• ABOUT AZERBAİJAN

  • KARABAGH

  • TOURISTIC REGIONS

  • HISTORY

  • CULTURE

  • CUSİNE

    The capital of the country is Baku

    Geographic location : Azerbaijan's total land area is 86 600 sq. km. Azerbaijan is located on the western shores of the Caspian Sea, in the South Caucasus. The Republic has borders with Georgia, Armenia, Iran, Turkey and Russia. Population of over 9 million people.

    Climate : The country is situated at the junction of moderate and subtropical zones, so the climate is varied. The average temperature in January varies from 3 to 10 degrees Celsius and reaches 26 to 35 degrees Celsius in July-August. 

    Language : The official language is Azerbaijani. In addition, much of the population speaks Russian to some degree and many understand and speak Turkish & English. In hotels, bars and offices, English is widely used.

    Clothing : From May to September, residents of coastal regions wear light summer clothes. However in winter – hats, padded coats and jackets are often needed.

    Safety : Azerbaijan is the most secure and stable country in the region. Crime is almost non-existent, eanliness and order prevail in the streets. 

    Working hours : Weekends are usually Saturday and Sunday (mainly for public offices), but most shops and supermarkets are open daily. 

    Internet : The Internet is also developing rapidly and there is a network of internet cafes in Baku and regional towns. T

    Currency : The national currency - manat (AZN). USA $1 = 1.70 AZN. Exchange of any currency can be undertaken in banks and many exchange offices. Banks are usually open from 10 am to 5 pm.

    Health : Emergency medical care is usually provided free of charge. An ambulance can be called twenty-fours a day on (012) 103. There are also private clinics and paid medical services where doctors speak foreign languages. 

    Cellular communications : Cellular communication GSM 900 is developing very rapidly across the country. In Azerbaijan there are three mobile operators - Azercell, Bakcell and Azerfon (Nar Mobile). Roaming is available to subscribers of 300 operators around the world. The mobile communication network covers almost the entire country (except for the occupied territories). To exit from a fixed unit to the cellular network the code (0) 50 (0) 51 {Azercell, GSM-code 40001, the seven-digit number} (0) 55 (Bakcell, GSM-code 40002, the seven-digit number), (0) 70 and (0) 77 (Azerfon, seven-digit number) is dialed. 3G services are provided not only at all the stations of the Baku Metro, but also in the tunnels. 

    Photography : You can take the usual tourist photos and videos (with some exceptions), but when taking a photo of strangers, you should, as a matter of courtesy, ask permission.

    Water : Avoid drinking untreated tap water. Hotels and restaurants mainly serve bottled mineral or spring water in plastic bottles or water which has been boiled.

    Tipping : The Service Charge in many restaurants is 5-10% of the bill. If there is no mention of this on the menu, you can, if you wish, add 10% to the amount of the bill. For porters at the airport or at the hotel, you can offer AZN 5, depending on the amount of luggage. 

    Alcoholic drinks : All restaurants and bars serve alcohol. In addition, anyone over the age of 18 can buy alcohol without restrictions in many stores.

    Commercial transactions : It is common practice and perfectly acceptable (and often expected) to bargain at markets and fairs. The sellers will, in most cases, make concessions.

    Communications : Telephone communication is no problem. Hotels have international direct dialing (IDD) wi-fi and fax facilities. Public payphones accept coins.

    Electricity : The voltage in Azerbaijan is 220/240 V 50 Hz.

    National holidays : New Year - January 1-2, International Women's Day - March 8 , Novruz Bayrami - March 20-24 , Victory Day - May 9, Republic Day - May 28, National Salvation Day - June 15th, National Army Day - June 26 , Constitution Day - November 12, National Revival Day - November 17, Day of Solidarity of Azerbaijanis of the World - December 31

    Religious holidays : Ramazan Bayrami, Gurban Bayrami

    Issues concerning Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh : Nagorno-Karabakh is an integral part of Azerbaijan which is currently occupied by Armenian troops. Consequently, Azerbaijanis are sensitive to tourists visiting Nagorno-Karabakh through Armenia. If the traveler has visited Nagorno-Karabakh and his passport has an endorsement indicating such a visit, then he/she will be denied a visa and entry to Azerbaijan on the grounds of violating Azerbaijani law and illegally entering the territory of our country. This issue should be approached seriously and with understanding. In addition, Azerbaijan cannot ensure the safety of tourists travelling in the occupied territories.

