Baku
Capital of Azerbaijan — Baku city

Baku — the capital of the Republic of Azerbaijan, a large scientific and industrial center. According to its antiquity , size of territory and population of Baku is one of the oldest and largest cities of the East. People anciently settled in Baku and Absheron peninsula and founded the settlement. The reason for this was the physical and geographical conditions of Baku city, its location in the center of the intersection of migration and trade routes that stretched from north to south , from east to west ( «Silk Road» ) , climatic conditions and fuel and energy wealth since ancient times facing surface of the earth , and called » naphtha » . The first information about Baku appeared in » Book of the Dead » 3500 BC , during the reign of the Egyptian Pharaoh Minesan . The ancient age of Baku evidenced by stone carvings in Gobustan and Absheron (12 thousand years ago) , archaeological finds , stone carving by August Guy Octavio , tells about the military camp near Baku ( 40 km south ) in the I century BC AD Roman emperor Pompey and Lucullus with the purpose of occupation of the Caucasus. Given these dates , it is possible to establish that the city of Baku over 5.5 thousand years. In the XII century , Baku was one of the main cities of the state Shirvanshakhs , XVI century — the Safavid state , XVII century — Ottoman Empire , XVIII century — the Baku khanate. Baku is situated in the south of the Absheron peninsula , on the shores of the Caspian Sea , its area is 2200 square meters. km , with a population of about 2 million. In addition , currently reside in Baku about 500,000 refugees and IDPs. Baku has 11 administrative districts, 5 townships.

Agjabadi
Agjabadi

Small provincial town, east of Ganja, near the Kura river — centre of the ‘rayon’ of the same name. Important road and railway intersection. The area has some agriculture, mainly cotton and tobacco, silk production and a large flour factory. Not much to see or do, there is a theatre and a recently built mosque. Near the entrance to town there is a large memorial. The most pleasant area is near the river, where you can have a meal in nice surroundings. You can find petrol and some basic food, if you need to stay overnight try your luck at the Hotel Aran (near the bus station).(265 km west of Baku)

Astara

Astara

Astara (Azerb. Astara) is a city in Azerbaijan, the administrative center of Astara region. Situated in the extreme South-East of Azerbaijan on the left Bank of the river Astara (Astarachay) where it empties into the Caspian sea. The river is the border with Iran. 3 km from the town is the railway station Astara. On the Iranian side is the city of the Iranian Astara. The district was formed on August 8, 1930. In 1963, the district was liquidated and merged with the Lankaran district, but in 1965, separated, he again became independent. Historical facts show that the city of Astara was one of the ancient and sophisticated dwellings Talysh region of Azerbaijan. The name of the city of Astara is reflected in the most ancient books of the world’s scientists, travelers notes, maps geographers, about this place are very interesting information. Mathematician, astronomer and geographer of the ancient world Claudius Ptolemy of Alexandria, who lived in 90-160 years of our era, being a researcher, made a map of the Caspian sea, Dating II century. He gave the names and exact information of all geographical objects and dwelling places, located on the coast. K. Ptolemy, speaking about Albania and all cities and villages pertaining to it, Astara was mentioned in Greek, «Astarta».

Agdam

Agdam

Agdam is located in the valley of rivers Kura and Araz, at the Karabakh plateau close to mountains of Lesser Caucasus at the altitude of 410-1365 meters above sea level. Relief here is mostly flat with not high mountains. Rivers Khachin and Gardag flow through the territory of the district. More that 1700 hectares are occupied by forests. In the district limestone, gravel and sand are extracted. First time Agdam was mentioned in historical documents in 1357. There is a stone plate preserved at the ancient cemetery dated 1174 that informs that here was an ancient fortress located. This information is confirmed by ancient stone quarry in Shakhbulag settlement near Agdam where limestone was extracted. Exactly this stone was used for construction of the fortress called Agdam (white roof). The opening of the winery in Muradbeyli village by brothers Sogomonov in 1853 was the beginning of the wine-making. In 1890 special equipment was delivered from abroad and a plant for production of brandy was opened. Another winery in Agdam was opened by Khublarov brothers. A winery opened by Alexander Zildhiyev worked in Boyahmedli village. Agdam was the first district in Azerbaijan that started to grow cotton.

