Baku at night
26 Sept 2014 | From Leyla of Azerbaijan
Left: Musical Fountain, Baku
Right: The Qala Antiquities Museum, Baku
Neither Europe nor Asia, Azerbaijan is a tangle of contradictions and contrasts. Azerbaijan is a contiguous transcontinental presidential republic in the Caucasus region, situated at the crossroads of Eastern Europe and Western Asia. Azerbaijan is one of the most ancient sites of humankind. The humankind was present here at every stage of their historical development. There were living settlements in Azerbaijan even at the earliest stages of humankind.
Azerbaijan is called the Land of Fire. "Azer" means fire. The Turkic name "Azer" was used for this territory for a long time. The word "Azer" consists of two parts - "az" and "er". In Turkic languages, "az" means a good intention and a fate of success. Thus, the word "Azer" means "a brave man", "a brave boy", "the fire keeper". The word "Azerbaijan" originates from the name of an ancient Turkish tribe, who resided in those territories.
Baku is the capital and largest city of Azerbaijan, as well as the largest city on the Caspian Sea and of the Caucasus region. Baku is also the largest city in the world located below sea level. According to the Lonely Planet's ranking, Baku is also among the world's top ten destinations for urban nightlife. The city is the scientific, cultural and industrial center of Azerbaijan.