"A booming capital" Top 5 Page for this destination Baku by josephescu

Baku Travel Guide: 306 reviews and 866 photos


Well...this capital seemed booming in high growth rates in all fields - from population to expats, buildings and roads, and from cars to shops and cafes. I was told casinos were the only thing no longer booming these days....
Is it all booming due to oil? I don't know, but it seems to fuel many things around Baku, or at least the plasmas hanging in the underground stations.


Its vaguely exotic name hides a city at the crossroad of international energy trade. And although hundreds of miles east to Ankara, Baku is still in Europe, at least geographically speaking.

Cosmopolitan since the XIX century

Baku preserved its multiethnic character until independence of Azerbaijan in the ‘90s. Around 1913, one third of the 214.000 inhabitants were Azeris, one third Russians, 20% Armenians, and the rest – Jews, Germans and Polish.
Baku was the place where both Alfred Nobel and Calouste Gulbenkian made fortunes exporting oil via a Rotschild financed railroad to Batumi. Baroque and art-nouveau palaces, with exuberant gardens, ceremonial staircases and Italian frescoes testify today for this old-times glory.
Independence brought the end of the multiethnic civilisation in Baku and the rise of a different type of cosmopolitanism – the corporatist type, whose behaviour is mimicked by the “nouveau riche” Azeris. To get a glimpse of “profound” Azerbaijan, a trip outside Baku is a must.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:surprisingly cosmopolitan society
  • Cons:little nighlife activity
  • In a nutshell:Shahs, Soviets and the Oil
  • Last visit to Baku: Aug 2006
  • Intro Updated Sep 7, 2006
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Reviews (29)

Comments (1)

  • hindu1936's Profile Photo
    Nov 24, 2006 at 8:30 PM

    Ah! Joseph/ Our journey must take us through Baku and yourpage has made us look forward to seing instead "well we hvet to there to ship to Kazakstan. thanks much. nice history, good pics.


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