Sights of Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan is our close neighbor. This country has not only a common border with Russia, but a common historical past, and many spiritual, economic and humanitarian ties. However, how much do we know about modern Azerbaijan?
Sights of Azerbaijan
Any tourist route in Azerbaijan begins in Baku. Sights in the capital of Azerbaijan, as they say, for every taste. Tourists are primarily attracted by Icheri Sheher – an ancient residential quarter behind the fortress wall, in which about 1300 Azerbaijani families live today.
Icheri Sheher – the so-called “Old City” in Baku
On the territory of Icheri Sheher, which is part of the so-called Old Town, there are dozens of historical monuments, among which the most famous are the Maiden Tower and the Shirvanshahs Palace.
Shirvanshahs Palace in Baku
Maiden Tower – one of the most famous sights of Azerbaijan
Maiden’s Tower is one of the symbols of the capital of Azerbaijan. The archaeologists did not determine its exact age, it was only established that the tower was built no later than the XII century. But there is no shortage of legends and versions of the origin of its name. The final, as a rule, is one, classic – from the top of the tower the daughter of the Shah rushes down, not wanting to marry the unloved. True, there is another, patriotic version: the tower was never captured by enemies, it always remained impregnable as a maiden.
Quarter Icheri Sheher
The Icheri Sheher quarter is an old acquaintance of everyone who remembers and loves the comedy The Diamond Arm. It was here that the “eastern” frames of the film were shot and the phrases that became legendary were sounded: “Russo touristo, visually moral” and “short pobierri”. The lovers of Soviet cinema saw the mysterious narrow streets of Icheri Sheher in Tehran-43, Amphibian Man, and Aibolit 66.
Outside the Old City, modern Baku is undergoing a real construction boom. In the business and administrative center of the capital, the facades of old buildings of the Soviet era are being ennobled, and residential quarters on the outskirts of Baku are being reconstructed.
View of modern Baku from the old city
Indispensable attributes of megacities appear in Baku – ultramodern buildings and skyscrapers. Experienced people say that the scale of construction of Baku is comparable to Dubai. Among the prestigious new buildings are the Heydar Aliyev Cultural Center (a building with almost no straight lines), Crystal Hall, where the Eurovision Song Contest was held in 2012.
Heydar Aliyev Cultural Center in Baku
And, of course, three Flaming towers, contesting the status of the symbol of Baku at the old Maiden Tower. Flaming towers are especially spectacular at night, when due to the original illumination, skyscrapers really resemble tongues of flame.
Three Flaming Towers and Baku Embankment
The architectural appearance of Baku is constantly changing, it is noted by everyone who visited the capital of Azerbaijan at least two or three years ago. The famous Seaside Boulevard is five and a half kilometers long, a favorite place for walks of Baku people and visitors of the city, due to the ongoing reconstruction, it will soon reach a length of 25 kilometers and will become the longest boulevard in the world. Baku is also preparing for the project to build the largest building in the world, with a height of more than 1000 meters.
Tourism infrastructure is well developed in Baku; it is a very convenient city for visiting by Russians and Russian-speaking tourists from other CIS countries. Almost all speak Russian well in Azerbaijan. It is also important that in Azerbaijan – the lowest crime rate among the CIS countries, you can walk in the evenings completely calmly. The streets are wide and clean, however, a large stream of cars and a small number of pedestrian and underground crossings are striking.
Architectural sights of Baku. Shopping center
Many Russians are sure that in all countries of the former USSR, prices are much lower than Russian prices. For Azerbaijan, such a statement is true only in relation to transport. You should not count on cheap fruits and vegetables, especially in areas frequented by tourists.
To make a complete impression of Azerbaijan, one should not limit oneself to visiting Baku alone, which is largely a European city. Among the attractions of Azerbaijan are Ganja, a surprisingly beautiful ancient city, the Gobustan archaeological reserve with stunning cave paintings, a waterfall near Gabala with the romantic name “Seven Beauties”.
Ganja, a surprisingly beautiful ancient city
Another reason to go beyond visiting Baku is the Caspian beaches. As you know, oil has long been extracted in Baku, and there are almost no beaches in the city. It is better to swim in the Caspian waves, settling in small suburban hotels. The beach season lasts from mid-May to mid-September.