Last updated on April 29th, 2019
Azerbaijan, officially the Republic of Azerbaijan, is a country in the South Caucasus region of Eurasia. It has an area of 86,600 square km. Its capital and largest city is Baku. Azerbaijani is the official language of the country. Manat (AZN) is its official currency. Its four land bordering countries are Georgia, Russia, Iran, and Armenia. The inhabitants or natives of this region are called Azerbaijani. With these 66 facts about Azerbaijan, let’s discover more about its history, culture, traditions, geography, economy, people and more.
About Azerbaijan’s history
1. Azerbaijan is the first democratic state in the Islam-oriented countries. It is also the first Muslim country to have theater plays and operas.
2. Azerbaijan is an ancient country with rich history and culture.
3. Azer means “fire”. The people living in Azerbaijan before thousands of years from today worshiped the fire as they considered it as their god. The word ‘Azer’ has two parts – ‘az’ and ‘er’.
4. Azerbaijan is also known as “the Land of Fire”.
5. Azerbaijan–the name of the country–is also considered to have originated from the name of an ancient Turkish tribe, who lived in those territories.
Flag of Azerbaijan
6. Azerbaijan briefly became independent between 1918 and 1920; however, it was once again incorporated into the Soviet Union for the next seventy years.
7. Before the establishment of Soviet power in Azerbaijan, there were 2,000 mosques in the country. However, most of these mosques were closed in the 1930s.
8. Corruption is widespread in the country and is one of its major problems.
9. The government is also accused of authoritarianism as it amended the presidential term limit from 5 years to 7 years in 2016.
10. The country got hold of its independence on August 30th, 1991.
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11. The country has a majority-Turkic and majority-Shia Muslim population.
12. Humans have inhabited Azerbaijan since the Paleolithic age (also called Old Stone Age, ancient cultural stage, or level, of human development, characterized by the use of rudimentary chipped stone tools – definition by Encyclopedia Britannica.)
The conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia
13. Nagorno-Karabakh (a territory inside Azerbaijan, but consists mainly of ethnic Armenian) is a landlocked region, which became a reason for conflict (territorial and ethnic) between Azerbaijan and the neighboring Armenia.
14. During the war which started in 1991 after the declaration of independence by Nagorno-Karabakh (a self-declared autonomous region), an estimated 30,000 people were killed and a million left their home.
15. At the end of the war, Ethnic Armenian militia gained control of the region.
16. A ceasefire was signed in 1994. However, the tension between Armenia and Azerbaijan mounted once again in 2014 for a short while.
17. Notable people: The country has produced many scientists (Kerim Kerimov, Seyid Yahya Bakuvi), musicians, thinkers, poets, philosophers (Adil Asadov, Zumrud Gulu-zade), thinkers and architects.
18. Azerbaijan vs rest of the world: Azerbaijan stands on the 113th spot on the list of the world countries by area. Also, in the area, Australia is 89 times, and Guatemala (a Central American country) is 1.25 times larger than Azerbaijan.
19. In population: Azerbaijan is on the 92nd spot among the list of the countries with the highest population. China‘s population is 139 times that of Azerbaijan (2016 statistics).
20. Check and mate: Azerbaijan is the home of two of the world class chess players – Garry Kasparov and Teymur Rajabov. Garry was born in Azerbaijan’s capital Baku and was undisputed world champion between 1985 and 1993.
21. Agricultural region: The Kura River Valley in Azerbaijan is its major agricultural zone.
22. Mountains vs plains: Mountains cover 60% area of the country and the remaining is covered by plains and lowlands.
23. Highest point: Bazarduzu (Parent range: Greater Caucasus) is the highest peak of the country at 4466 meters.
24. Location: Azerbaijan is located at the intersection of the temperate and subtropical climate zones.
25. Also known as: Azerbaijan is also called as “the museum of mineral waters.” Istisu (hot water spring), Sirab, and Badamly are famed mineral waters. The country has more than 1000 unlimited mineral water resources.
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26. A land of many rivers: Azerbaijan also has an abundance of small and large rivers accounting to more than 8400 in total. However, only 24 of these rivers are more than 100 kilometers long.
27. Country’s largest port: Baku, with an estimated population of 3 million, is the largest port on the Caspian Sea. Baku is expected to be 5,500 years old.
28. Baku is also interpreted as “windy city” or “city on a hill”.
29. Offshore oil: Baku is also home to the world’s first offshore oil platform – Oil Rocks.
30. Relation with other countries: Azerbaijan maintains diplomatic relations with 158 countries. And it is also a member of the United Nations, IMF, and NATO.
Azerbaijan on the map
31. Education: The first university in the East also lies in Baku, Azerbaijan.
32. Being a guest in Azerbaijan: Hospitality in Azerbaijan is not just important but a valuable characteristic of the national culture. Food and shelter will be offered to the guest even at the expense of the host’s needs.
33. Cotton and silk from Azerbaijan are known all over the world since ages.
34. Country’s width and length: Azerbaijan is 400 kilometers from north to south and 500 kilometers from east to west.
35. The longest river: The longest river is Kura measuring 1,515 kilometers in length.
36. Extreme temperatures: At its extreme, temperatures in Azerbaijan can reach a maximum of 46 °C, and in winters can get harsh at -33 °C. These temperatures were observed in Julfa and Ordubad.
37. Most important drink of the nation: Tea takes a special place in Azerbaijan’s customs and traditions. It is a part of almost all social occasions and is served in countless trimmings. Jam, mint, rosewater, lemon are often used to give that extra rich flavor to the tea.
38. National Animal: The horse is the national animal of Azerbaijan, and the Karabakh horse (rare and beautiful) is especially known for its agility, endurance, and intelligence.
39. Crude oil: As of 2016, Azerbaijan produced a whopping 842,000 barrels of crude oil per day. With 10,250,000 barrels of crude oil produced in 2015, Russia tops the list of the nations producing the highest number of barrels of crude oil per day. The United States is at the number three spot. See the full list here.
40. According to a source, Azerbaijan exported wine worth $3.5 million in 2016.
41. Euro and Manat: Azerbaijan’s national currency (Manat) resembles the Euro in color, font, and size.
42. Celebrations time: Novruz (March 20-24) is the oldest national holiday of Azerbaijan. It is also celebrated in 11 other countries including – Iran, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Albania, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Georgia and Autonomous region of Kurdistan.
43. Shia and Sunni Muslims: The Republic of Azerbaijan has the second highest percentage of Shia Muslim population (Shia – 85%, Sunni – 15%) in the world after Iran.
44. Azerbaijan has two cultural UNESCO World Heritage sites – Gobustan Rock Art Cultural Landscape (2007) and Walled City of Baku with the Shirvanshah’s Palace and Maiden Tower (2000).
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