Baku is the capital of Azerbaijan, as well as the largest port on the Caspian Sea. Located on the south coast of the Absheron Peninsula. Population of Baku stood at 2,269,700 people, up 7,100 people from early 2018 But non officially more than 4 million people live in Baku.
Historians interpret the origin of the name of the city of Baku in different ways. Some explain that the word Baku came from “Bad Cuba” – a blow from the winds, or “Bad Kiu” – a city of winds, others believe that the city got its name from the tribe “Bakan”, or “bugs” that inhabited the Absheron peninsula in XII-V centuries BC e.
Capital of Azerbaijan History
The city of Baku has a thousand-year history. The first mention of Baku dates back to the 5th century. This is evidenced by materials from archaeological excavations (1932-1936), which showed that a settlement existed in the place of Baku for several centuries BC. It is also known that in the VIII century. the inhabitants of these places produced oil.
In the XII century. Baku for a short time becomes the capital of the Shirvanshahs. The construction of the fortress wall around the then city belongs to this period. By the XII century. The importance of Baku is growing and the Baku Bay is gaining great popularity as a good port.
In the XV century. Baku is becoming known as the residence of the Shirvanshahs.
By the 17th century, the ancient part of the city is surrounded by a double row of ramparts with a moat. Oil production played a very important role in the development of Baku. In the notes of travellers of the X century. at the mention of Baku, it refers to its oil sources. In those days, Baku oil was used as lighting oil for lighting, it was used to treat patients, and during the war, it was used as an incendiary.
In the XV century. in the vicinity of the city, there were already about five hundred oil wells. Production was carried out in the most primitive way – oil was scooped out of the wells with leather bags. Oil produced by sea through Astrakhan was taken to Russia, and through Persia – to the countries of the East.
In the middle of the XIX century. the tsarist government handed over small sections of the Absheron oil field to private individuals.
The construction of oil refineries in the area began in 1872 when due to numerous fires it was forbidden to build refineries in the city.
In 1918 when Azerbaijan first time got its independence capital of Azerbaijan became Ganja City for a couple of months.
Architecture and historical monuments in Baku
There are many ancient monuments in Baku – fortresses, palaces, caravanserais, and mosques. At the highest point of one of the hills of the city is the architectural ensemble of the Shirvanshahs Palace – a real gem of Azerbaijani architecture of the XV-XVI centuries. On the embankment of Baku is the famous Maiden’s Tower – a 12th-century structure made of black stone.
Most of the major monuments are located in the Icherisheher fortress. It includes more than 10 mosques built at different times, starting from 1078, the Muhammad Mosque and several madrassas. An integral part of the ancient city were caravanserais: Bukhara, Khan (XV century), Multani (XV century), Kasym-bey, and also Bazaar Square.
Also interesting are the Orthodox Cathedral of the Holy Myrrh-Bearing Women, a colourful Iranian region, and the embankment. There are about 30 museums in Baku, including the Museum of Arts, the Museum of the History of Azerbaijan, the unique Azerbaijan Museum of Carpets, Folk Applied Arts, etc.
Baku Seaside Boulevard, which stretches for many kilometres along the sea coast, with alleys generously decorated with chestnuts, rhododendrons, plane trees and palm trees, is a favourite vacation spot for citizens. The abundance of modern restaurants and cafes with unique Azerbaijani cuisine, an open-air cinema, many fountains and “Baku Venice” with unique and amazing islands and bridges, contributes to a huge influx of tourists.
A significant part of the internal structures and external walls of Icheri Sheher has been restored. A whole complex of unique monuments are protected in it: the 11th-century Sinik-Kala minaret, the 12th-century Maiden’s tower (the famous Kyz-Galasy), the Juma mosque minaret, and the Shirvanshahs Palace.
Nowadays Baku become too crowded and for that reason, Government want to change the capital of Azerbaijan in the future.