Balakan

Balakan

The distance between Baku and Balakan is 471 km. The Yevlakh-Shaki-Tbilisi road passes through Balakan. Located 300 meters above sea level and covering 923 sq. km., the district, set up in 1930, is Azerbaijan’s last north-western stop. It sits on the southern slopes of the Greater Caucasus. The highest top is Guton (3648 m). Mountains make up half of the district. It has a high rate of precipitation and, therefore, many rivers. The biggest river is the borderline Ganikh. There are four climate zones here. There is a hot and semi-humid subtropical zone in foothill and plain areas. The climate in high mountain areas is cold and humid. For its subtropical climate, 65 per cent of Balakan is second only to the Talish zone. Balakan means a small village. This is the initial local theory. Fifth century Georgian sources provided information about an Alban settlement called Belakan. Bel used to mean a mountain, a spirit and then a God. In mythology, beliefs associated with spirits appeared earlier than those of God. Another theory suggests that it bears the name of Oghuz commander Belakan.

Barda

Barda

Barda — perhaps the most important and most famous city that has ever existed in the Azerbaijan segment of the Great Silk Road. Known as early as the 4th century AD, and in the 5th century became the capital of a large state in the Caucasus — Caucasian Albania — ancient Bard was a key point at which converged set of arteries, formed the Great Silk Road. In addition, for four centuries Barda was a Christian city. Only after the capture of the town in the eighth century Arab troops, and Bard all the territory of present Azerbaijan started moving towards Islamization. Barda is located on the Karabakh plain 260 km from Baku, on the river Tartar. On passing through the city branch Yevlakh — Agdam railroad station just Barda. A few kilometers from the town is the ceasefire line between Azerbaijan and the unrecognized Nagorno -Karabakh Republic.  Due to its important geographical location (city, located at the crossroads of caravan routes of the East), the Bard was a major trade and craft city: had defensive walls, moat, stone bridge, covered markets. For centuries been numerous attempts to win city. In the fight against the invaders particularly famous ruler of Caucasian Albania, Prince «All Albania» Jevanshir, who ruled in the VII century, he fought against the Sassanids, Byzantium, the Khazars and Arabs against the invaders concluding that tactical alliances with one or another of his opponents. Nevertheless, in the year 667, under the threat of invasion of the Arabs from the south and north of the Khazars, Jevanshir pleaded vassal of the Caliphate, which was the turning point in the history of the country and contributed to its Islamization. At the beginning of the VIII century, Albania was completely conquered by the Caliphate, and 705 power Mihranidov was abolished.

Caspian Sea

Caspian Sea

Caspian Sea — the world’s largest closed lake plays an important role in the life of the Azerbaijani people and the unique physical- geographical indicators. Suffice to say that the flora and fauna of the Caspian Sea is rich in endemic species. For example, 90 % of sturgeon in the world other than its antiquity from other fish species are found in this sea. Specific geographical landscape created favorable recreational conditions. Sea stretches along a meridian in the form of the Latin letter S, is located between 47 ° 17 ‘east longitude and 36 ° 33′ west longitude. The sea across the meridian is about 1,200 km, width — 310 the latitude and smaller, respectively, are 435 and 195 km. Due to periodic changes in the level of the Caspian Sea level changes its surface (mirror) and the volume of water. The present level of the sea below sea level is 26.75 meters On this level the sea area is 392600 km2, the volume of water is 78,648 km3, which is 44 % of the total resources of the lake waters in the world. Its maximum depth — 1025 meters, can be compared with the Black, Baltic Sea and Yellow Sea, the Caspian Sea deeper Adriatic, Aegean, and other Tyrrhenian Seas.  Fish fauna of the Caspian 4, 31 species and 45 subspecies endemic. Most of the endemic species recorded in the Middle Caspian. Approximately 40 species and subspecies of fish intended for fishing. Constitute the general basis ichthyomass sprat (80%), the rest are from mullet, silversides, and gudgeon. Among fish, endangered and included in the «Red Book» of the republic — Caspian lamprey, spotted fish, Southern Caspian Porus (white eye), saber fish, sea cif. In recent years, were endangered Caspian salmon, white salmon, khramulya, Shamayko, shibrit and garasol. In the marine fauna of the Caspian Sea is the only mammal — the Caspian seal. It is the smallest of all existing seals. Caspian seals from 1.5 million at the beginning of the 20th century decreased by the end of the century up to 300-400 thousand in 1993 Caspian seal is listed in the «Red Book».

