Azerbaijan Land of Flame and Fire

The Republic of Azerbaijan, also spelled Azerbaidzhan is in Eastern Transcaucasian.  It is a transcontinental country, located between Western Asia and Eastern Europe occupying an area that fringes the Southern flanks of the Caucasus Mountains.  It is bordered to the north by Russia, to the east by the Caspian Sea, to the south by Iran, to the west byArmenia and the north-west by Georgia.  The population of the country is 9,92 million people.

The official language is Azerbaijani, though Russian is also widely spoken.  The majority of the people are Muslims, but there is no official religion.

Landscape in Azerbaijan

The country enjoys a variety of landscapes and climates.  There are dry subtropical temperatures in the centre and the east, with mild winters and long summers, and dry continental climates in other parts with cold winters and long, hot summers.

Medieval Travellers in Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan has a long and varying history.  It was an independent nation between 1918 to 1920 when it was incorporated into the Soviet Union.  In 1936 it became a constituent republic and in 1989 it declared sovereignty and became independent in 1991.

        

Oil in Azerbaijan today    Oil in Azerbaijan in the 19th cetury

The country is a significant producer of oil and gas and has been linked to oil for centuries.  In 1846 it drilled its first oil well in Bibi-Heybat, a decade before the Americans made their famous discovery in Pennsylvania.  By the beginning of the 20th century, the country was producing more than half of the world’s supply of oil.

The Medieval Walls of Baku with the Flame Towers in the background

The capital of Azerbaijan is the ancient city of Baku, with a population of just over 2 million people.  It is at sea level and is famous for its medieval walled city where the 15th century Shirvanshahs Palace, once owned by the ancient Royal Family, can be found.  Also to be admired there is the emblematic Doncella Tower.

The Heydar Aliyev Centre

The modern part of the city boasts the Heydar Aliyev, a magnificent white building with no angles, designed by the Iraquian architect Zaha Hadid, and the very symbolic  Flame Towers – three skyscrapers representing the flames which once upon a time were seen in Yanar Dag, one of the principal hills outside Baku.  Today, the flames can be seen in only one area of this hill and are caused by the gas which is found under the earth.

The National Football Stadium

Soccer is undoubtedly the most popular sport in Azerbaijan.  However, its most well known contribution to the football world is not on the pitch but off it with the nation’s controversial sponsorship of clubs such as Atlético Madrid amongst others.

Yanar Dag on the outskirts of Baku

Azerbaijan, land of fire, land of inspirations, is attracting tourism year by year.

A tourist reading The Verb To Be of Football