Modern Azerbaijan is almost the same country as decades ago, and its main wealth – oil and nature. The country occupies 9 out of 11 known ecological zones. You can even see here the subtropical forest (near the Iranian border and Lerik). And oil gushes out of the ground almost everywhere. Even treatment at one of the most famous health resorts in Azerbaijan, Naftalan, means “rolling up” the patient in “black gold”. Capital of Azerbaijan is Baku. Modern Baku is a fast-growing middle class and new buildings. Other major cities are Lenkoran, Ganja.
Transport. Between the cities of Azerbaijan you can travel by bus, minibus or taxi. The bus station is typically located adjacent to the city market. Buses run on a schedule and minibuses start when full. The fare is the same everywhere around. In addition, in Azerbaijan still exists old Soviet tradition to send to the train station or the airport a bus from each hotel for its guests – it is necessary to specify in advance when booking. Shuttle buses operate round the clock and Metro until 1:00 AM. At any time, you can take a taxi, the price is better to specify in advance.
The climate in Azerbaijan. The country’s weather conditions vary much due to different altitudinal zones. The average July temperature ranges from +5 ° C in the highlands to +27 ° C in the lowland. January, respectively, from -10 ° C to +3 ° C. Maximum summer temperatures can reach +45 ° C, in winter the thermometer in mountainous areas at night can drop to -40 ° C. Strong northern winds mainly happen in fall. The best time to visit the country – from April to October.
Money. Monetary unit – Azerbaijani manat (AZN), in 1 manat – 100 kapiks. The exchange rate at banks and exchange offices differ slightly. Currency exchange offices are located throughout Baku and other large cities. In hotels, shopping centers and large supermarkets credit cards are accepted. In small shops and restaurants you will need to pay in cash. In Baku there are ATMs in the majority of banks, many of them are working round the clock. ATMs can withdraw cash in AZN and USD.
History of Azerbaijan. Statehood of Azerbaijan is nearly 5000 years old. Since the end of the 4th century BC in the area began to appear various national units. For example, it housed such powerful states as Atropatena and Caucasian Albania. They played a significant role in the formation of a single nation. Later, during the 2nd century AD, Azerbaijan was in the occupation to Iranian Sassanids, then moved to the Arab Caliphate. So in the country appeared many Arabs and Iranians.
The turning point in the history of Azerbaijan had become the adoption of Islam in the 7th century AD. Religion had actually started to unite people, to form one language, to create new customs and traditions. The ensuing political rise of Azerbaijan was due to the appearance on its territory of several states: Shirvanshahs, Ravvadids, Sajids, Salaris, Shaddadis. Historians call this time the Renaissance.
About 500 years ago, began the gradual unification of the lands of Azerbaijan. Shah Ismail Khatai joined the southern and northern lands, resulting in an Safavi state – one of the most powerful empires of the Middle East. In the late 18th century to power in Iran came Ghajar – well-known Azerbaijani dynasty. After years of wars with Russia, the parties have agreed on the division of land: Russia won the Northern Azerbaijan, and Iran – South. During Soviet rule, Azerbaijan became a socialist republic and existed in this status until 1991, when it declared independence.
Photo from sources: news.day.az, oxu.az, trend.az, bloomberg.com, arrivo.ru, unitedoneworld.blogspot.com