General information

Azerbaijan, officially the Republic of Azerbaijan is a country in the South Caucasus region of Eurasia at the crossroads of Eastern Europe and Western Asia.[6] It is bound by the Caspian Sea to the east, Russia to the north, Georgia to the northwest, Armenia to the west and Iran to the south. The exclave of Nakhchivan is bound by Armenia to the north and east, Iran to the south and west, and has an 11 km long border with Turkey in the north west.

The capital is Baku.

Population of Azerbaijan is 9,6 million, the area 86,6k km². Azerbaijan is divided into 10 economic regions; 66 rayons (rayonlar, singular rayon) and 77 cities (şəhərlər, singular şəhər) of which 12 are under the direct authority of the republic. Azerbaijan includes the Autonomous Republic of Nakhchivan.

Azerbaijan is a unitary semi-presidential republic

Average weather temperature in winter is +4-8 °C, in summer +26-30 °C.

National currency is Azerbaijan Manat AZN. Time zone UTC +4. Country phone code +994.

AZERBAIJAN HISTORY

The earliest evidence of human settlement in the territory of Azerbaijan dates back to the late Stone Age and is related to the Guruchay culture of Azokh Cave.

Early settlements included the Scythians in the 9th century BC. Following the Scythians, Iranian Medes came to dominate the area to the south of the Aras.[34] The Medes forged a vast empire between 900–700 BC, which was integrated into the Achaemenid Empire around 550 BC. The area was conquered by the Achaemenids leading to the spread of Zoroastrianism. Later it became part of Alexander the Great’s Empire and its successor, the Seleucid Empire. During this period, Zoroastrianism spread in the Caucasus and Atropatene. Caucasian Albanians, the original inhabitants of northeastern Azerbaijan, ruled that area from around the 4th century BC, and established an independent kingdom.

In the first half of the 7th century, Caucasian Albania, as a vassal of the Sasanians, came under nominal Muslim rule due to the Muslim conquest of Persia. At the beginning of the 11th century, the territory was gradually seized by waves of Oghuz Turks from Central Asia. The first of these Turkic dynasties established was the Seljuk Empire, who entered the area now known as Azerbaijan by 1067.

The local dynasty of the Shirvanshahs became a vassal state of Timur’s Empire, and assisted him in his war with the ruler of the Golden Horde Tokhtamysh. Following Timur’s death, two independent and rival states emerged: Kara Koyunlu and Aq Qoyunlu. The Shirvanshahs returned, maintaining a high degree of autonomy as local rulers and vassals from 861, for numerous centuries to come. In 1501, the Safavid dynasty of Iran subdued the Shirvanshahs, and gained its possessions. After the Safavids, the area was ruled by the Iranian Afsharid dynasty. After the death of Nader Shah (r. 1736–1747), many of his former subjects capitalized on the eruption of instability. From the late 18th century, Imperial Russia switched to a more aggressive geo-political stance towards its two neighbors and rivals to the south, namely Iran and the Ottoman Empire. Russia actively tried to gain possession of the Caucasus region which was, for the most part, in the hands of Iran. In 1804, the Russians invaded and sacked the Iranian town of Ganja, sparking the Russo-Persian War which ended with russian’s victory.

After the collapse of the Russian Empire during World War I and as a result of National Independence struggle of Azerbaijan nation, in May 1918 the first in Caucasus Independent Republic of Azerbajan (ADR) was declared. The ADR was the first modern parliamentary republic in the Muslim world. Among the important accomplishments of the Parliament was the extension of suffrage to women, making Azerbaijan the first Muslim nation to grant women equal political rights with men. Another important accomplishment of ADR was the establishment of Baku State University, which was the first modern-type university founded in the Muslim East.

In March 1920, it was obvious that Soviet Russia would attack Baku. Independent Azerbaijan lasted only 23 months until the Bolshevik 11th Soviet Red Army invaded it, establishing the Azerbaijan SSR on 28 April 1920.

As a consequence of the failed coup which occurred in August in Moscow, on 18 October 1991, the Supreme Council of Azerbaijan adopted a Declaration of Independence which was affirmed by a nationwide referendum in December 1991.

