"The Land of Fires" Top 5 Page for this destination Azerbaijan by josephescu

Azerbaijan Travel Guide: 448 reviews and 1,537 photos

A few words about some facts

- Azerbaijan derives his name from the Persian word “Azar” (fire), given to these territories because of Zoroastrian temples scattered all around, with their fires fuelled by plentiful supplies of oil and gas

- from the 4th century B.C., the state of Aghvan/Albania (sic!) grew steadily to reach the size of modern Azerbaijan. The Albanians adopted Christianity in the 4th century, together with the neighbouring Georgians and Armenians.

- After Arabs advance into Albania in the 7th century and later that of the Seljuk Turks in the 11th century, Islam became the major religion and much of what is now considered Azeri culture became apparent.

- there are more Azeri ethnics living abroad than in Azerbaijan

- Azerbaijan has changed its official alphabet 3 times in the XX-th century: from Arab to Latin in the 1920’s, from Latin to Cyrillic in the 1930’s and back to the Latin one in the 1990’s

- at the turn of the XX-th century, Baku was supplying half of the world’s oil

- BTC – acronym for the Baku – T’bilisi – Ceyan oil pipeline meant to transport the high quality Caspian oil to the West, a project supported by the US because it avoided both Russia and Iran, and finally constructed by the multinational oil corporations

- Long term and short term investments – it appears that most of the construction works in the centre of Baku – new blocks of flats, trendy shops, the new sports complex, restaurants, cafes, etc., are Turkish investments, while the multinational corporations are mostly interested in the oil business. The Iranians however have invested in building new mosques and Islamic schools outside Baku and in the countryside…..

Where i was and what i saw

As always, time is not enough, or it is my fault I want to spend holidays in the same alert style as in the day-to-day life. This time, i did the following:
- Baku - vibrant & shiny capital
- Zoroastrian Fire Temple near Baku
- Sumqayit - grim & decrepit atmosphere of the third largest town, in the Abseron peninsula
- Sheki - unspoiled local flavour and pleasant landscapes

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:friendly azeri
  • Cons:the signs of the crushing Soviet brutality
  • In a nutshell:more than just oil-booming
  • Last visit to Azerbaijan: Aug 2006
  • Intro Updated Dec 3, 2006
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josephescu

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