How much do you know about Azerbaijan? Bordered by Russia, Georgia, Armenia, Iran and the Caspian Sea, the landlocked Asian country is home to roughly 10 million people. Oh, and lots and lots of oil.
Azerbaijan is also one of the many places where you can send money with TransferGo. To celebrate everything we love about Azerbaijan, we thought it was high time to explore some fun facts about this incredible country.
Here are 5 things you didn’t know about Azerbaijan.
Azerbaijan is often referred to as The Land of Fire
Why is Azerbaijan often referred to as The Land of Fire? Well, where do we start? Not only is it home to many of the oldest hearths on earth, but it’s also the centre of fire-worshipping and its name literally translates to ‘protector of fire’.
Whatsmore, there’s a famous site in Azerbaijan called Yanar Dağ (or ‘Burning Mountain’), which is a natural glowing fire that’s been blazing for at least 65 years, thanks to the natural gases seeping through the ground underneath that continuously feed it. Azerbaijan’s capital, Baku is also home to the famous Flame Towers, a group of three skyscrapers that symbolise the elements of fire.
Azerbaijan’s flag represents different cultures
Azerbaijan’s flag consists of three horizontal stripes in blue, red and green with a star and crescent in the centre. The blue of the flag and the eight-pointed star represents the Turkic-speaking people of the region. Meanwhile, the green represents Islam and the red represents Europe. (Although Azerbaijan is in Asia, some of its northern districts are deemed to be geographically in Europe).
The crescent to the centre of the flag is also one of Islam’s symbols. Adopted in 1918, the flag has become the predominant and most recognisable symbol of Azerbaijan.
Neft Daşları was built on stilts
Azerbaijan is home to some truly impressive oil reserves and once supplied more than half of the world’s oil. During WW2, the country supplied the Eastern front with most of the oil required for the Soviet tanks to victory over the Nazis.
Its city, Neft Daşları (meaning Oil Rocks) is the world’s oldest offshore oil platform and was actually built on stilts above the Caspian Sea by the Soviets in 1949. Although the city is mainly used for oil drilling, it is fully functioning. It includes hotels, hostels, a power station, a bakery and lots of separate ‘islands’ connected by more than 200km of trestle bridges.
Baku is home to many interesting attractions
As well as the Flame Towers, Azerbaijan’s capital city, Baku is home to some striking landmarks. This includes the Azerbaijan Carpet Museum, a head-turning building designed like a stylised roll of carpets that’s home to the largest collection of Azerbaijani carpets and rugs in the world.
There’s also the Museum of Miniature Books. This attraction houses thousands of tiny books. In fact, some are so small that visitors are required to use a magnifying glass to read the pages. The smallest book in the collection measures just 2mm x 2mm.
Azerbaijanis love drinking tea
Tea drinking is a favourite in many countries, from the UK to India. But in Azerbaijan, their tea-drinking habits are rather unique. Served in small glasses similar to Turkey and Egypt, the tea in Azerbaijan is often accompanied by a side of jam. Yes, that’s right. Jam.
The jam is more jammed fruit than actual jam and is meant to be held in the mouth while drinking the tea. This way, the tea passes through the jam to pick up its sweetness. Usually, this serves as a replacement for sugar but sometimes sugar will be offered alongside it, too. The tea also usually comes with a slice of lemon to counter the sweetness if required. It all sounds rather delicious to us.
Do you have some fun facts of your own about Azerbaijan? Share them with us on Instagram. We’ll reshare our favourites! Don’t forget to tag us at @transfergo.