    Nagorno-Karabakh lies in the centre of the western regions of the Azerbaijan Republic, part of Karabakh as a whole and  one of the ancient historical regions of Azerbaijan. 

    Nagorno-Karabakh is an integral part of the present Azerbaijan Republic and is one of the territories to which Armenians were moved on a mass scale from 1820. Today the Autonomy and seven surrounding regions are under occupation by the Armenian Republic. Before the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Armenians in Karabakh had already armed and they began operations there in 1988. Large-scale military operations were halted with the signing of a cease-fire in 1994, and Nagorno-Karabakh together with another seven, adjacent, regions of Azerbaijan  - Lachin, Kalbajar, Aghdam, Fizuli, Jabrayil, Gubadli and Zangilan - were occupied by Armenia. The separatist regime in Nagorno-Karabakh declared its “independence” in 1991. This “independence”, which does not comply in any way with international law, rightly remains unrecognized by any country.

    Khankendi was occupied by Armenian armed forces on December 28, 1991. According to the archive records, the city was founded at the ends of the XVIII century as a resting place of the Karabakh khans. 

    Khojali the territory of the region was occupied by Armenian armed forces in 1991-1992 years. One of the unprecedented tragedies that Azerbaijan people encountered in XX century  was the Khoali genocide. Like Khatun, Lidisa, Oradur genocides  Khojali  tragedy  is the most heinous and barbarian act in the history of humankind. 

    Shusha has a deep and rich history. The foundation of the city was laid in 1752 by the ruler of the Karabakh khanate Panahali Khan and originally Shushu was also called Panahabad in honor of the Khan name. 

    In 1992, Armenians destroyed a monument to the Triton era located at an altitude of 1365 meters above the sea level south of the city of Shushi and called "Khan maharas". 

    Shusha was occupied by Armenians on May 8, 1992 As a result of the occupation, 195 Azerbaijani citizens were killed, 165 wounded, from the bottom 150 became invalids and over 20 thousand people left their native places and were placed in the position of forced migrants.58 Azerbaijanis were taken, prisoner. They have no information.

    Kelbajar The heaven of Azerbaijan Kalbajar can be named rosary. It has more than 30 thousands springs with guests in all seasons of  the year and it is museum of nature. Treatment zones with mineral water fields which gave popularity to Kalbajar such as  Yukhari Istisu, Ashagi Istisu, Keshdek, Garasu, Mozchay, Bagirsag, Gotorsu  are under occupation. On April 2, 1993 Kalbajar was occupied by armenian aggressors.

    Lachin is located in mountainous terrain. Area was rich with  many natural resources, healing  mineral waters and this  peerless territory has been under the Armenian occupation since  May 18, 1992 under the occupation of Armenia. 

    Khojavand region is situated in the edge of Agdam-Fuzuli road and is foothill plain. Its relief is mostly mountainous. was occupied by Armenian military forces on October 2, 1992.

    Gubadli the nature of Gubadli region is very beautiful. Gubadli city is situated in the south-east of Karabakh plateau, on the bank of the Bazarchay River. Though one part of the region is lowland, the main part is mountainous. Mountanous areas are covered with forests. Lifegiving springs in Hartiz and Senger Mountains of the region are considered to be remedy. Gubadli region was occupied by armed forces of Armenia on August 31, 1993.

    Zangelan is a region with fascinating beauty, rich in nature thank to its geographical position, soil and climate. The territory is within the scope of medium and low mountains, and it has the complex fragmented structure of the surface. 

    At the last years of its existence the region, faced with Shayifly massacre of December, 1992 which had no analogue and finally it lived the same fate on October 27, 1993.

     Zangilan region had a population of 32.6 thousand people (01.01.1989) when it was occupied by the Armnian army in October 1993.

