The Land Of Fire - Azerbaijan
Universally known as «The Land of Fire», Azerbaijan is an ancient settlement appeared on the scene of history 5000 years ago, where ancient inscriptions were found using fire as a symbol of blessing and immortality.
Azerbaijan is situated at the eastern side of the Transcaucasia (or South Caucasus) on the shores of the Caspian Sea. The population of Azerbaijan exceeds 9.8 million and the territory covers an area of 86 600 square kilometers. According to both of these figures, Azerbaijan is the largest country of the South Caucasus. The City of Baku is the capital and the country’s largest city. The National language here is Azerbaijani. However, Russian is also widely used and many younger residents also speak English. Azerbaijan shares borders with Iran (765 km), Turkey (15 km), Russia (390 km), Georgia (480 km) and Armenia (1007 km). The eastern shores of the country are washed by the waters of the Caspian Sea.
Historically a part of the Great Silk Road and situated at the crossroads of the geopolitical, economic and cultural interests of many nations and civilizations, Azerbaijan has, since ancient times, aroused the interests of great minds, scientists, travelers and historians. References to this amazing land, located on the western coast of the Caspian Sea and in the eastern part of the South Caucasus, can be found in the ancient writings of Herodotus, Strabo, and Claudius Ptolemy. Azerbaijan has an amazing historical and cultural heritage with more than 7500 natural, archaeological, architectural, and historical monuments.
Cave drawings at Gobustan, Momine-Khatun and Garabaghlar mausoleums, the Palace of Sheki Khans, the Maiden Tower, the castles of Absheron, medieval manuscripts decorated with magnificent miniature paintings, antique rugs, and works of literature, arts and sculpture – all of this is just a small part of the country’s rich and priceless heritage.
Azerbaijan is often referred to as the “Land of Fire”. It is known that the majority of those residing on this territory before the Common Era were fire worshippers. Since then, the country has preserved the ancient evidence of that era: cave paintings, statues of gods and ancient temples. Two of the most vivid examples of this heritage are the temple of fire-worshipers (“Ateshgah”) at Surakhani near Baku and “Yanardag”, translated as the “burning mountain”. According to legend, “Ateshgah” temple was built by Indian fire worshipers, who arrived here after learning about the eternally burning fire, emitted from the ground, and were so amazed by what they had seen, that they decided to build a temple on this very place. These lands were considered to be sacred for centuries and throughout history were worshiped by the followers of Zoroastrianism, Hinduism and Sikhism.
The fire rhetoric, passed from generation to generation, has been reflected in the many artistic works of Azerbaijani masters throughout the centuries, and has recently reached its culmination in the form of The “Flame Towers” complex. Constructed in Baku not long ago, the Flame Towers have, in very a short period of time, become a breathtaking architectural landmark of the capital city, embodying a tribute to our history, and representing contemporary Azerbaijan – a new, ambitious country, developing and progressive, but still loyal to its roots and origins.
How To Apply for E-Visa to Azerbaijan?
In January 2017, the ASAN visa portal was launched in Azerbaijan. For a length of stay in the country of up to 30 days, a one-time electronic visa can be obtained from the portal and is available within 3 working days after payment and sent directly to the applicant’s e-mail. The state fee is 20 US dollars for a visa. Applications for electronic visas via the portal are intended for individuals, families (at least 2, maximum 10 people) and groups (minimum 10, maximum 300 people). The simplification of visa procedures has had a positive impact on the flow of tourists into the country. After the introduction of electronic visas, the number of tourists arriving in Azerbaijan increased by 11 percent in 2016. Bear in mind that visa procedures in the international airports of Azerbaijan for citizens of the United Arab Emirates have been simplified since November 2015 and for citizens of Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Japan, the People’s Republic of China, Bahrain, South Korea, Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore since February 2016. Since the introduction of electronic visas, the number of tourists coming from European countries has also increased. In addition, according to statistics, about 70 percent of visitors are citizens from states that enjoy a visa-free regime with Azerbaijan.
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