Azerbaijan is a country of museums
In Azerbaijan, mountains are located next to the seas, forests are adjacent to cities, and ancient architectural masterpieces are adjacent to modern buildings. There is a spicy oriental flavor in the country, the locals know how to speak Russian and are friendly to guests.
There are many museums in the city, modern futuristic buildings coexist with ancient convenient streets. Tourists will be interested in visiting ancient temples, admiring beautiful fountains and amazing architectural monuments. And even picky gourmets will like the national cuisine.
- In the old quarter of Icheri Sheher, tourists can see the fortress wall, mosques, a caravanserai, several towers and ancient public baths. The scenes from the movie «The Diamond Arm» were filmed here.
Even to inspect the building in which there was a pharmacy of smugglers at Kichik Gala 8. Then the hero of Yuri Nikulin, Semyon Gorbunkov, fell and broke his arm.
1. Maiden’s Tower
The main attraction of the quarter is the Maiden’s Tower, located among the narrow streets. When it was built no one knows. The tower used to be part of the defensive structures of the Baku fortress. Then it was used as a lighthouse.
There is a legend about the Maiden’s Tower. One day the shah fell in love with his daughter and decided to marry her. Fleeing from shame, the girl asked first to build a tower in her honor. She hoped that during the construction the Shah would change his mind. But the father did not change his intention, then the unfortunate woman threw herself from the tower into the sea and drowned.
2. House-workshop of the artist Ali Shamsi
This is an interesting place in the Old City. Various symbols, amulets, signs flaunt on its facade. On a nearby tree, women’s faces are depicted. Inside the house, there are many paintings, metal installations and souvenirs brought from other countries on the walls. These are stones, skulls, stuffed animals.
Ali warmly welcomes every tourist, it is not for nothing that one wall is decorated with photographs of guests and greetings from them.
Previously, the artist lived in a monastery, painted icons, then returned to normal life and began to paint bright fantastic paintings. Some of them were bought by famous people and exhibited in galleries in many countries.
3. Boulevard, residence and observation deck
History lovers are interested in visiting the former residence of the rulers of Shirvan. This complex consists of a palace, a mausoleum, a tomb, a bathhouse, a mosque and an old small courtyard. The complex was built from the 13th to the 14th century.
Not far from the Old Town, you can take a funicular from Neftchilar Square to Nagorny Park with an observation deck.
It’s nice to walk along the Baku seaside beach. It is similar to the coast in Nice.
4. Complex «Flame Towers»
- They were built in the capital of Azerbaijan in 2012. These three high towers look like tongues of fire. The tallest building rises to 182, the second — 165, and the third — 141 meters.
They housed a hotel, offices and apartments. From above, the skyscrapers are covered with screens; after dark, they display the movement of the flame. Looks fantastic. The towers can be seen from anywhere in Baku.
5. It is also interesting for tourists to visit the Azerbaijan Carpet Museum, located in a building that looks like a large carpet rolled into a roll.
The museum has collected 14 thousand pieces of carpets, among them with landscapes, maps and portraits.
Ancient drawings and volcanoes of Gobustan
1. After driving fifty kilometers from Baku, you can see the Gobustan historical and artistic reserve. There is an amazing landscape: huge stones, as if scattered by an ancient giant, gradually turn into a plain, meeting with the sea.
2. Near the mountains of Boyukdash and Chingirdag there are two rocky blocks, which are called gavaldash or stone-tambourine . When tapped on them, sounds similar to the sounds of a tambourine are heard. Probably, in ancient times they were used for rituals or ceremonies. The sounds of gavaldash are heard up to 3 km.
3. On Gobustan, you can see rock carvings and inscriptions carved by ancient people made in the Neolithic era. There are scenes of hunting, ritual dances, farming, animals and various symbols.
8. Mud volcanoes operate on Gobustan , they are mainly located on the territory of the reserve. The last eruption was in 2017 near the city of Shirvan, then the mud rose to a height of 35 meters.
Not far from Baku, on the Yanardag hill, tourists can see an amazing phenomenon — a natural fire that has been burning for several centuries and stretches 10 meters in length.
- It is burning natural gas flowing from a field near the Absheron Peninsula. It is especially interesting to look at the burning of gas in the evening.
It is useful for a tourist visiting Azerbaijan to learn a few expressions, then the locals will treat him especially carefully and kindly.
For example, salaam alaikum is how they say hello in the country, chokh sagol means thank you, and menim adym is translated as “my name is”.