Azerbaijan Travel Guides for Backpackers

Meet Azerbaijan: what to see in Baku and the surbubs

Azerbaijan is not а big country located close to Turkey, Iran and Russia. The capital city is Baku – one of the oldest and greatest cities of the Middle East. Baku is located at the coast of the Caspian Sea. I didn’t appreciate the city beaches and decided not to swim in the quiet dirty Sea in spite of the hot weather. But locals assert that you need to know just the right places. In past Azerbaijan was one of 15 republics of the Soviet Union and Baku was the important industrial scientific and cultural centre of the USSR. After the crisis that was caused by the dissolution of the Union Baku is reviving economic activity and working on the investment and tourist attractiveness. It hosted Eurovision 2012, the first-ever The 2015 European Games, Formula 1 Grand Prix of Europe 2016. And in the near future – The 2020 UEFA European Football Championship.   The old and modern appearance of Baku Architectural aspect of Baku is super eclectic. Sparkling skyscrapers, soviet Khrushchev’s blocks of flats and medieval buildings with oriental colour harmonize in the most inconceivable way. From the Top of the wavy and unclear to me Heydar Aliyev Center you can see the futuristic Trump Tower Baku. The Shirvanshah Palace that is located in the oldest part of the Old City (İçərişəhər) has beautiful views of the Flame Towers – the most recognizable and the highest buildings of Baku. By the way, the aforementioned Heydar Aliyev Center has become a winner in Design of the Year 2014. In a park in front of that architectural masterpiece, there is (I think the only in the world) the art composition “I Love Baku”, which is impossible to approach. A security guard looks after the possible disturbers carefully and suppresses any attempt to come to it. Flame Towers look like three tongues of fire and the night illumination makes an illusion of flame. The Carpet Museum and Baku Crystal Hall are worth to be visited! Certainly, every that modern building impresses and tempts the implementation of any architectural dream but the Old City enchants and carries you to the world of magic lamps and flying carpets. There is no way to get your mind out the soundtrack for the Disney animated feature film, Aladdin. Arabian ni-i-ights like Arabian da-a-ays etc well you know. Endless narrow streets change into labyrinths of side-streets, turnings, passageways and stairs. Those streets lead you to the places where you didn’t think to find yourself. And it happens again and again even when you are absolutely sure you go the right way. İçərişəhər was classified by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in December 2000. It’s really must be seen in Azerbaijan. Tens of mosques, khan’s palaces, medieval bath-houses, carpet bazaars, towers and gates – everything bewitches and amazes imagination which isn’t accustomed to views of the eastern architecture. The Old City attracts Russian tourists by another reason. It’s the location for the film The Diamond Arm – […]

Shaki, one of the must see places of Azerbaijan

Caucasus is a unique region situated between Europe and Asia, which includes in itself several countries with various cultures, histories, arts and religions. The country Azerbaijan, in a sense, is one of the luckiest countries, to be situated in Caucasus. Because this is where East and West meets, where the cultures are mixed, this is where there is a perfect climate for the most fruits, and vegetables. And this country appears to be my motherland. Here in Azerbaijan, there are lots of interesting things to be seen, each city of the country is beautiful differently, for its cultural monuments, art, and history. So I would like, to begin with, the city of Shaki, a small city in the northwest part of the country. Shaki The city of Shaki is one of the oldest cities of Azerbaijan. It's situated in the northwest part of Azerbaijan, on foothills of Great Caucasus Mountains. There is a mount precipice on the north border of the city, so if you enter the city that way, you can see an amazing natural landscape. Also, the city itself has a strange structure, because of the river flowing through the region: it divides the town into two pieces, Southern and Northern parts. The city, surrounded by the mountains and forests, has a breathtakingly beautiful sightseeings. Rather than that, there are many historical significant architectures in the city, because of its antiquity. Here are the list of main historical monuments to visit, once you go to Shaki: Shaki Khans' Palace, Fortress, Galarsan-Gorarsan, Upper Shaki Caravanserai, Lower Shaki Caravanserai, House museum of Fatali Akhundov.  On top of that, there are several bathhouses and mosques in the city belonging to XVIII or XIX century, which aren't less interesting. Mountainous view of Shaki Shaki Khans' Palace One of the most famous historical monuments of Shaki is the Shaki Khans' Palace. This place is a former residence of Shaki Khans. At present, the palace appears to be a museum, a historical and cultural monument. The palace was built in XVIII century in the style of eastern culture. It is located in the northeast part of the city, in the territory which is enclosed by fortress walls. The building itself has 6 rooms and 4 corridors. The rooms inside the palace are entirely ornamented and painted (all of the niches, stovepipes, ceilings and stalactite cornices). The palace had a restoration period during 1955 and 1965, in the course of which palace complex and drawings were developed. The last total restoration was carried out in 2002-2004 with the support of world bank. This historical monument is known not only in the country but also in bordering countries. Shaki Khans' Palace Fortress of Nukha The fortress was built in 1765, in the city of Nukha (former name of Shaki) with the purpose of protection of the city on the northeast part. This is the second most important monument of the city. From the complex erected in the Nukha fortress which […]
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