Top 50 Interesting Facts About Azerbaijan and Azerbaijanis

Azerbaijan stands as a distinctive country in the Transcaucasia, sharing numerous commonalities with its neighboring states in the region. Simultaneously, it is an exceptional nation with unique customs, a rich history, and a vibrant culture. In our article, we have curated 50 fascinating facts about this country and its inhabitants, aiming to assist in forming a first impression and offering insights to plan an intriguing holiday in Azerbaijan.

50 Most Interesting Facts about Azerbaijan and Azerbaijanis

Embark on a journey through the captivating history, traditions, and landmarks of this remarkable country. Let’s delve into the cultural tapestry that makes Azerbaijan a truly amazing destination.

Historical Facts

1. Around 800 thousand years ago, the first traces of human habitation in the territory of modern Azerbaijan were discovered by archaeologists.

2. In the 1st century B.C., the region witnessed the establishment of the first state, Caucasian Albania, which endured until the 7th century when it fell under the control of the Arab Caliphate.

3. During the 9th century, the influence of the Arabs waned, leading to the formation of new states. Among them, the state of Shirvanshahs emerged as the most influential, coinciding with the widespread adoption of Islam by the majority of the population.

4. The 11th to 12th centuries saw these lands facing invasions from Georgians, Seljuk Turks, troops led by Khorezmshah’s son Jelaleddin, and later Mongol incursions.

5. The 15th century witnessed the rise of the Safavid Empire, encompassing modern Azerbaijan and Iran. While actively resisting the Ottoman Empire, the Safavid’s eventually succumbed to defeat and disintegration.

6. In the 18th century, these lands came under Persian rule; however, by the early 19th century, Persia ceded control of the territory to the Russian Empire.

7. In the last century, Azerbaijan became one of the republics within the USSR. Towards the century’s end, the issue of People’s Karabakh began to surface, leading to unrest among ethnic Armenians.

8. In 1991, Azerbaijan declared independence, triggering a renewed intensity in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Unfortunately, this issue remains unresolved to the present day.

Azerbaijan Today

9. Modern Azerbaijan operates as a presidential republic, featuring 67 districts, 11 cities of republican subordination, and one autonomous republic – Nakhchivan.

10. The name «Azerbaijan» finds its roots in the ancient historical region known as Aturpatakan, a part of the Median kingdom.

11. Baku, founded in the 5th century AD, serves as the capital of the republic. The name Baku translates to «City of God.»

Современный Баку

12. Boasting a population of just over 2 million, Baku stands as the largest and most modern city in Azerbaijan.

13. Azerbaijan is bordered by the Caspian Sea to the east and shares land boundaries with five countries: Iran, Turkey, Armenia, Russia, and Georgia, totaling 3370 kilometers in length.

14. In terms of area, Azerbaijan ranks as the 112th largest country globally, covering 86.6 thousand square kilometers, with a population exceeding 10 million.

15. The national currency is the manat, divided into 100 gyapiks, and currently pegged to the dollar, allowing for exchange rate adjustments.

16. As a diverse industrial-agrarian nation, Azerbaijan’s primary exports include oil and gas from Caspian Sea fields, along with agricultural products.

17. With an average salary of around $550, Azerbaijan showcases one of the best economic indicators not only in the Transcaucasia but also within the entire post-Soviet space.

18. Azerbaijani is the official language, while many residents are proficient in Russian or English. Ethnic minorities, such as Lezghin and Talysh, are encouraged to use their native languages.

19. Azerbaijan, with over 91% of the population being Azerbaijanis, is characterized by a predominant titular nation. Lezgins form the largest minority at 2%.

На улицах Баку

20. Despite being a secular state, almost 97% of the population adheres to Islam, primarily the Shiite branch.

21. Positioned in the +4 UTC time zone, Azerbaijan is 4 hours ahead of Greenwich time.


22. The standout tourist attraction in modern Azerbaijan is undoubtedly the Flame Towers – a trio of skyscrapers nestled in Baku. Erected in 2012, they swiftly became symbolic landmarks representing both the capital and the entire nation.

23. Scattered across various regions, Azerbaijan boasts an array of historical monuments including mausoleums, fortresses, palaces, and towers. The ancient capital, Sheki, houses the magnificent Sheki Khan’s Palace, a globally recognized cultural treasure.

24. Another former capital, Shemakha, is home to the Yeddi Gunbez mausoleums, a medieval fortress, and the Juma Mosque.

25. Baku, the contemporary capital, hosts numerous historical gems. The renowned Palace of Shirvanshahs, once rulers of the land, and the Maiden Tower, perched on the Caspian Sea shore, stand as prominent examples.

Дворец шекинских ханов

26. Azerbaijan’s natural beauty is showcased near Baku at Yanardag, or the Burning Mountain, where a natural eternal fire has been ablaze for millennia. Adjacent to this site lies the Ateshgah Fire Temple, revered by Zoroastrians.

