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from the modern elegance of the Flame Towers standing proud above to the UNESCO-listed Icherisheher at its core, there is truly something for everyone in stunning Baku

explore Baku's Old City

The Old City, Baku’s medieval core, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site surrounded by 12th-century walls and brimming with Oriental architecture and history. Within the atmospheric walls, you'll find a maze of narrow alleys home to a few thousand residents as well as museums, monuments, art galleries, all sorts of eateries and much more. The place is like a living open-air museum!

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discover Gobustan's ancient rock art

From prehistoric rock art to musical stones, the Azerbaijani people’s prehistoric past comes dramatically to life in the Gobustan State Reserve, home to an astonishing collection of over 6,000 ancient petroglyphs. Depicting scenes of people, warriors, animals, boats, dances, hunting, camel caravans and more, they chart ways of life dating back between 5,000 and 20,000 years. 

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explore the mud volcanoes of Baku

Home to the world's greatest concentration of mud volcanoes, the landscape around Baku might be described as messy, bubbling, and sometimes explosive. The country is thought to have nearly 400 mud volcanoes and while they never grow to the size of a normal volcano, topping out at around 10 kilometres in diameter and 700 metres in height (among the largest mud volcanoes in the world are Boyuk Kanizadag and Toraghai, both in Azerbaijan), they do occasionally get the chance to show off. 

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the legacy of ancient fire worshippers

Baku’s extraordinary landscape, rich in oil and subterranean gases, has intrigued travellers since time immemorial and for centuries the Ateshgah Fire Temple in the village of Surakhani has been attracting crowds of thrill seekers. Built in the 17th–18th centuries around naturally burning flames which were previously worshipped by Zoroastrians, the site was then an important place of pilgrimage for fire-worshipping Hindus until the 1880s. 

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admire the curves & collections of the Heydar Aliyev Centre

Designed by the illustrious Iraqi-British architect Zaha Hadid, the eye-catching Heydar Aliyev Centre opened in 2012, since when its astonishing curved, wave-like shape and innovative use of space have turned it into an icon of modern Azerbaijan. In 2014 the stunning structure, which doesn't have a single straight line, won the London Design Museum's prestigious Design of the Year Award. 

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Baku’s oil-boom architecture

When Baku’s oil industry took off in the late 1800s, the city grew rapidly. A new architectural layer formed around the Old City as Baku's nouveau riche funded the construction of lavish mansions and public buildings. Blending Gothic, Baroque, Neoclassical and Art Nouveau, these fin-de-siècle buildings provided a dramatic contrast to the Old City and led to Baku being dubbed ‘the Paris of the Caucasus.’ Many of them were designed by European architects and a group of Polish architects left an incredible mark on Baku’s appearance in particular. 

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