Territory

Wonders of Azerbaijan

Besh Barmag Mountain, ancient sacred place in Azerbaijan
Besh Barmag Mountain, ancient sacred place in Azerbaijan / Interfase, Wikimedia Commons / CC BY 3.0

WorldBlue  Highlights

Few countries have such unusual, exotic landmarks as Azerbaijan. Here are found such natural and man made wonders as:

  • Mud volcanoes – almost 400, more than half of these unusual natural landmarks are found in Azerbaijan.
  • Natural eternal flames (ateshgahs) – these torches of natural gas have served as sanctuaries of Zoroastrians.

There are found other unusual landmarks, e.g. Neft Daşları – town which is built in the sea, with 300 km long bridges.

Map with the described wonders

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WorldViolet Top 25 wonders of Azerbaijan

Geological wonders

Yanar Dag

Absheron

Natural eternal flame – a gas fire that is blazing since ancient times. The air here smells like gas and the flaming area is up to 10 m tall. Flames are 1 – 3 m tall. Nearby are Yanar Bulaq – burning springs: streams that can be ignited with a match.

Yanar Dag - natural eternal flame in Azerbaijan
Besh Barmag Mountain (Beş Barmaq)

Absheron

The easternmost mountain in Caucasian Mountains. This large monolith somewhat resembles five fingers and is a sacred place with mythical properties attributed to it. At the mountain are located ruins of ancient structures, built in the 6th – 7th century AD. Here are found several interesting petroglyphs as well as large geoglyph – snake-like carving on the hillside.

Jermajur hot springs

Yukhari-Karabakh

Group of hot springs, includes permanent spouters similar to geysers. Here are interesting sinter formations including small sinter terraces. Temperature of water is 60° C.

Binagadi asphalt lake

Absheron

Group of tar pits that have formed over thousands of years. Throughout this time in the lake have fallen numerous animals whose bones have been well preserved. The diversity of species found in this lake is very high – 41 species of mammals, 110 birds, 107 insects, 22 plants, etc. These finds provide much knowledge about the past environment in this region.

Archaeological wonders

Parigala (Peri Gala)

Shaki-Zaqatala

Somewhat mysterious structure built in the cliffside 300 m above the base of this cliff. This limestone structure with three rooms most likely was built between the 4th and 5th century AD, in the Caucasian Albanian period.

Chirag Gala Fortress

Quba-Khachmaz

Ruins of large fortress, built on the hilltop in the 4th – 6th centuries AD as a part of the fortification system between Caucasian Mountains and Caspian Sea. Fortress was built on the top of a forested hill.

Yezidabad Castle

Nakhichevan (Autonomous Republic)

Ruins of mountaintop Sassanid castle that was built in the first half of the 7th century AD.

Architecture wonders

Baku Old City

Absheron

An old city within fortification walls with numerous historical buildings. The development of this city started in the 12th century AD, some structures could be from the 7th century AD. City walls were built in the 11th – 12th century. There have been discovered underground passages under the city.

Neft Daşları (Oil Rocks)

Absheron

This industrial settlement was built 55 km from the shore in the Caspian Sea. This town is the oldest offshore oil platform in the world and consists of a very impressive system of 300 km long bridges – platforms that were built on submerged ships. Neft Daşları is a town with more than 2,000 people, 9-floor houses, food production facilities, cultural palaces, etc.

Neft Daşları - city in the sea, Azerbaijan
Flame Towers

Absheron

Group of three futuristic skyscrapers that resemble flames. Buildings are 190 m tall, covered with glass, and whole facades are lighted with LED elements thus turning towers into giant display screens.

Flame Towers in Baku
Maiden Tower

Absheron

Massive, fortified tower, built in the 12th century as a part of Baku city wall. One of the symbols of Azerbaijan. The tower is 29.5 m tall, there are many legends about it and many guesses about its former use.

Palace of the Shirvanshahs

Absheron

Large memorial and sacred complex. Initially, in the 15th century, it was built as a memorial complex at the burial of Helwati Sufi saint and, contrary to its name, was not used as a palace but rather as a shrine and healing institution. The whole complex of buildings is impressive and ornate.

Yusif ibn Kuseyir Mausoleum

Nakhichevan (Autonomous Republic)

Small, very ornate mausoleum that was built in 1161 – 1162.

Garabaghlar Mausoleum

Nakhichevan (Autonomous Republic)

An unusual, very ornate mausoleum that consists of a tower formed from 12 half-cylinders. This building most likely was constructed in the 12th – 13th centuries.

Mausoleum in Karabaglar village, Azerbaijan
Khinalug

Quba-Khachmaz

More than 5,000 years old village high in the Caucasian mountains. Local people speak in a distinct language – the Khinalug language. In the village and its environs are located many monuments of history including Zoroastrian temple (in the site of natural gas emanation), holy caves, and many somewhat mysterious archaeological landmarks.

Palace of Shaki Khans

Shaki-Zaqatala

Historical summer residence of Shaki Khans, constructed in 1797. Valuable are frescoes from the 18th century.

Juma Mosque of Shamakhi

Daglig-Shirvan

The second oldest mosque in the Caucasus, constructed in 743 – 744. The current structure is younger because the mosque was frequently rebuilt due to earthquakes and war damages.

Juma Mosque of Shamakhi, Azerbaijan
Ramana Tower

Absheron

Magnificent fortification tower that was constructed in the 12th – 14th century.

Ramana Tower, Azerbaijan
Shaki Fortress

Shaki-Zaqatala

Large fortress with 1.3 km long walls, built in 1743 – 1755. Walls are up to 8 m tall. 21 fortification towers have been preserved.

Gulustan Mausoleum

Nakhichevan (Autonomous Republic)

Remnants of a large, very ornate mausoleum. Structure was constructed in the 12th – 13th centuries.

Momine Khatun Mausoleum

Nakhichevan (Autonomous Republic)

A beautiful mausoleum that was constructed in 1186 – 1187, one of the highest achievements in Azerbaijani architecture. This approximately 25 m tall tower rises above a vaulted crypt.

Khoda Afarin Bridges

Yukhari-Karabakh

Two impressive bridges over Aras River. One of the bridges, with 11 arches, was built in the 11th – 12th centuries, the other one (with 15 arches) in the 13th century.

Muhammad Mosque in Baku (Siniggala)

Absheron

Medieval mosque, built in the 11th century AD. Site of legends.

Mardakan Round Castle

Absheron

Massive donjon – round, 16 m tall tower with a wall around it. Castle was built in 1232.

Yezidabad Castle

Nakhichevan (Autonomous Republic)

Ruins of mountaintop Sassanid castle that was built in the first half of the 7th century AD.

WorldYellow Recommended books

Azerbaijan – Culture Smart!: The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture


For Westerners, the modern state of Azerbaijan may be hard to pinpoint. This small, oil-rich country in the southern Caucasus, on the southwestern shore of the Caspian Sea, only made its way onto the contemporary world map after the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991. As the world shrinks and competition for precious resources intensifies, the direction this strategically and economically important country takes will affect us all.

Azerbaijan, 4th: with excursions to Georgia


Perched beside the oil-rich Caspian Sea, compact, hospitable Azerbaijan is astounding in its scenic variety. Painted moonscape deserts, snow-capped Caucasian peaks, subtropical forest, and flower-filled grasslands all lie within a few hours’ drive of Baku, the artistically vibrant, cosmopolitan capital with its UNESCO-recognized walled Old City.


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