Top 10 Attractions in Azerbaijan

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1.Old City of Baku

One of the most popular historic places situated in Azerbaijan's capital, is the district known as the Old town of Baku, located on the shore of the Caspian Sea. It is well separated from the rest of the city with remains of old fortifications, the most important of which is Maiden Tower.

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Its overall appearance represents a typical oriental city, with many curved and narrow lanes, often impassable for anything other than a pedestrian .

The houses are made, with flat or domed typical roofs and small windows which contrast with buildings from the 19th century, designed by the Russians in European style. Undoubtedly one of the places of great interest is the Palace of Shirvanshah that is definitely one of the miracles of the architecture.

2. Maiden Tower, Baku

The distinguishable landmark of Baku is none other than the Maiden Tower. Azerbaijanis are incredibly proud of this monument that is shrouded in mystery and that even scholars and historians are unable to speak about its origin and meaning.

The Maiden Tower is a round bastion tower located along the ancient coast of Baku. It may once have been part of the fortress wall that embraced the old town.

The foundations of the tower date back to the sixth and the seventh centuries, while the main part of the building is supposed to have been completed by the twelfth century. The tower has really unique form - it consists of a wide cylinder connected to a wall that is trapezoidal in some of its sections.

The view from the top of the tower is stunning. It covers almost all of today's city port, the slopes of surrounding hills and the crystal clear sea. Without any doubt, this is one of the most impressive places around Baku.


3. Mud volcanoes

What makes the mud volcanoes near Qobustan, situated southwest of Baku, so interesting? First, the national park Qobustan is the largest concentration of mud volcanoes in the world - about 300.

Secondly, Azerbaijani mud volcanoes are fed by a huge underground reservoir and unlike many other popular volcanoes of that kind never dry out. Also there are located the largest mud volcanoes - some cones exceed to a height of 200 meters.

The volcanoes throw not only mud but also different gases - mainly methane, carbon dioxide, nitrogen. The combination of gases is sometimes explosive and regularly from the ground erupt flames.

For example, in 2001 one of the Azerbaijani mud volcanoes throw out a 15-meter high fire pole. On the territory of the reserve are located not only mud volcanoes, but over 6,000 rock paintings of primitive people. Their age is between 5,000 and 40,000 years and they depict animals, people, battles, warriors with spears, stars and planets.


4. Palace of the Shirvanshahs

Certainly one of the most impressive places in the old town of Baku is the Shirvanshahs Palace. The main building was begun in 1411 and there is some controversy about its purpose, but it is fact that the latter two-storey stone building was used as a palace, while the mausoleum is exported off and dated back to 1435.

The newest part of the complex as construction and discovery are the bathrooms, built about a century after the main parts of the complex and demonstrate very good engineering. They are half dug up in the land to keep cool in summer and warm in winter. The palace has 26 different rooms for different guests and events, and no windows, so as not to tempt the eyes of passers-by.


5. Petroglyphs of Qobustan

Gobustan is a hill and mountain site occupying the southeast ending of the Big Caucasian Ridge. Gobustan is an open-air museum famous for its Neolithic rock drawings. That unique place hosts some 4,000 inscriptions that date back 12,000 years.

The well-preserved sketches display ancient populations travelling on reed boats; men hunt antelope and wild bulls; women dance and represent the life and habits of the people of that time. The reserve also has a wonder view of the Caspian. Looking at the land, it is easy to see how far the Caspian has receded over time.


6. Fountain Square, Baku

The very heart of Baku's commercial district, Fountain Square has a number of lovely shops, restaurants and hotels. The square fountain is more often used as a relax place for passers-by tired from shopping.

It is also a famous gathering spot especially after business hours and during the weekend. The place, which was also famous as Parapet square, and the Garden which appeared in 1860 were the organizing element of the business and public center of Baku.


7. Governments House, Baku

That magnificent building hosts various state ministries of Azerbaijan. It is designed to accommodate more than 5,500 people. In 1934, the Soviet authorities decided to build Baku Soviet Palace (later renamed to Government House).

The building of the Government House was finished between 1936 and 1952. It housed many organizations and business firms after restoration of Azerbaijani independence in 1991.

After complete renovation of the building, all business firms were moved to other locations in the city and the offices were provided to public organizations and institutions. Being situated in the heart of Baku, the Government House is one of the most visited tourist attractions of Azerbaijan.

8. Lankaran City

Lankaran is a famous city, situated on the coast of Caspian Sea near the southern border with Iran. The region is popular for its golden beaches, mineral springs and many gorgeous parks that are inhabited by various examples of flora and fauna. Lankaran's history is rather recent, dating back to the 16th century.

Lankaran area is also an important agricultural zone due to its fertility and excellent climate. In the villages around are developed also traditional handcrafts such as carpet weaving and jewelry making. The city is also popular with its great city stadium.


9. Caucasus Mountain

The Caucasus Mountains is a mountain in Eurasia situated between the Black and the Caspian Seas. The mountain is composed of two different ranges - the Greater Caucasus in the north and the Lesser Caucasus in the south.

The highest peak is Mount Elbrus which rises majestically with its 5,642 meters. The western part of the Caucasus is a unique place that hosts a wide range of ecosystems and species.

It is recognized as "the only large mountain area in Europe that has not experienced significant human impact, containing extensive tracts of undisturbed mountain forests unique on the European scale".


10. The Ateshgah museum

In its early history Azerbaijan was called the "land of the sacred fire". There are plenty of various temples in Azerbaijan but the most popular and well preserved is Ateshgah.

It was built over a source of natural gas that fueled a vent ensuring the constant burning of the "eternal fire.

The temple represents the relationships between India and Azerbaijan and that's why it is a mix of different styles representing two cultures. Nowadays the temple hosts a museum that is certainly worth a visit.1.