    Jabrayil region is situated in the south of the Azerbaijan Republic, on the Minor Caucasus Mountains. The territory of Jabrayil region is rich with cement, marble, limestone and other building materials. It is also known that there are iron-ore and oil deposits there. Jabrayil was occupied on August 23, 1993 by the armed forces of Armenia.

    Fizuli  was occupied by the armed forces of Armenia on August 23, 1993. 

    Owing to successful military operation held in the region in1994, 13 settlements out of 82 were liberated from the occupation and today 65.962 residents from Fizuli live in their homelands.   As a result of the Karabakh War more than 1,100 inhabitants of Fizuli became martyrs, 1,550 people obtained disablement,  181 people are missing,  36.361 children  suffered from the Armenian aggression, 155 out of them became orphan.  

    Horadiz 11 settlements and 21 villages in the liberated territories of the region. 11 settlements have been constructed in the territories liberated from  the Armenian occupation with the allocation of the State Oil Fund by the  Decrees of the President of the Republic.

    Qabala/ distance from Baku: 225 km

    Gabala city is located on the right bank of Darmiraparanchay.

    There are many mineral water springs and fountains of pure water in forests around the city which is rich with walnut and chestnut. The average age of the trees here is more than 500 years. Some of them have been included in the list of trees protected by the state.

    There are hundreds of historical and cultural monuments in the region. There were human settlement in Yalovlu Mountains near the village of Nij in III-I centuries BC. 

    It is one of the major centers of winter tourism across the country. There are resorts and 5 star hotels in the region.

     

    Sheki/ distance from Baku: 305 km

    Sheki region is called the architectural reserve of the republic. This city is supposed to be 2500-2600 years old. 

    Palace of Sheki khans (in 1762), is an example which represents a unique combination of folk architecture and traditional architecture of the palace.  4 km north of Sheki, on the west bank of the river Kish, at the peck of Qaratapə mountain there are ruins of “Gelersen – Gorersen” castle.

    According to some authors "Kish Temple" which situated in Kish village, the Caucasus's first Albanian church, and one of the country's main architectural monuments.

    A number of types of folk art still is practiced in Sheki today. The streets bearing the names of professions are still kept: Duluschular, Zargarlar, Halvachılar etc. Sheki has a unique and rich cuisine.

    Tourists can spend night in ancient “Sheki-Caravanserai and other hotels.

     

    Ismayilli/distance from Baku: 185 km

    One of the most picturesque corners of Azerbaijan is Ismayilli region. Besides Azerbaijanis representatives of other nations and ethnic groups living in the area: Lezgins, Russians (malakans), Jews, lahyıch, hapyts, the descendants of ancient Albans.

    On the banks of Girdmanchay, the name which is known since VII century, at 1200 m above sea level, village of Lahij is especially popular. This small town built on mountainous is one of the most famous craft centers.

    Historical and cultural reserves have been created in Basqal and Lahij villages. The historical monuments here are protected. 

     

    Guba/distancefrom Baku 168 km

    Guba is located at the north-eastern slopes of Shahdag of Greater Caucasus range at 600 m above sea level, on the shore Gudialchay.

    Khinaliq is one of the most interesting components forming the face of Guba region. The village of Khinaliq located at mountains in the territory of region has unique features. This village is located at a height of 2500 meters above sea level which consists of 380 houses. The population of the village is a separate ethnic group. They have their own language, nowhere in the world besides them no one speak this language. 

    There are many healing areas in Guba: Balbulaq, Qizbanbovsha, Tangaaltı ravine with 400-600 meters depth, Geshresh, magnificent waterfall with height of 75-80 meter near the Afurdzhi of the river, etc. Unique Pirbanovsha waterfall is also in this region. One of the miracles of the nature is a figure formed under the water influence on the rocks, the figure of minaret. 

    There are sulfur water springs located on the banks of Khachinchay in Guba region.  The hot water from a narrow ravine has a curative importance.

     

    Gusar/The distance from Baku: 180 km

    Folk art carpet-weaving, embroidery, wood carving arts are well developed in Gusar from ancient.

    The historical monuments are protected in the region. The remains of the fortress walls of the village of Anig of XIII century, the mausoleum of Sheikh Juneyd near Hazra village,  ancient mosques in villages of Hil, Anig, Balagusar, Yasab, Old Khudat, Gunduzqala are such kind of monuments. 

