Azerbaijan: Facts and Information

Here are some facts about Azerbaijan.

  • Azerbaijan is a country situated between Eastern Europe and western Asia. It covers an area of about 87,000 square km and is bordered by Russia, Georgia, Iran and Armenia.
  • During the 12th century it was occupied by the Turks, and later by an Iranian Royal family.
  • It became part of the Soviet Union in 1920 and declared independence in 1991.
  • The capital, Baku is also the largest city, with a population of about 2 million. It lies almost 30 metres below sea level, making it the lowest lying capital city in the world.
  • Baku was once an important stop on the Silk Road, the ancient trading route from China to Europe. The city has one of the world’s most expensive streets and one of the tallest flagpoles.
  • Azykh cave is one of the oldest caves occupied by man. Early inhabitants of Azerbaijan painted thousands of rock paintings in the Gobustan nature park.
  • One of the world’s first oil wells was drilled near Baku, at the end of the 19th century. In 2006, a 1,768 km long oil pipeline was built across the country to Turkey.

Flag of Azerbaijan

  • About 40 percent of the country is mountainous, with the highest point at 4,466 metres.
  • There are over 8,000 rivers in the country, all of which flow in to the Caspian Sea.
  • Almost half of all the mud volcanoes in the world are in Azerbaijan. In 2001, one of these volcanoes erupted, sending flames 15 metres into the air.
  • Almost all the people in Azerbaijan are Muslims. It was the first Muslim country to allow its citizens to freely attend the opera and the theatre.
  • Black tea is the country’s official drink and is usually drunk in a pear shaped glass. Sugar lumps in tea are popular, dating from a time when rulers would use them to check for poisoned drinks.

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