Caucasus Albania

Caucasus Albania

The Albanian state (4th century BC — VIII.н.э.)existing 1000 years approximately in the same range, from ranexa in the South to the spurs of the Great Caucasus range in the North, played an important role in the history of the Caucasian peoples and in the history of the Azerbaijani people. Historically, what the people of Azerbaijan is one of the main heirs of historical-cultural heritage of historical Albania. Albania is the most early state in the Northern territory of historical Azerbaijan. The geographical position of Albania and its neighbors, as well as existing external and internal political situation contributed to a stable security of the Albanian borders. In the ancient period, with the exception of Albania, the Caucasus was brought into subjection to Rome. Because of its strategic position (the presence of the Caucasian passes, through which constantly leaked nomadic steppe threat Rome-Byzantium and Iran) Albania retained its statehood and sovereignty longer than their neighbors. On the political structure that was centralized feudal state ruled by Albanian kings (until the 1st century ad — local, and in I-VI centuries — Albanian Arsacid) and replaced them by the Grand Dukes-Mirandome (630-705’s.) , Albanian tsars and Grand princes ruled the country and in fact and law: there was the right of succession of political power, was the succession and continuity of the country’s rulers, who were independent from neighbors domestic and foreign policy that was radically different from their status from the nominal position of the Armenian kings.

Jalilabad

Jalilabad

Jalilabad city since 1967 was named after a prominent Azerbaijani writer Jalil Mammadguluzadeh. Bolqarchay, Misharchay, Goytapachay, Injachay rivers run through the territory of region. 14,7 thousand hectares of its territory is covered with forests. Different animals and hunting birds can be found in the forests, including hares, badgers, foxes, wolves, wild boars, wild duck, goose, falcon, partridge and other species. Jalilabad region is one of the largest wine-growing centers of the country. Low hills at the entrance to the city of Jalilabad draw an attention. During archaeological excavations conducted in this area granite made quern (hand mill), vessels of clay, tools and household items of the Eneolithic period were found in this region.  There are hotels and motels in the city.

Gabala

Gabala

This is the heart of north-western Azerbaijan. The country’s most beautiful district is known as a tourism paradise. If it hadn’t been for the Gabala radar station, which affects the local beauty and nature, the place would be ideal from both environmental and health standpoints…The distance to Baku is 225 km. Gabala is located in the Haftaran-Alazan valley and surrounded by the Greater Cauca­sus. It sits on the right bank of the Da­miraparan river 900 meters above sea level. Touching Lahij mountains on one side, Gabala is situated in the country’s north-west at the foot of the Shahdagh mountain. All villages in the district’s north are part of the Shahdagh Natio­nal Mark. Flowing from the Greater Ca­ucasus, the Damiraparan, Vandam, Bum, Tikanli and other rivers supply the valley with water and converge with the Kura.  Starting from the 4th century B.C., Gaba­la, Albania’s first capital in the 1st century A.D., played an important part in the country’s economic, political and cultu­ral life. The headquarters of Alban rulers were based in Gabala as well. It was on a par with the world’s strategic political and economic cities such as Babylon, Troy and Carthage. Although Roman troops attacked Albania in 60 B.C., they failed to occupy Gabala. In Sassanid ti­mes, Gabala was a major commercial and craftsmanship center and retained this status in caliphate times. Plunging into a recession after the 13th century Mongol attacks, Gabala subsequently revived. By the mid-18th century Gabala started losing its magnificence, while its population gradually moved elsewhere