     It is one of the main centers of winter tourism. There are a number of recreation centers in the region.

     

    Ganja/ distance up to Baku: 375 km

    Ganja is Azerbaijan's second city, which is considered the largest center of the western Azerbaijan with its monuments of the ancient culture, industry.  

    There are a lot of ancient cultural, architectural monuments in the city of Ganja. One of them is Juma and Shah Abbas mosque.

    6 km east of the center of Ganja the ruins of the ancient Ganja city can be found. Nature reserve, the pearl of Azerbaijan's Goygol alsolocated in this area, 25 km from the city of Ganja.

     

    Goygol/ distance from Baku: 364 km

    Togan Mikhaylovka and Yeni Zod villages of Goygol have become a kind of tourist centers. 

    Goy-gol reserve is located 40 km from the center of Goygol.  There are many historical monuments in the region. In the village of Shahriyar of the region one can buy hand made carpets.  

     

    Gakh/distance from Baku: 345 km

    Gakh city is situated 500 m above sea level at banks of Kurmukhchay at the wooded southern slopes of the Greater Caucasus Mountains. 

    At 1400-1600 m above sea level, mountain Ilisu village (the village was once the capital of the Sultanate of Ilisu) located at 12 km north-west of Gakh city, causes a great interest. Sulfur-containing thermal mineral water springs around the village are of therapeutic importance. A number of historical monuments, the ruins of the castle are in the region.

    There are ancient monuments in the village of Qum related to the period of Caucasian Albania: a circular-shaped church, ruins of buildings of the V-VII centuries BC, Sırtqala Tower (XVIII century), a unique prayer house - Qum Basilica. a complex of temple (V-VI centuries) buildings in the Lekit village is also here.

     

    Zagatala/distance from Baku: 372 km

    Climate of Zagatala allowed making this city as a zone of mountain-climate resort. Half of its territory, mainly in mountainous areas, and covered with forests. There are excellent conditions for ecological tourism. Traveling on foot and horseback along the tourist paths it is possible to observe in the reserve the behavior of animals and birds, to make photos and video recordings. There are suitable places for rest and lodging for tourists on these routes. Zagatala is the international region. Together with Azerbaijanis representatives of more than 20 peoples live here: the Avars, Lezgins, Tsakhurs, Russians, Tatars, and Ingiloys.

    There are numerous historical and cultural monuments in the area of region.  The ancient fortress near the part in Zagatala city was built during the Middle Ages. 

     

    Lerik/distance from Baku: 323 km

    Lerik is located on the top of the Talysh Mountains. Buludul (district center 20 km) and Zarinqala (17 km) natural recreational areas are very famous. There are rare springs here. It is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the subtropical climate zone.

    In addition to the unique nature of this region the unique culture and ancient history makes it famous. It is assumed that the men of the Stone Age lived in the caves found here. Khoja Seyed mausoleum in the village of Khoja abode (XIV century), Lulakaran village mosque (XIX century), Mistan village, ancient habitation located in Qızyurdu site, 2438 m above sea level, village of Tomb of Baba Isa in the Mondigah, Pir Yusif Mausoleum near the village of Kekonu, Jabir mausoleum located on the road from Lerik to Jangamiran village of (XII - XIV centuries), etc.

    The territory of Azerbaijan has been included into the map of 'The ancient settlers of the Europe'. In addition, Azeri people has the ancient state system establishment which dates to 5 000 years. The first states or ethic-political unions in Azerbaijan appeared round Urmiya at the end of 4th and at the beginning of 3rd millennium BC.

    Since the first centuries AD Turkic language was gaining priority among minor people and ethnic groups lived in the territory of Azerbaijan. Turkic language was the means of relation between the north and the south. 

    Islam turned a strong push in the formation of unique people and the language and quickened this process. Common religion of Turkic and non-Turkic ethic groups brought to formation of the same traditions, widening of kinship relations and deepening of the integration process in the territory of Azerbaijan. 

    In the middle of the 9th century Azerbaijan re-establishes its traditions of the state system and in the lands of the spread of Islam we see new states: Sajis, Shirvanshakhs, Salaris, Ravvadis, Shaddadis.

