Azerbaijan — Baku

The history of Baku is long, most recent of which being its oil boom of the early 20th century, when Azerbaijan produced more than half the world’s supply of oil and its capital, Baku, grew uncontrollably. Now there are high-end shops and the police drive 3-series BMWs. Contrasted with this, the old city is filled with old mosques, caravanserais and overhanging wooden balconies all preceding the boom.

 Wandering about town, we come across the Shirvanshah’s Palace complex, parts of which date back to the 15th century. In the afternoon we make a trip by bus to the Absheron peninsula, to visit a Zoroastrian Atesgah (fire temple). The complex, which has a courtyard surrounded by cells for monks and an altar in the middle, was built during the 17th and 18th centuries. It was abandoned after 1883 when oil and gas plants were established in the vicinity.

Photos taken June 2010 (Fuji FinePix S9000).

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