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Baku. Capital of Azerbaijan. Paris of the East

Travel

By Aynur YusifovaPublished 9 months ago 4 min read
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Hello there, salaam! Welcome to Cool Vision. You might be wondering where you are – it resembles Paris, but you're actually in Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan was once part of the USSR, but it's been an independent country for more than three decades now.

So, what is Baku famous for? Well, it's renowned for its captivating architecture, a substantial population of cats, and its reputation as a windy city. Situated on the southern coast of the Abseron Peninsula along the Caspian Sea, it's the largest city in the Caucasus region, with approximately 2.3 million inhabitants. It's also one of the oldest cities in the East.

The heart of present-day Baku is the Old Town, known as Cherisheher, which translates to "Inner City." This historic area is a charming labyrinth of narrow streets featuring foreign embassies, souvenir shops, and restaurants. The standout attraction in the Old Town is the Maiden Tower, a 12th-century monument surrounded by intriguing legends. Inside, you'll find a museum, an assortment of artifacts, and a gift shop, not to mention stunning views from the rooftop.

Another significant landmark is the Shirvanshah's Palace, a 15th-century palace that once belonged to the Shirvanshah dynasty, one of the longest-standing dynasties in the Islamic world. Cherisheher is essentially a city within a city, and although it had a population of around 3,000 people in 2007, it was a popular setting for Soviet-era films.

While wandering the streets, you'll encounter numerous tea houses, carpet merchants, and bear in mind that prices in the Old Town tend to be higher. However, you'll discover plenty of fantastic restaurants here, including some hidden gems offering delectable local cuisine.

Baku, interestingly, sits 28 meters below sea level, made possible by the Caspian Sea, which is also below sea level. This city has a rich history in the oil industry, with drilling activities dating back to 1846. European and American entrepreneurs, such as the Nobel brothers and the Rothschilds, flocked here in the 19th century, contributing to the city's European-style architecture and earning it the nickname "Paris of the East." Today, petroleum remains a dominant industry, with numerous international oil field service companies operating in Baku.

Baku is also a major seaport capable of handling 2 million tons of general and dry bulk cargo annually. It boasts several universities, including Baku State University and Azerbaijan State Economic University, attracting thousands of international students. Tourism is on the rise, with the city hosting various international events like the Eurovision Song Contest, the European Games, and Formula One races at the Baku City Circuit, which has been part of the Formula One calendar since 2016.

Let's explore some popular spots in the city:

Fountain Square: A bustling public square with festivals, live music, restaurants, and fountains.

Nizami Street: A pedestrian shopping street featuring 19th-century buildings, street musicians, and diverse shops.

Heydar Aliyev Cultural Center: A modern art museum known for its unique architecture, exhibitions on Azerbaijani history, and a collection of cars once driven by former President Heydar Aliyev.

Azerbaijan Carpet Museum: Shaped like a folded carpet, it houses a vast collection of Azerbaijani carpets and various artifacts.

The Crescent Hotel: A notable skyscraper complex currently under construction.

Deniz Mall: A mall reminiscent of the Sydney Opera House, adding to the city's modern skyline.

The text begins with a greeting and introduces the reader to Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan. It highlights that Baku was formerly part of the USSR but has been an independent country for over 30 years. The city is known for its beautiful architecture, a large population of cats, and its reputation as a windy city.

The text describes Baku's location on the Abseron Peninsula, along the Caspian Sea, and its status as the largest city in the Caucasus region. The Old Town, known as Cherisheher, is emphasized as the heart of Baku, with attractions like the Maiden Tower and Shirvanshah's Palace.

It mentions that Baku was a popular location for filming Soviet movies during the Soviet era and that the Old Town had a population of around 3,000 people in 2007. The text also touches on the city's history as an oil center, drawing entrepreneurs from Europe and the US in the 19th century, earning it the nickname "Paris of the East."

Baku's role as a major seaport and its growing importance in education and tourism are highlighted. It notes the hosting of international events like Eurovision, the European Games, and Formula One races in the Baku City Circuit.

The text then lists popular spots in the city, including Fountain Square, Nizami Street, the Heydar Aliyev Cultural Center, the Azerbaijan Carpet Museum, the Crescent Hotel, and Deniz Mall. These places showcase Baku's blend of history and modernity.

In summary, the text provides an overview of Baku, its historical significance, modern developments, and notable attractions, making it a comprehensive introduction to the city.

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Aynur Yusifova

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  • The Invisible Writer9 months ago

    Very informative article

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