In addition, on the territory of the palace there are rooms in the form of incomplete rectangles. Tourists are most attracted by three narrow spiral staircases, which can be safely and very interesting to climb. Inside the palace there are 52 rooms. During archaeological works copper dishes, ancient jewelry and a large stock of weapons were found here. Shemakha carpets, which have been carefully restored, have also been preserved through time.
What other cities to visit in Azerbaijan?
A city located in the mountains. It is famous for its architecture, which mixes influences of Azerbaijani, Persian and Russian cultures. Shaki is the ancient capital of the Sheki Khanate. In this place you should visit Shaki fortress, Palace of Shaki khans, Upper and Lower caravanserais. In the vicinity you can walk along many shopping streets, get acquainted with the process of making the famous Shaki halva, and buy authentic goods and fresh produce at the Shaki market. The construction of the palace of Shaki khans was started in XIII century, now it is a museum where history lovers can see the palace rooms with colorful Persian paintings on the walls. In the central hall, a stained glass window, assembled by ancient stained glass artists from several thousand colored pieces of glass, has been preserved. Modern Azerbaijan is part of the territory of an ancient, long-defunct state.
Ganja is located 360 kilometers west of Baku and is the second largest city in Azerbaijan. Despite its proximity to the capital, there is no hustle and bustle, which is usually characteristic of tourist cities. Life in Ganja is measured, calm and quiet. The city center is small and you can walk around it in 30-40 minutes. Among the interesting sights can be highlighted the main square with fountains and the government house, as well as the Juma Mosque, which is the largest and most revered in the city. By the way, by this mosque you can check the accuracy of time, as exactly at 12 o'clock in the afternoon the shadow of the mosque hides, overshadowing the western part of the building. This serves as a sign for believers that it is time to perform the afternoon prayer.
A city located in the mountains of the Trans-Kazakh Range. It is known for its beautiful nature and sights. This city is especially proud of the ancient settlement, which is located east of the village of Chukhur-Kabala between the Karachay and Dzhaurluchay rivers. The settlement is divided into two parts by a moat: the northern part is called Selbir, the southern part - Gala. In the XIX century began active archaeological research of the place, which led to numerous finds dating back to the beginning of our era. Qabala is located as if in the embrace of two mountains, which creates beautiful views and a unique atmosphere. The waterfall in this town adds more beautiful moments to the overall flavor of the area. In the village of Nij, there is the Uda Temple, which has a centuries-old history. Previously, there was only a small church in its place. In the late XVII - early XVIII century, a temple was erected on the site of the church, which has survived to this day. Now it can be visited and appreciated in a reconstructed form.
One of the most amazing balneological resorts in the world. The city was built on a deposit of "therapeutic oil" - naphthalan, a mineral substance with outstanding healing properties. Since ancient times, this liquid, which is similar to oil, was used to treat wounds and reduce joint pain. It was exported by whole caravans along the Great Silk Road to other countries. Naftalan is called no other than "thick blood of the earth", and the resort is called "the spring of black gold". Thanks to Naphthalan baths, hundreds of people have regained the ability to move without the help of canes and crutches. This is confirmed by the collection of the unusual Museum of crutches left behind. Nowadays, the resort offers services of modern health centers, large sanatoriums and comfortable hotels. Naftalan is a unique balneological resort located in a picturesque corner of the world.
It is a resort with a unique flavor. Many locals call it the gateway to the republic. The city is mentioned as early as in ancient chronicles and notes of scientists who lived in the 90s BC. Today Astara is a real tourist area with a developed infrastructure, modern hotels and hostels on the coast, stores and restaurants with a variety of cuisine. The climate of this area is humid and subtropical, which allows you to enjoy warm weather until late fall. The air in this place is clean and fresh, filled with incredible aromas of citrus fruits. We advise you to pay attention to this wonderful resort and enjoy its beauty.
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