The Maiden Tower is one of the most dominant architectural pieces, due to its vague design and the stories that surround it.Said to be built in the 12th century originally on the shore of Caspian Sea, it was supposed to serve as a watch tower.Under the Russian Empire, Azerbaijanis were known collectively as Tatars and/or Muslims, together with the rest of the Turkic population in that area. Two theories are cited for the etymology of the name "Azerbaijan": First, "land of fire" ( azer , meaning "fire," refers to the natural burning of surface oil deposits or to the oil-fueled fires in temples of the Zoroastrian religion); second, Atropaten is an ancient name of the region (Atropat was a governor of Alexander the Great in the fourth century ).
The exclave of Nakhchivan is bound by Armenia to the north and east, Iran to the south and west, while having an 11 km border with Turkey in the north west.
The Azerbaijan Democratic Republic proclaimed its independence in 1918 and became the first democratic state in the Muslim-oriented world.
Whilst the capital, Baku, has rapidly transformed itself into a highly developed modern city, the surrounding villages still remain untouched and archaic. We are part of the Network and one of over 50 Online City Guides - offering the best online travel deals from a choice of well known providers.
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The country name also is written Azerbaidzhan, Azerbaydzhan, Adharbadjan, and Azarbaydjan in older sources as a transliteration from Russian.
The northern part of historical Azerbaijan was part of the former Soviet Union until 1991, while the southern part is in Iran.
The two Azerbaijans developed under the influence of different political systems, cultures, and languages, but relations are being reestablished. The Azerbaijan Republic covers an area of 33,891 square miles (86,600 square kilometers).
The country was incorporated into the Soviet Union in 1920 as the Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic.