This text is replaced by the Flash movie.
This text is replaced by the Flash movie.

My status
Ancient history and Azeri dreams. June 05, 2006
Forget the black gold of its oil industry – Azerbaijan’s real treasure is its cultural status as the birthplace of Indo-European civilization. The country is considering now how to promote this to tourists. We decided to travel there and discover it on our own.
Walking along the boardwalk we are glancing at Baku's silhouette of bright beige sandstone, scrubbed clean and shimmering in the morning sun. We see stately Victorian structures lining wide avenues, mosque minarets mingling in the skyline with modern, high-rise condominiums. Baku's recent reputation is that of the booming, modern and beguiling city.

At the same time the layers of Baku’s history are plain to see from atop the 12th-century Maiden’s Tower. The Bronze Age remnants of the Old City form the lowest layer. The second layer is a gift of the first oil boom – grand architecture left behind by turn-of-the-century oil barons such as the Nobel and Rothschild brothers, who struck it rich here. And the third – of new office buildings and apartment blocks, and cranes erecting more – is a gift of the latest oil boom.

Baku, the capital city of Republic of Azerbaijan and that is situated on the border of Europe, Middle East and Central Asia, has been blessed with many gifts: blessed by geography and blessed with resources. Oil, it is said, is the city’s holy gift. But there
are more.

As our tour guide for the day explains, Baku has a special sort of soul – or rather, the amalgamation of centuries of souls, a gift of the city being situated along the old Silk Road, which led from the Far East to Europe. “The Chinese trader, the Norwegian fisherman, they each left a piece of their soul here,” says Elshan Kurbanov, a special adviser to the Azerbaijan Investment Promotion and Advisory Foundation.

This position at the crossroads of commerce and of cultures gives the city its captivating charm. Stroll down the main shopping streets and you could be anywhere in Europe. Turn down a narrow side street dotted with carpet shops and you could be in the Middle East. At the posh, private Buta Club, young professionals enjoy shisha pipes, homegrown wine and rounds of vodka while being entertained by western pop music, Turkish singing and dancing, and Arabic belly-dancing – as they chat away in Russian.

Today's Baku has many faces: it has very special dreams about the future but always remembers its ancient history and glorious past.

Home I About Impressa Club Azal I Visas to Azerbaijan I Destinations I Booking Online I Luxury and Exotic Travel
VIP Personal Travel I News I Our Gallery I Links
Facebook Twitter YouTube
Copyright ©2006. IMPRESSA CLUB AZAL. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Hosted on Hostyan. Design by