    After Arabic Khilafet fell into decay since the mid of the 9th century Turkic-Islamic empires increased their role in the Caucasus, in all the Near and the Middle East. 

    State system establishment of Azerbaijan progressed between the 15th and the 18th centuries and later. The great empires of the period Garagoyunlu, Aggoyunlu, Safavi, Afshar and Gajar were directly ruled by the Azerbaijan dynasties.

    The distinctive importance carries out the period of the late 15th and early 16th , when the prominent statesman and the grandson of Uzun Hasan Shah Ismail Khatai(1501-1524) realized his grandfather's wish and united all the territories of Azerbaijan under his control.

    He created a centralized Azerbaijan state -Safavi; the capital was Tebriz.

    During the reign of the Safavis state system establishment in Azerbaijan progressed. Azerbaijani had been the sate language.

    Reforms carried out by Shah Ismail, Shah Tahmasib and Shah Abbas and other Safavi rulers, their internal and foreign policy changed the state of Safavi to one of the greatest empires of Near and the Middle East.

    After Savafi fell into decay Nadir shah Afshar(1736-1747), a prominent Azerbaijani commander, continued ruling traditions in Azerbaijan territories after Savafi fell into decay. Being of Turkic-Afshar origin from Azerbaijan, he strengthened the borders of the former empire and in 1739 occupied the Northern India including Deli. Despite of his great efforts he couldn't establish the great centralized state.

    At late 18th century the government of Iran passed to the dynasty of the Gajars(1796-1925) of Azerbaijani origin. 

    According to Gulustan (1813) and Turkmanchay (1828) agreements Azerbaijan was divided between the two empires. The north part of Azerbaijan joined to Russia, while the south of it to Iran kingdom ruled by the Gajars.

    This historical event determines the origin of new political-geographical notions: "The North Azerbaijan"(or "Russian Azerbaijan") and "The South Azerbaijan" (or "Iranian Azerbaijan").

    In May 28th of 1918 the northern Azerbaijan witnesses the establishment of the Democratic Republic of Azerbaijan --the first Parliamentary Republic in the history of the people of Azerbaijan, the first democratic, legal and secular state in the whole East and Islamic world.

    In the period of Democratic Republic of Azerbaijan parliamentary experience had been gained in two stages. The First period lasted from May 27th till November 19th of 1918. In may 28th the Parliament declared about independence of Azerbaijan, assumed governing of the country and adopted historical Declaration of Independence. During 6 month period the Parliament composed of 44 turkic-moslem members, functioned under the name of the National Board of Azerbaijan and adopted very important historical decisions.

    The late period of Azerbaijan state establishment has started with the adoption of the Constitution Act 'about the State Independence of Azerbaijan Republic' on October 18th of 1991, on the eve of the fall of the USSR and is still successfully going on.

    Azerbaijan states exercised the development and the fall, the internal breaking and many invasions along the history. Azerbaijan always kept peaceful relations with bordering countries. But Armenians settled in the Western Azerbaijan constantly took notice of our lands and never missed a chance to occupy some territories.

    Heydar Aliyev's return was decisive in salvation of Azerbaijan. He prevented the risk of the Civil War.

    The position of Heydar Aliyev in the solution of the problem of war was correct. As a wise strategist he took into consideration the real conditions.

    The authority and fame of Azerbaijan in the international world is growing continuously. Azerbaijan Republic is known all over the world as democratic, legal and secular state. 

     

     

     

    One can easily come across numerous wonderful models of Azerbaijani folk arts in the world's largest museums. The pieces of arts created by the skillful hands of Tabriz, Nakhichevan, Gandja, Gazakh, Guba, Naku, Shaki, Shamakhi and Nagorny Kharabakh can be found in large museum collections of Victoria and Albert of London, Louvers of Paris, Metropoliten of Vashington and Vienna, Rome, Berlin, Istanbul, Tehran, Cairo museums.

    Since ancient times, Azerbaijan has been known as a center of a large variety of crafts. 

    According to archeological dig and written sources Azerbaijan people has been occupying with carpet-making since bronze epoch. 

