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coat of arms
coat of arms
State : AzerbaijanAzerbaijan Azerbaijan
City with rayon status: Baku
Coordinates : 40 ° 24 '  N , 49 ° 53'  E Coordinates: 40 ° 23 '43 "  N , 49 ° 52' 56"  E
Height : 28  m below sea level
Area : 2,130  km²
Residents : 2,181,800 (2014)
Population density : 1,024 inhabitants / km²
Time zone : AZT ( UTC + 4 )
Telephone code : (+994) 12
Postal code : AZ10xx-AZ11xx
License plate : 10, 90
Community type: City (şəhər)
Structure : 11 boroughs
Mayor : Eldar Əzizov
Website :
Map of Azerbaijan, position of Baku highlighted

Baku ([ ˈbaːku ], Azerbaijani Bakı / Arabic باکی; Russian Баку́ Baku [ baˈku ]) is the capital of Azerbaijan . With two million inhabitants in the city province, Baku is the most populous and largest city in the country and the entire Caucasus . The city on the west coast of the Caspian Sea is a traffic junction as well as an economic and cultural center with several universities, colleges, research institutes, theaters and museums. Due to its location within an oil production area , Baku is the junction of several oil pipelines and has an important oil port. Baku can look back on a rich city history due to its favorable location on several historical trade routes. In the old town , which has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2000 , numerous palaces, mosques and fortresses have been preserved.


Geographical location

Baku is just below sea level, south on the Abşeron Peninsula on the west bank of the Caspian Sea . The city is surrounded by several freshwater lakes, including the Böyükşorsee , which is the second largest lake in the country at ten square kilometers. In the west and occasionally in the east a hilly landscape rises to a height of 200  m .

City structure

Baku is divided into eleven districts ( rayonlar ; sg. Rayon ) and 59 municipalities ( qəsəbələr ; sg. Qəsəbə ). These include communities on islands and islands on pillars, the so-called oil rocks , some 100 kilometers from Baku in the Caspian Sea.

district Former name Inhabitants
in thousand
in thousand km²
Population density
per km²
located in it Website
Səbail 26 Бакы комиссары - 26 Bakı komissarı 92.4 0.03 3080 İçəri Şəhər , Parliament , TV Tower , Flame Towers , Baku Crystal Hall
Yasamal Октјабр - Oktyabr 236.0 0.02 11800 State University , Tezepir Mosque
Nəsimi Nсими - Nəsimi 211.5 0.01 21150 State Oil Academy
Nərimanov Нәриманов - Nərimanov 165.2 0.03 5507
Nizami Шаумјан - Şaumyan (Низами - Nizami, since 1981) 182.0 0.02 9100 Khazar University , Şəfa Stadium
Xətai Шаумјан - Şaumyan 252.1 0.03 8403 Modern Art Museum
Qaradağ Гарадағ - Qaradağ 110.4 1.08 102 Qobustan National Park (partly)
Binəqədi Киров - Kirov 244.0 0.17 1435 Tofiq Bəhramov Stadium
Sabunçu Ленин - Lenin 225.3 0.24 939 Burg Nardaran , Ramana Tower
Suraxanı Орҹоникидзе - Orconikidze 201.3 0.10 2013 Fire temple
Xəzər Әзизбәјов - Əzizbəyov 172.2 0.40 431 Airport , Round Castle , Quadrangular Castle


Baku has a moderate steppe climate (according to the effective climate classification of Köppen and Geiger: BSk ).

In general, the climate is sunny and dry with occasional hurricane winds and low, infrequent rainfall .

In winter , night frost is common, but ice days with a maximum daily temperature below 0 ° C and snow are relatively rare. The snow cover only lasts for a few days each year.

In summer - especially in July and August - temperatures above 35 ° C are common. The dry air and the winds from the Caspian Sea soften the temperatures. Rain is hardly to be expected in summer.

The annual average temperature is 15.1 ° C, the average annual rainfall 210 mm.

