"Julia's Baku page" wild_julia's Profile
The city is situated in the south-western part of the Absheron peninsula. Its main houses and administrative buildings are located in the amphitheatre manner along the picturesque bay of the Caspian Sea. The climate is dry subtropic of the Mediterranean type. Scientists date the first settlements back to the 2nd millennium B.C. First mentionings about Baku as a city were found in Arab manuscripts of the 8th century A.C. Up to the 19th century Baku existed within the Fortress walls (22 hectares}.
Beginning with the end of the 19th c., Baku had been turning into a big industrial center with oil production and oil refinery. A new image of Baku has been formed. Round old fortress you could see many-stored buildings, fashionable mansions in different architectural styles: Moresque, Gothic, Baroque, Classic, Modern and others. Significant changes of the architectural appearance have taken place during the following years as well. Today Baku is the political, economic, scientific and culturaL center of Azerbaijan. Unique cultural treasures are stored and exhibited in Baku museums. Azerbaijan Academy of Science unites various scientific research institutes, dealing with the wide range of problems of different sciences. In the suburbs of Baku, in old settlements, there are many monuments of the Medieval architecture: watch towers, mosques, baths, civil constructions.
The places which attract particularly numerous number of tourists are the stay of ancient people with a rich collection of rock paintings, dated back to the paleolith-neolith (Gobustan historic and art reserve) and the Ateshgah Temple of Fire Worshippers (Surakhani settlement). The Absheron peninsula has sandy beaches, summer cottage settlements, rest houses for both adults and children.
I can tell you a lot about Baku, but you have to see it to understand its beauty.
You can get a lot of information about the history and people of Baku on the following sites:
www.bakupages.com (some great photos of Baku!)
Icheri Sheher - that is how the Baku Fortress is currently called, reserved its lay-out and is really a museum in the open air, the treasury of the Medieval architecture, containing more than 200 monuments with the Ensemble of Shirvanshahs' Palace (15 c.), unique Maiden Tower (12 c.), Mohammed Ibn Abubekir Mosque (1078), other mosques, Caravanserais and houses of 14-19 c.c. among them.
Baku's Maiden Tower (Qýz Qalasý), is a tower in old town Baku, originally on the shore of the Caspian Sea. Due to land reclamation in the early 20th century it is now separated from the Caspian by a busy main road and public gardens. It was constructed in the 12th century, or possibly earlier - its architectural style and construction sequence is obscure, and estimates for its age go back to an unlikely 2,500 years.
There are a number of competing explanations for the name:
A legend concerning a maiden who threw herself off its top, to her death in the waves below.
It may have been a sacred structure devoted to the maiden goddess Ani, referred to in mythologies of the Caucasus and Central Asia.
The fact that the tower has never been taken by force.
The Maiden Tower is a noted landmark and one of Azerbaijan's most distinctive national emblems, to be seen on Azeri currency notes and other official pieces of paper. It houses a museum and gift shop, selling traditional textile and ceramic products. The view from the roof is highly recommended, taking in the alleys and minarets of the Old City, the Boulevard, general De Gaulle house and a wide vista of Baku Bay. In recent years the brazier on the top has been lit during the nights of the Novruz festival, celebrated in Iran as well as Azerbaijan.
Check out this site for more info on Maiden Tower
One of the highlights of Baku is the area around Fountain Square, near the old town at the western end of the center. Sitting in one of the bars or pizza cafes lining the square you can watch the carefree courtship rituals of stylish Generation X Azeris and start to feel optimistic about the country’s future.
Fountain square is Baku's most fashionable area, where you go to see and be seen. The square is surrounded by sophisticated restaurants and shops. The long and often dry fountain serves as an endless bench for lazy afternoons and evenings.
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