Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan, is located in a place where the fire and water meet – on the southern shore of the Apsheron Peninsula. The first note of Baku appeared in the “Book of the Dead” by ancient Egyptians (3500 BCE) where Baku is referred as the city of the “sacred Bahau”.
Baku means “God’s City, God’s Place” which is related to the burning fountains of oil and gas. In the 5th century Priscus Panites writes about a “flame gushing from the sea near Baku”.
From the 12th century, the city was the capital of the Shirvanshahs and was protected by double ramparts.
In the mid 19th century it became one of the large industrial and cultural centers of the Caucasus. The oil boom brought along cultural life and the first Opera building in the Muslim East was constructed. Baku became known as “Paris of the Caucasus”.
In 1918-1920 Baku was the capital of the independent Republic of Azerbaijan. Later, the city became one of the largest administrative, industrial, scientific and cultural centers of USSR. During the Second World War, Baku became the key strategic centre for fuel supply and greatly accounted for the USSR’s victory.
In 1991 Baku was the capital of the independent Republic of Azerbaijan and started to develop dynamically. Today, it is the largest industrial, economic and scientific-technical center of Transcaucasia, the largest port in the Caspian Sea and the largest city in the Caucasus.