Climate diagram
J F. M. A. M. J J A. S. O N D.
Temperature in ° Cprecipitation in mm
Source: WMO ,
Monthly average temperatures and rainfall for Baku
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Max. Temperature ( ° C ) 6.6 6.3 9.8 16.4 22.1 27.3 30.6 29.7 25.6 19.6 13.5 9.7 O 18.2
Min. Temperature (° C) 2.1 2.0 4.2 9.4 14.9 19.7 22.2 22.9 19.4 13.6 8.8 4.8 O 12.1
Precipitation ( mm ) 21st 20th 21st 18th 18th 8th 2 6th 15th 25th 30th 26th Σ 210
Hours of sunshine ( h / d ) 2.9 3.1 4.0 6.5 8.3 9.8 10.1 9.1 7.4 4.6 3.1 3.3 O 6th
Rainy days ( d ) 6th 6th 5 4th 3 2 1 2 2 6th 6th 6th Σ 49
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Source: WMO ,


Mosque in Baku's old town

The population of Baku city was 2,064,900 (2009 census). The population density was 969 inhabitants per square kilometer (as of 2009). A population of 2.8 million is expected in 2035.

year Azerbaijanis % Russians % Armenians % Jews % Other % total
1886 37,530 43.3 21,390 24.7 24,490 28.30 391 0.5 2,810 3.2 86,611
1897 40,341 36, 0 37,399 33.4 19,099 17.10 3,369 3, 0 11,696 10.5 111.904
1926 118,737 26.2 167.373 36.9 76,656 16.90 19,589 4.3 70,978 15.7 453.333
1939 215,482 27.4 343.064 43.6 118,650 15.10 31,050 3.9 79,377 10.1 787.623
1959 211,372 32.9 223.242 34.7 137.111 21.30 24,057 3.7 56,725 8.7 652.507
1970 586.052 46.3 351.090 27.7 207.464 16.40 29,716 2.3 88.193 6.9 1,262,515
1979 530,556 52.4 229.873 22.7 167.226 16.50 22,916 2.3 62,865 6.2 1,013,436
1999 1,574,252 88, 0 119.371 6.7 378 0.02 5,164 0.3 89,689 5, 0 1,788,854
2009 1,848,107 90.3 108,525 5.3 104 0, 00 6,056 0.6 83.023 4.1 2,045,815
Nizami street in the center
Residential street in Baku


There are different theories about the origin of the name Baku , the most popular is the derivation of Persian bādkūb ( windy ; Persian "bād" = wind, "kūb" = beating), which means something like "city of winds" . The Azerbaijani Cyrillic spelling in Soviet times was Бакы Baky .


Archaeologists dated the first finds of a settlement to the year 8000 BC. For millennia, natural oil wells have gushed in the Baku region, with which the Zoroastrians used to illuminate their temples. In the first century, the Romans reached Baku with their military expeditions. Roman inscriptions dating from AD 84 to 96 have been preserved near the city.

In the 12th century, a local ruler, the Shirvan Shah Ahistan I, made Baku his capital after the old capital Shamakha was destroyed by an earthquake. The fortifications go back to this time. From 1501 until the Ottoman conquest in 1578, the city was ruled by the Safavids . In 1747 power fell to the local khans of Baku, who were relatively independent of the Persian Empire. As a result of ongoing wars, Baku's population fell to around 5,000. In 1797, after an unsuccessful Russian military expedition, the city fell back to the Persian Empire, was again occupied by the Russians from 1804 to 1813, and in 1828 finally fell to Russia .

The oil boom and its consequences

The first mechanical oil well took place around 1846. In 1873 the oil wells were drilled on a larger scale; that year Robert Nobel came to Baku. The older brother of Ludvig and Alfred Nobel founded the oil company Nobel Brothers Petroleum Producing Company in Baku . In a few years the company became the leading company in the world market. By 1901, Baku supplied half of the world's oil. The Oil Kings of Baku had neo-Gothic and Art Nouveau palaces built by Western European architects in the south of the old town.

