Top 12 Most Marvelous Places in Azerbaijan

Baku is the capital of Azerbaijan. The city became important after an earthquake destroyed Shamakhy in the 12th century, when the ruling Shirvanshah, Akhsitan I, chose Baku as the new capital. In 1501, Safavid Shah Ismail I laid siege to Baku. At this time the city was enclosed within the lines of strong walls, which were washed by the sea on one side and protected by a wide trench on land. In 1540 Baku was again captured by the Safavid troops. In 1604 the Baku fortress was destroyed by Safavid Shah Abbas I. The city is the scientific, cultural and industrial center of Azerbaijan. Many sizeable Azerbaijani institutions have their headquarters there, including SOCAR, one of the world's top 100 companies and others. Baku has plenty of cultural sites, the Old Town (Icheri Sheher), The Palace of the Shirvan Shahs, Maiden's Tower (Giz Qalasi). Absheron Peninsula: Atashgah Fire Temple, Yanar Dagh. Museums and galleries: The Azeri National Costume Museum (Doll Museum), Taghiyev History Museum, Latif Karimov Carpet and Applied Arts Museum, Home of Jafar Jabbarli.

Qobustan is a city in Azerbaijan's Baku Region. The area has been settled since the 8th millennium BC. It is known for hosting thousands of rock engravings spread over 100 square km depicting hunting scenes, people, ships, constellations and animals. Its oldest petroglyphs date from the 12th century BC. In 2007, UNESCO included the 'Gobustan Rock Art Cultural Landscape' in the World Heritage list. Qobustan is best known for being the home to the famous rock petroglyphs and mud volcanoes.

Naftalan is a city in Azerbaijan. It is on an agricultural plain near the Lesser Caucasus Mountains. The word naftalan also means a petroleum product which can be obtained there. Archaeological findings in the region date to the 12th century AD. The qualities of Naftalan oil have been known since early times; Marco Polo noted them. The oil in the area was known to people as far as China and India, and was traded by caravans throughout countries of the Near East. Modern use of the oil has dated to the 1870s under Czarist Russia.
Ganja is a city in northwestern Azerbaijan. Modern historians believe that the name Ganja (گنجه / Ganjeh) derives from the New Persian ganj (گنج: "treasure, treasury") and suggests that the city existed in pre-Islamic times and was likely founded in the 5th century A.D. The area in which Ganja is located was known as Arran from the 9th to 12th century; its urban population spoke mainly in the Persian language. Tourists favourite in Ganja are the the Tomb of Nizami, Bottle House, Central Museum, Javad khan tomb, Shah Abbas Mosque, Medieval Bath, Medieval guesthouse, "Karvansaray".

Sumqayit is one of the largest cities in Azerbaijan, located near the Caspian Sea, about 31 kilometres away from the capital, Baku. Between the years 1938 to 1941 a thermal power station was constructed to power Baku's growing petroleum industry. This was soon followed by more heavy industries. Due to World War II the construction of the area stopped and resume in 1944, when metallurgical and chemical plants were constructed and put into operation. The first production of Sumgayit Chemical Plant led to a rapid growth and construction boom, creating a new job market, and a need for a resident population. You can see the municipality building in the town center, there is a UEFA accredited football stadium which you can also use and exercise there.

Lankaran is in Azerbaijan's Talysh Region. The city was built on a swamp along the northern bank of the river bearing the city's name. There are remains of human settlements in the area dating back to the Neolithic period as well as ruins of fortified villages from the Bronze and Iron Ages. Lankaran's history is rather recent, dating from the 16th century. Lankaran was for a long time the capital of the Talysh Khanate, which enjoyed variable degrees of independence throughout history. It was first a part of the Persian Empire. Later it was held by Russia from 1728 to 1735, but only fell definitively to Russia's General Kotlyarevsky in 1813, that status having been confirmed by the Treaty of Turkmenchay in 1828. A site to see here is the Tomb of Seyid Khalifa. This 19th century tomb is located in the village of Jil. Here exist tomb stones the height of which reaches 1m 40cm.

Nakhichevan City              
Nakhichevan City is the capital of the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic of Azerbaijan, located 450 km west of Baku. In the 2nd century, Nakhchivan was already known to Ptolemy under the name Ναξουὰνα. Iranian historian and geographer of the 14th century Hamdollah Mostowfi in his book Nuzhat al-kulub (hearts delight), believed that Sassanid Iranian military commander was the founder of Nakhchivan , who lived in the end of 6th century. The city has a wide range of cultural activities, amenities and museums.

Mingechivir is in Azerbaijan's Ganja Region. It was the chairman of the Caucasus archeological committee, A. I. Berje, who first gave information about the archeological monuments of Mingecevir at the second congress of archeologists in St Petersburg in 1871. Although this information was not precise, Berje presented Mingecevir as an ancient settlement. The area has been settled for thousands of years, but the current city was founded in 1948, partly by German soldiers who were taken prisoner during World War II. Mingechevir is also home to Mingechevir Polytechnic Institute. The city forms an administrative division of Azerbaijan. The Mingacevir Historical Museum was established in January 1968. The museum has two branches, the Martyrs’ Memorial and the Independence Museum. The museum has 14,461 exhibits.

Xachmaz is a major city in Northeastern Azerbaijan's Khachmaz region. Khachmaz is one of the most ancient regions of Azerbaijan. The antiquity of the city is evidenced by its wealth of cultural and historical monuments. The region was densely inhabited in the earliest times of human history and settlements, mounds, and barrows of the Bronze Age have been found throughout the region. Throughout its long history, Khachmaz has been a part of the kingdom of Caucasian Albania, the Shirvanshahlar state, and the Quba Khanate. Visit the Albanian church. This church dates back to the III-IV centuries and the kingdom of Albania. There is a similar mosque in Qabala, which served as the capital of Albania for centuries.

Sheki is Azerbaijan's true travel gem, a small city off on the forested slopes of the Greater Caucasus Mountains.  There are traces of large-scale settlements in Shaki dating back to more than 2700 years ago. The Sakas were an Iranic people that wandered from the north side of the Black Sea through Derbend passage and to the South Caucasus and from there to Asia Minor in the 7th century B.C. They occupied a good deal of the fertile lands in South Caucasus in an area called Sakasena. The city of Shaki was one of the areas occupied by the Sakas. The original settlement dates back to the late Bronze Age. See the Caravansarai, this building was constructed by the Sheki Khans to house caravans as they passed through on the Silk Road to and from China. This was one of 5 such stops in Azerbaijan during the 18th and 19th centuries, and was the biggest caravansarai on the Silk Road in the entire Transcaucasus region.

Khinalug is a village in Northeastern Azerbaijan. Because of the high altitude and remoteness of Khinalug it managed to survive and withstand many invasions. There are also some other historical places such as a 12th century mosque, a 15th century mosque, and several ancient cemeteries between the mountains. There are also many ancient holy caves of early humans. It is surrounded by mountains and green valleys during summer, Khinalug offers fabulous natural scenery.

Lahic is a village and municipality on the southern slopes of Greater Caucasus within the Ismailli Rayon of Azerbaijan. The village's carpet and rug crafts are also well known in Azerbaijan and the South Caucasus. Lahij is a notable place in Azerbaijan, with its authentic handicrafts traditions, particularly related to copper.


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