Located in the South Caucasus region, Azerbaijan is a unitary semi-presidential republic. The nation is bordered by Russia, Iran, Georgia, Turkey, and Armenia, and is bordered by the Caspian Sea to the east. Azerbaijan covers a total area of 86,600 square km and has an estimated population of 9,867,250.
What Is the Capital of Azerbaijan and Where Is it Located?
The city of Baku, the most populous city in Azerbaijan, is also the country's seat of the central government. The city covers an area of 285 square km and has a population of 3,202,300. The city is located alongside the Bay of Baku, at the Absheron Peninsula’s southern shore on the Caspian Sea. Baku has an elevation of 92 ft below sea level. With such a low elevation, Baku is the world’s lowest-lying national capital. It is also the most populated city in the entire Caucasus and Caspian region. Baku experiences a temperate semi-arid climate and is well-known for natural features like numerous salt lakes and mud volcanoes.
History of the Capital of Azerbaijan
The area that is now the modern city of Baku was a savanna with rich biodiversity about 100,000 years ago. Traces of human settlements during the Stone Age have been discovered in Baku, as well as evidence of the existence of various prehistoric settlements. The first recorded history of Baku dates back to 84 to 96 CE in the form of Roman inscriptions near the city. The Shirvanshahs ruled the region during the 8th century. Over the years, as the importance of Baku grew, many powerful dynasties were attracted to the city. Thus, the city witnessed the rule of several dynasties in its long history. The drilling of the first oil well in Baku occurred in 1846, which further boosted the economy and started to attract the attention of wealthy European investors. During and after World War I, Baku experienced a period of extreme crisis, including civil wars and massacres. An independent Azerbaijani republic existed for a very short period, and Baku was named capital of the Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic. During World War II, Baku was a hub of oil extraction, and accordingly became targeted by the German army. However, the Germans failed to capture the city. Finally, after the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, Azerbaijan emerged as an independent country, and Baku remained the capital.
Current Role of the Capital of Azerbaijan
As the capital of Azerbaijan, the nation's main government buildings are located in the city. These include Milli Majlis, which is the National Assembly building, as well as state ministries.
Baku is also the nation’s central hub of culture, education, and economy. The port at Baku is the busiest in the country, and petroleum is the city's biggest industry. Baku also serves as a venue for major national and international sports, cultural, scientific, and educational events. The Baku Stock Exchange is the largest stock exchange in the entire Caucasian region, and several national and international banks operate in the city. Baku is also one of the region’s most thriving tourist destinations.