Due to massive immigration, Baku's population grew faster than that of London, Paris or New York from 1856 to 1910. The boomtown was a "place of lawlessness, organized crime, violence and xenophobia", a "synonym for the most dangerous place in Russia" (according to the Russian governor in 1914). The Muslim Azerbaijanis, who were mostly employed as unskilled workers, saw themselves as a minority compared to Russians and Armenians , who held management positions in the industrial districts, as well as Georgians, Jews, Ukrainians and other immigrants who, however, hardly took root. In 1910, 49 percent of the workers in the industrial bay were bachelors; Sixty percent of married workers lived without their families. Muslim immigrants remained attached to their land holdings in their home village.

From 1898 to 1902, the Azerbaijan-born German engineer Nikolaus von der Nun was Lord Mayor of Baku. To reinforce Russian rule, the monumental Alexander Nevsky Cathedral was built from 1888 to 1898 , and was demolished in 1935 during the phase of militant atheism under Stalin . Due to the increasing Armenian nationalism and the dominant influence and prosperity of the Armenians in the City Duma , an aversion spread which led to state repression against Armenian church and educational institutions and to violent clashes with Muslims.

In 1904, after violent strikes, the first collective agreement of the Tsarist Empire with the oil workers was concluded in Baku . This was u. a. the eight-hour day was introduced. In 1905 there were again major strikes in the oil fields and ethnic disputes, which led to a pogrom against the Armenians from February 6 to 10, 1905. In the summer, more than half of the industrial facilities were destroyed; The pogroms and looting organized by gangs spread to other circles and, after a long period of inactivity by the administration, had to be militarily contained in 1906. In the years after 1907 the price of oil fell and unemployment rose.

First Republic and Soviet Period

The oil boom ended after the Russian Revolution in 1917. Angry workers rioted in Baku. After the victory of the Bolsheviks , the oil kings were expropriated and the Nobels had to leave Azerbaijan. Today, the millionaires' estate mainly houses art, history and literature museums. But some are also privately owned and rented out to foreigners. Others changed hands during the 1992/1993 coup and offer relatives of the ruling derliyev family a comfortable life.

May 28th Street

Baku became the capital of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic in September 1918 . The seat of government was in Baku until April 28, 1920. On April 27, 1920, the Red Army marched into the Azerbaijani capital and subjugated the country. The main objective of Soviet Russia under Lenin was also here to get to the oil supplies. The national government went into exile, first to Poland and Germany , and later to Turkey . Baku became the capital of the Azerbaijani SSR . When the number of mufti offices in the Soviet Union was increased to four in 1943/44 , one of these offices came to Baku. In contrast to the other mufti offices in Ufa , Buinaksk and Tashkent , which were responsible for the Sunni Muslims, the one in Baku was given responsibility for the Shiite Muslims. In the Baku workers' newspapers, however, Islam was branded as a reactionary and backward religion in accordance with the ideology of scientific atheism .

In 1989 there was a plane crash .

Since 1991

Azerbaijan gained independence in 1991 with the collapse of the Soviet Union . A few months before the declaration of independence, there was a pogrom of Armenians living there in Baku (see pogrom in Baku ), which triggered a wave of refugees from national minorities. In the early 1990s, Baku became an intellectual center of Islamic activism. In 1992 the historic Friday mosque in the old town was handed over to the city's Shiite community, which restored it. With the financial support of the Kuwaiti organization Ihyāʾ at-Turāth al-Islāmī , the Sunni Abu Bakr Mosque was built in 1997 in the Nərimanov district . The largest Sunni community in Baku has been located here ever since.

In November 2000, an earthquake with a magnitude of 6.7 on the Richter scale struck the city and also damaged the monuments in the old town. In 2003 the World Heritage Committee therefore put them on the Red List of World Heritage in Danger . Since then, this entry has also been justified by the fact that the government cannot submit a sufficient plan to protect the old town from uncontrolled construction activities. The building speculation , even at historically valuable land, has taken over and the old town, including the construction of high-priced, often towering residential and office complexes.

Culture and sights

Historical old city

Architecturally, Baku consists of three districts:

Another building-epochal layer is the post-Soviet development since about 1994, which has so far been rather flat to medium-high cityscape with striking buildings, especially towers, high-rise buildings and monumental landscaping, e.g. B. Expansion of the coastal promenade with huge public meeting places has changed significantly. This process is still in progress. According to the ruling Əliyev family , Baku should expand its already outstanding position in the Caucasus region.