    Carpets, weaved by separate carpet-making schools of Azerbaijan (Guba, Baku, Shirvan, Gandja, Gazakh, Nagorny Karabakh, Tabriz) in different periods, amaze people till nowadays. Most of them kept in well-known museums of the world.

    Along with traditional carpets from the III century in Azerbaijan, pile carpets were made nickel-plated, gilded silver threads.

    Those very expensive carpets were called "Zyarbaf".

    Azerbaijan was rich of architectural pieces one of branches of folk art along with works of fine art since ancient times. Maiden tower and Shirvanshahs palace in Baku, Momina Xatun and Yusif ibn Kuseyr mausoleums, created by architect Acami in Nakhichevan, Natavan's home, pictures on walls of Shaki khan palace and other patterns are rare pearls of architecture.

    The history of folk arts in Azerbaijan has a long and interesting history. Works of art made from metal extracted from Nakhichevan, Migachevir, Gadanay, Gandja and other places are approximately 5000 years old. 

    Azerbaijan music, enriching world musical culture with its rare pearls, has multi-centuries old traditions. Creators of folk music, handed over these traditions to generations, have great role in development of Azerbaijan music.

    Folk songs, dances, ashug creation (folk poet and singer) have specific place in Azerbaijan national music.

    Mugams are foundation of Azerbaijan national music. It is not accidental that UNESCO, specialized organization of UN, entered Azerbaijan mugam into the list of world cultural heritage.

    It is no coincidence that the first opera in the East, "Leyli and Majnun" was composed in 1907 by Uzeyir Hajibeyov.

     

    Azerbaijan's national food is very diverse, with dozens of different kinds of dishes: dairy, meat, flour, vegetable, etc. The methods of cooking and consuming food are different and diverse.

    Shish-kebabs and dishes in tandyr were widely spread in the Azerbaijani cuisine. There are various drinks, sweets. A distinctive feature of the Azerbaijani cuisine is the use of lamb to prepare various dishes. To a much lesser extent, Azerbaijanis consume beef, poultry, and fish.

    Another peculiarity of Azeri cuisine is the sharp taste and unique aroma that gives the dishes all sorts of spices and herbs: bitter and sweet pepper, basil, cinnamon, cloves, dill, parsley, cilantro, mint, caraway and many others. Especially it is necessary to stop on saffron and sumache.

    Widely uses Azerbaijani cooking vegetables, fruits, stone. Also there are different kinds of dolma from eggplants, tomatoes and peppers.

    The most famous dishes of Azerbaijani cuisine is pilaf. There are several varieties of Azerbaijani pilaf: kaurma-pilau, turzi-kaurma-pilov, chigyrtma-plov, fisinzhan-pilov, syudlu-pilov and shirin-plov, etc.

    In the culinary arts of Azerbaijan, there are a lot of unique delicacies, which are divided into three subgroups - flour, caramel and candy. They contain a significant amount of additives and spices: poppies, nuts, almonds, sesame, ginger, cardamom, vanillin and others. Flour products include Shekerbur, Baklava, Sheker-Churek, Baku Kurak, Karabakh, Baku, Nakhchivan and Ganja, Shamakhi mutakhs, Nakhchivan pakhlava. National flour products number more than 30 items, and each region has its own special products. A special place is occupied by Sheki's sweets. It is Sheki baklava, peshwank, bodies (terhalva), girmabadam, which produce rice flour, sugar, nuts kernels, egg whites and spices.

    Tea occupies a special place in the Azerbaijan cuisine. It is impossible to imagine our table without tea. Coffee and cocoa are consumed less than tea. In the morning, boiled warm milk and drinks from milk are served on the table.

    A special place among drinks is the mineral waters of Azerbaijan ("Istisu", "Badamly", "Sirab", etc.). They are served both as thirsting and therapeutic.

    Good drinks and beverages are considered to be bekmezes (doshabs) from the honey of mulberry juice, watermelon, sugar cane, beet, grape, wild persimmon, etc., which are so much honey.

ABOUT AZERBAİJAN KARABAGH TOURISTIC REGIONS HISTORY CULTURE CUSİNE