AZERBAIJAN GEOGRAPHY

Three physical features dominate Azerbaijan: the Caspian Sea, whose shoreline forms a natural boundary to the east; the Greater Caucasus mountain range to the north; and the extensive flatlands at the country’s center. There are also three mountain ranges, the Greater and Lesser Caucasus, and the Talysh Mountains, together covering approximately 40% of the country. The highest peak of Azerbaijan is Mount Bazardüzü (4,466 m), while the lowest point lies in the Caspian Sea (−28 m). Nearly half of all the mud volcanoes on Earth are concentrated in Azerbaijan, these volcanoes were also among nominees for the New7Wonders of Nature.

The main water sources are surface waters. However, only 24 of the 8,350 rivers are greater than 100 km (62 mi) in length. All the rivers drain into the Caspian Sea in the east of the country. The largest lake is Sarysu (67 km²), and the longest river is Kur(1,515 km). Azerbaijan’s four main islands in the Caspian Sea have a combined area of over thirty square kilometers.

Azerbaijan is home to a vast variety of landscapes. Over half of Azerbaijan’s land mass consists of mountain ridges, crests, yailas, and plateaus.

9 out of 11 existing climate zones are present in Azerbaijan. Rivers and lakes form the principal part of the water systems of Azerbaijan, they were formed over a long geological timeframe and changed significantly throughout that period. There are 106 species of mammals, 97 species of fish, 363 species of birds, 10 species of amphibians and 52 species of reptiles which have been recorded and classified in Azerbaijan. The national animal of Azerbaijan is the Karabakh horse, a mountain-steppe racing and riding horse endemic to Azerbaijan. The Karabakh horse has a reputation for its good temper, speed, elegance and intelligence. It is one of the oldest breeds, with ancestry dating to the ancient world. However, today the horse is an endangered species.

Azerbaijan’s flora consists of more than 4,500 species of higher plants. Due to the unique climate in Azerbaijan, the flora is much richer in the number of species than the flora of the other republics of the South Caucasus. About 67 percent of the species growing in the whole Caucasus can be found in Azerbaijan.

TOURISM IN AZERBAIJAN

Ancient and rich history, cultural and natural heritage attracts visitors from all over the world to our country. Virgin nature, mineral water sources, the unique curative oil – Naftalan, rare ancient memorial buildings, authentic culture, national cuisine and many other criteria allow favourable oppourtunities for various types of tourism in Azerbaijan: business, sports, medical, hunting, ekzotik, beach and even gastronomic.

Tourism in Azerbaijan is rapidly developing and turning to one of the most sigfificant spheres of country economics. The President Ilham Aliyev declared 2011 the Year of Toursim, the international Eurovision song contest hosted in Baku in 2012 – all of these casued tourist interest to Azerbaijan and impacted development of tourism in our country.

There are 30 5-star hotels in Azerbaijan, most of them being represented by worldwide brands such as Four Seasons, Hyatt Regency, JW Marriott, Hilton, Fairmont, Rixos, Pullman, and also local brands like Autograph Collection, Qafkaz Hotels. The luxury hotels are represented not only in the capital Baku, but also in other cities of the country. The amazement park Gabaland, Tufandag mountain resort in Gabala, Shahdag mountain resort in Qusar, more than 15 Olimpic complexes in regions are among the most popular attractions. Azerbaijan mugam, ashuq art, Novruz holiday, carpet art, tar art, chovqan game played by Karabakh horses, kalagayi, Lahic blacksmithing are entered in UNESCO non material heritage list.

The capital Baku is considered one of the significant touristic points in Caucasus. Among the most famous sites for visit are Icheri Sheher (Old Town), Baku boulevard, National Flag Square, Heydar Aliyev center, Fountains Square, Atashgah, Shahidlar Xiyabani, Baku TV Tower.

More than 20 museums and art galleries function in Baku. Among the most popular are Museum of Azerbaijan history, Azerbaijan Carpet Museum, Museum of Miniature books, Modern Art Museum.

There’s a number of shopping malls represented by the worldwide brands in Baku and most of the large cities.

CONTACT

76 Khagani street, Baku AZ1010, Azerbaijan
Tel.: (+99412) 493 43 00
Fax: (+99412) 493 72 53

E-mail: office@hrg.az

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