27. The Gobustan Reserve, located just south of Baku, ranks among the country’s most sought-after destinations. It features ancient rock paintings, including depictions of Roman legionaries, numerous mud volcanoes, and two natural stone tambourines known as lithophones.

Агатовые горы Хызы

28. The Sheker-asasy slate mountains near Khyzy, also known as the Coloured or Agate Mountains, offer a mesmerizing spectacle. Infused with layers of vibrant hues, these mountains are a captivating attraction for tourists.

Character, Traditions, and Customs of Azerbaijanis

29. Ordinary Azerbaijanis are characterized by their warmth and hospitality, where offering charity and assistance to strangers is considered the norm. Turning down an invitation from a guest is seen as an offense to the host.

30. Respect for elders forms the cornerstone of the local mentality, echoing the values common among Eastern cultures. The opinions of elders are highly regarded, and speaking impolitely in their presence is frowned upon.

31. A distinctive feature of a local man’s character is his fondness for bargaining. Negotiation is often turned into a theatrical performance, with the process enjoyed as an art. In contrast, local beliefs dictate that women should embody modesty.

32. The love for bargaining might be linked to the Azerbaijani penchant for showcasing wealth and achievements. Boasting about success is not considered shameful but rather a cultural norm.

33. Azerbaijani families tend to be large and robust, a reflection of Islamic traditions. While the man is traditionally the head of the family, mothers play a pivotal role in child-rearing and matchmaking for their daughters.

34. Wedding traditions in Azerbaijan are vibrant and unique, encompassing matchmaking, betrothal, and elaborate gift-giving. The wedding celebrations span three days, preceded by meticulous preparations lasting over a month.

Азербайджанская свадьба

35. Although not overly superstitious, Azerbaijani women strictly adhere to certain rituals during pregnancy, such as decorating the house with red flowers and engaging in contemplative activities like sky and water gazing. After childbirth, bathing the baby in saltwater is a customary practice.

36. During the Novruz celebration, young girls engage in mystical rituals, including various forms of fortune-telling, such as on apples, salt cakes, and even on conversations overheard from neighbors. These divinations are aimed at revealing insights about their future husbands.

37. Azerbaijan boasts a renowned cuisine, with pilaf seasoned with saffron as a staple. Popular dishes include kufta, a meatball soup, and lulia kebab. The array of oriental sweets, with baklava being the most famous, is truly imaginative.

38. Tea is the preferred beverage, and black tea, served from small porcelain teapots, is a must. The ritual of tea-drinking marks meetings, precedes meals, and initiates conversations.

39. Local men often gather in teahouses, integral social hubs, for tea-drinking and discussions about current affairs. Teahouses are ubiquitous, playing a crucial role in social life.

40. Azerbaijanis are inherently competitive and sports-loving. The national sport, gulesh, a form of traditional wrestling, features demonstration competitions during Novruz celebrations.

41. Chovgan, a team game played on horses, akin to English polo, is another popular sport. Originally exclusive to local nobility, it has evolved into international competitions open to all.

Nature of Azerbaijan

42. Nestled in the heart of Transcaucasia, Azerbaijan occupies one of the planet’s most stunning locales. Half of its territory is embraced by the majestic Caucasus Mountains, while the other half unfolds into expansive lowlands.

43. Crowned as the highest point in the country, Mount Bazarduzu stands proudly at 4466 meters above sea level, gracing the north-western border with Dagestan.

44. Azerbaijan predominantly experiences a temperate climate, with the southern region leaning towards subtropical. The nation is characterized by moderate humidity, substantial temperature variations between seasons, and climate fluctuations based on altitude.

45. To the east, the country is caressed by the Caspian Sea, a unique water basin renowned as the largest lake on Earth, boasting a coastline stretching 700 kilometers.

46. An intricate network of 8400 thousand rivers and streams meander through Azerbaijan, with only 24 exceeding a length of 100 kilometers. The Kura, originating in Georgia, claims the title of the longest river, flowing gracefully into the Caspian Sea over a distance of 906 kilometers.

47. More than 250 small mountain lakes, ranging from glacial to landslide origins, dot the Azerbaijani landscape. Beyuk-Shor, the largest lake, spans an area of 16.2 square kilometers.

Озеро Гёйгёль

48. The country’s nature, flora, and fauna boast remarkable species diversity. Broad-leaved forests, covering 12% of the nation’s territory, feature oak, hornbeam, beech, black lime, and ironwood as predominant species.

49. Azerbaijan serves as a haven for 350 bird species, 90 mammal species, and a multitude of reptiles and amphibians. The local environment has gracefully accommodated animals from Iran, Central Asia, and the Mediterranean.

50. The ethereal and endangered fore-Asian leopard, a symbol of the republic, graces the landscape with its grace and beauty.


Friends, if you possess more intriguing facts about Azerbaijanis and Azerbaijan, please share them in the comments. This country is rich in captivating stories, culture, and traditions, and many would be delighted to discover something new. Your contributions are greatly appreciated!

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