Azerbaijan- it is a country with breath-taking nature and culture, thousands years old history, rich heritage and traditions.
The Republic of Azerbaijan located on the junction of Europe and Asia. The country has a unique geopolitical and geographical position. Territory of Azerbaijan is 86.6 thousand square km. Currently, the population of the country is around 9,950 million people.
The capital of the country is Baku city with a population around 2.5 million people. The major cities of the county are Gandja, Sumgait, Khankendi, Lankaran, Quba, Nakhchivan, Sheki, Naftalan and Shusha.
The recorded history in Azerbaijan dates back to the Palaeolithic era. The cave of Azykh in the territory of the Fizuli district of Azerbaijan is considered as one of the most ancient proto-human habitations in Eurasia. Remnants of the pre- Acheulean culture were found in Azykh cave that are at least 700 000 years old. Through the history, the country hosted different cultures and religions such as, Zoroastrianism, Sassanian, Arabic, Persian, Shirvani, Ottoman, and Russian cultures.
Undoubtedly, almost every corner of the country has archeological evidences of people living here from prehistoric and ancient times. Thanks to the mild climate and resources, the population of the region increased gradually starting from the Ice ages. Later on, in the late Neolithic era, agriculture and animal husbandry started to develop here in conjunction with art. Moreover, painted pottery an petroglyphs had emerged in Gobustan, Gemiqaya, Shahtakhti, Shomutapa, Alikapaktapa, and Kultapa) along with the craft making.
First Azerbaijan State- Mannea
The first state recorded in the territory of Azerbaijan (South part of the country) is the state of Mannea founded in IX century BC. Following Mannea, several many states emerged in the history of the country. Most important of them were ancient Albania, Atropatene, Shirvanshahs, Revvadis, Sheddadis, Ilkhanids, Agqoyunlu and Qaraqoyunlu states, States of Atabays and Azerbaijan Safavids Empire and so on. During the XVIII- XIX centuries, small khanates started to emerge in both North and South Azerbaijan territories. Some khanates, such as Baku, Urmia, Gandja, Shaki, Quba and Shamakhy, played an important role in the history of Caucasus. In XIX century, all Northern Azerbaijan khanates were occupied by Russian Empire, while the south Azerbaijan was annexed to Iran as a result of the Turkmenchay treaty signed between Russia and Iran in 1828.
Today, while, the North Azerbaijan is an independent state since 1991, there is also South Azerbaijan with more than 30 million population, which is part of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Modern independent Azerbaijan is one of the multinational countries in the world. The major ethnic groups living here are Azerbaijanis (90.6%), Lezguins (2.2%), Russians (1.8%), Armenians (1.5%), Talyshs (1%), Avars (0.6%), Tatars (0.4%), Ukrainians (0.4%), Sakhurs (0.2%), Georgians (0.2%), Kurds (0.2%), Tats (0.13%), Jews (0.1%), Udins (0.05%) and other minorities.
If you want to experience true Caucasian hospitality, then definitely, Azerbaijan is a place you need to go. It is a place that will satisfy the expectations of every traveler. Azerbaijan is the West in the East and the East in the West!