Baku, the unknown beauty on the Caspian SeaBerlin, 11.03.2015
Only in few of the world’s cities do centuries-old traditions and modern life exist so closely side by side as they do in the Azerbaijani capital, Baku. With two million inhabitants, it is the biggest city in the entire Caucasus and has been shaped by various cultures and epochs. The metropolis looks out over a unique vista of the Caspian Sea and exudes Mediterranean charm.
At the heart of Baku is the historical part of town “Icheri Sheher” surrounded by defensive walls. With its winding narrow streets and 44 medieval architectural monuments, it has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2000. The famous Maiden Tower offers visitors a wonderful view over the city and bay. Further attractions include the Palace of the Shah of Shirvan and the Synyk Kalah minaret built in 1093, the city’s oldest structure. The central plaza is Fountains Square, where many bars, cafés, restaurants and clubs have been set up. In particular the nightlife is one of Baku’s highlights – in the summer it takes place on the capital’s streets. Many international DJs work the turntables in the clubs. In the course of the oil and gas boom, spectacular modern architecture began to appear, and outstanding new structures are still being built. One of the most prominent is the Flame Towers complex, comprising three 190-metre tall towers designed to look like tongues of flame that are illuminated by thousands of LEDs at night. The Heydar Aliyev Cultural Center, designed by the Iraqi-British architect Zaha Hadid, is impressive in its minimalist style. Baku is in the process of redefining itself. In the summer of 2015, the city will host the first European Games.
Heydar Aliyev International Airport is 20 km northeast of Baku and is connected to the city by two modern motorways. Last year a new state-of-the-art terminal was inaugurated, fitting perfectly into Baku’s architectural lineage. The airport is the base of AZAL Azerbaijan Airlines. From 2 May, AZAL Azerbaijan Airlines will be connecting Berlin to Baku. The route will be served on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Flights land in the metropolis on the Caspian Sea after around five hours’ flying time. Bookings can be made online or by telephone on +49 (691) 524 28 63.