Baku is a shining pearl of Azerbaijan. This mysterious capital tangled with various legends counts centuries of history. Despite many assumptions there is no known real evidence when and why Baku was founded, and what is the real origins of it's name. Many years it was a small town closed behind huge fortifications near the Caspian Sea. The fortress consisted of three walls with water and oil between them. When enemies attacked the city, they first encountered the water later the ditch filled with oil which used to be set on fire. So it is said, that if you want to enter the city, you must cross water and fire.
Nowadays it is known as Old City or “Icharishahar” - UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is a unique, historical part of Azerbaijan located within the heart of Baku with cobblestone streets, ancient walls, narrow corridors and intricate art on the doors. The Old City of Baku has a lot to offer starting from aged buildings, a palace complex, mosques and the iconic Maiden Tower. It’s a great place to get lost in! However, we would also recommend going on a walking tour with local guide that will reveal you all the secrets hiding behind the walls of The Old City.
Oil discovery in 19th century significantly changed the face of Baku. The city grew rapidly: large boulevards and Parisian-style neighborhoods. The subsequent world wars and Soviet rule pushed it off the world stage. However, now the capital of Azerbaijan is the most economically developed and luxurious city in the Caucasus, often compared with Dubai. The Flame Towers are a marvel of modern architecture and stands along with buildings and mosques from the 12th century.
For a very long time Baku was a real off the beaten track destination only known by the most intrepid travelers. However, it's eccentric composition and the chaotic mix of European, Eastern, and the Soviet cultures and stories is so exciting, which makes Baku a must visit destination!
Best of luck planning your holidays in Baku!
Is there anything else you would like to visit while in Azerbaijan?
If you have anything in mind, please let us know and let’s discuss it.
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