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Tuesday 24th October
Azerbaijan Facts
The highest point in Azerbaijan is Bazarduzu Dagi (4,485 m).

There are many caves in Azerbaijan. The Azykh cave is a total of eight thousand square metres and is said to be one of the earliest known caves inhabited by man.

Thousands of rock paintings in Gobustan Nature Park provide us with a glimpse of the life of the early inhabitants of the area.

Thor Heyerdahl, famous for the Kon-Tiki Expedition, was interested in similarities between the petroglyphs of reed boats in Gobustan near Baku and petroglyphs in Alta, Norway.

It is said that the founder of the religion known as Zoroastrism was born in Azerbaijan (part of the Persian Empire at the time).

Zoroaster taught the existence of a single god, Ahura Mazda. His Holy Spirit was represented by fire.

The name for Azerbaijan derives from a word for fire. It is interesting to note that Azerbaijan has large deposits of oil and the ignition of surface oil may have led to the description of the country as the "land of fire".

Azerbaijan was a Christian country that was converted to Islam at the beginning of the eighth century.

Sheki, Nakhchivan and Ganja are three of Azerbaijan's oldest centres of trade.

The ancient city of Baku was an important commercial centre on the Silk Road, the trade route from Europe to China.

Around the middle of the nineteenth century the world's first oil well was drilled near Baku.

In 1879 the Nobel brothers (from Sweden) set up an oil company in Azerbaijan. The Nobel Prize was partly funded with revenue from the oil production business in Baku.

In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries Russia, Persia, and the Ottoman Empire vied for possession of Azerbaijan.

The Treaty of Turkmanchai, in 1828, divided Azerbaijan's territory between Persia (now Iran) and Russia.

The Soviet Union annexed Zangazur to Armenia separating the Naxcivan territory from the rest of Azerbaijan.

In 1924 the USSR created the Autonomous Province of Nagorno-Karabakh - with a mainly Armenian population - within Azerbaijan.

Azerbaijan became part of the USSR at the end of 1922. (Members of the former USSR were Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Estonia - from WW2, Latvia - from WW2, Lithuania - from WW2 and Moldova - from WW2).

Famous Azerbaijanis include Garry Kasparov, a famous chess champion, who was born in Baku in 1963.

USACC (the United States-Azerbaijan Chamber of Commerce) is an independent, non-profit American organization, whose purpose is to facilitate business and co-operation between the American people and the people of Azerbaijan.

The Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline, opened in 2006, ends at a marine terminal at Ceyhan on Turkey's Mediterranean coast. The pipeline brings oil from the Caspian Sea in Azerbaijan, through Georgia to Turkey's port.

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