Baku: The Capital City of Azerbaijan - TES Tour
Baku is the capital of the Republic of Azerbaijan. It is a large scientific, cultural and industrial center. Ancient foundations, a large area and population all make Baku one of the oldest and largest cities in the East. Baku is situated on the shore of the Caspian Sea in the south of the Absheron peninsula. It covers an area of 2,200 square km and has a population of 5 million.
People have lived and founded their settlements in Baku city and the Absheron peninsula since ancient times. This was motivated by continuous migrations from north to south and from west to east due to the physical and geographical conditions, a favorable location in the center of trade routes that crossed Silk Road, climatic conditions, production of petroleum fuel in ancient times and the availability of large power resources.
Baku was first mentioned in the Book of the Dead by the Egyptian Pharaoh Minesan in 3,500 BC. The ancient age of Baku is also evidenced by stone carvings dating back to 12,000 years ago and archeological excavations. Another important piece of evidence is a stone carving by August Guy Octavio, who reflected the stationing of a military camp under the rule of the Roman emperors Pompey and Lucius near Baku (40 km to the south) for the purposes of seizing the southern Caucasus in the 1st century BC. This means that Baku is nearly 5,500 years old.
Baku was one of the main cities in the Shirvanshakhs State in the 12th century, in the Sefevids State in the 14th century, in the Ottoman Empire in the 16th century, and became the capital of the Baku khanate in the 17th century. The oil boom contributed to the massive growth of Baku, and in 1920 Baku became the capital of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic.
1. Ancient names of Baku:
- Ateshi Baquan, meaning “God’s fire”
- Bād-kube, meaning "Wind-pounded city"
- Baghkuy, meaning "God's town".
In later sources the city was named as Bakukh, Bakuya, Bakuye and Baku. Nowadays, Azerbaijan is using the Latin alphabet, and it is spelled as "Bakı" [bɑˈcɯ].
2. In 1823, the world's first paraffin factory was built in Baku.
3. In 1846, the world's first oil well was drilled in Bibi-Heybat suburb of Baku.
4. In 1850, Baku had a population of 7400 people.
5. Zoroaster – the world’s first tanker ship was launched in Baku in 1878 by Brothers Nobel.
6. The capital of the world-renowned Nobel Prize has its revenues also of Baku oil, by Alfred Nobel.
7. In Baku, the oldest offshore oil platform – “Neft Daslari” set Guinness World Records as the first in the world. Neft Daslari is an entire functioning town constructed in the Caspian Sea 55 km from the coast of Azerbaijan. Construction began in 1949 and began oil production in 1951. Construction and development continued until the town included hotels, hostels, a bakery, a power station, and a total of 7 ha of surface area, consisting of separate ‘islands’ connected by more than 200 km of trestle bridges, all supported on metal stilts. Although much of Neft Daslari has been reclaimed by the sea, its rigs still produce oil and the town has a population of around 5,000.
Most important sceneries of the James Bond movie – “The World Is Not Enough” was filmed in “Neft Daslari” oil platform.
8. At the beginning of the 20th century, Baku produced more than half of the world's oil (11 million tons or 212,000 barrels (33,700 m3) of oil per day). During World War II, Baku provided the Soviet army with oil and covered 85% of its demand.
9. On 8 February 1924, the first tram line and two years later the first electric railway in the USSR started to operate in Baku-Surakhany.
10. The first and only air conditioning factory in the USSR started to operate in Baku in 1970. Cuba was the largest buyer of Baku air conditioners.
11. Baku is a "sister city" with 20 cities around the world. These include Houston city of Texas in U.S., Istanbul and Izmir in Turkey, Iran's Tabriz, Italy's Naples, Iraq's Basra, Saudi Arabia's Jeddah, South Africa’s Johannesburg, Moscow, etc.
12. Most of the mud volcanoes of the world are located in Baku Absheron peninsula. On September 5, 2004 the greatest mud volcano in the territory of Azerbaijan was added into the Guinness World Records. Geologists of NASA concluded that the mud volcanoes of Azerbaijan are similar to uplands of the Mars planet for their structure.
13. The first opera of the Muslim world was staged in Baku: “Leyli and Majnun” in 1908, by Uzeyir Hajibeyov.
14. The average annual temperature of Baku and the planet Earth is same: 14.2°C (57.56°F).
15. Baku State University, the first university in Azerbaijan, was established on November 15, 1919.
16. In Formula 1 history, the highest top speed was recorded in Baku in “2016 European Grand Prix” by Valtteri Bottas (Finland): 378 km/h (234.878 mph)
17. The “Baku” page on Wikipedia is available in 123 languages.
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