The old town is located in the center of Baku and is also a fortress. In 2000, the quarter within the fortress walls was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO . Most of the walls and towers that were reinforced after the Russian conquest in 1806 have been standing since Persian times. The quarter with a labyrinth of narrow streets and old houses is picturesque. The palace of the Khans of Shirvan , the caravanserais, the Maiden's Tower from the 11th century, the baths and the Lezgi Miski (Lesgic Mosque), also from the 11th century, are world famous . The old town has dozens of small mosques, often without a sign that distinguishes them from other buildings. Until its demolition in 1992 in the course of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict , there was an Armenian church in the shadow of the Maiden Tower, the Church of Our Lady , built around 1797 under Persian rule .

Baku took one of the top places in the 2018 travel destination ranking of the US news agency USA Today covering 193 countries.

Buildings and monuments

Park in Baku
Russian Orthodox Church in Baku
Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Savior in Baku

The old town is surrounded by a fortress ring in which numerous historical buildings have been preserved. A striking building of the city fortifications is the Dschebachan Castle from the 14th century, which has been uncovered and explored since the 20th century. In the southern old town is the Palace of the Shirvanshahs , an ensemble of buildings with a residential palace, mausoleum, the so-called Maiden's Tower (Qız Qalası) , the Shah Mosque, the Murad Gate, the Key Gubad Mosque, a meeting house and a bathhouse.

Baku's numerous Islamic, Christian and Jewish sacred buildings include the Mohammed Mosque from the 11th century, the former fire temple Ateschgah , the Tezepir Mosque , the Russian Orthodox Cathedral, the Bibi Heybat Mosque on the southern border of the city or the Church of the Redeemer , built in 1899, and the Church of Gregory the Illuminator from 1887. Outside the old town, the skyline of the city is dominated by residential and commercial high- rises such as the Flame Towers and the 310 m high Azeri television tower . The Baku Bulvar , which was designed as a park and whose origins go back to the 19th century, runs parallel to the sea coast . Also noteworthy is Nizami Street, a major shopping street in the city center.

The monument to a woman who throws away her traditional Islamic veil, the chador , erected during the Soviet era as a symbol of liberation from feudalism is unique in the world .


The largest art museum in Azerbaijan is the National Art Museum of Azerbaijan in Baku. Since it was founded in 1936, over 3000 exhibits have been shown in 60 rooms that are spread across two buildings. The collection focuses on Azerbaijani, Russian and European art, as well as Persian, Turkish, Chinese and Japanese artists.

Other museums worth mentioning include the Museum of Applied Arts, the Museum of Modern Art, and the Nizami Museum of Azerbaijani Literature. The Martyrs Cemetery is located in the hilly landscape south of the old town. It is dedicated to the memory of those who lost their lives in the war with Armenia , but also of the 137 people who were killed on January 19-20, 1990 when Soviet tanks took the streets of Baku.

Theater, music and night life

Baku's cabaret, music and drama theaters offer a large repertoire of international and national plays and performances. The Azerbaijan State Academic Opera and Ballet Theater ( Axundov adına Azərbaycan Dövlət Akademik Opera və Balet Teatrı ) shows operas, operettas and ballets. The renowned theater house was designed by the architect Nikolai Bayev and opened in 1911. The Azerbaijan State Philharmonic ( Maqomayev adına Azərbaycan Dövlət Filarmoniyası ) is the most important concert hall in Azerbaijan and is considered exemplary because of its excellent acoustics. It was built from 1910 to 1912 as a clubhouse in the style of the Italian Renaissance , after 1936 the conversion to a concert hall began. Today it is the home of seven orchestras and choirs, including the Azerbaijani State Symphony Orchestra.

Another large event hall is the Heydar Aliyev Cultural Center , which regularly hosts concerts. The building, planned by the architect Zaha Hadid and completed in 2014, houses a museum, a lecture hall, a huge multi-purpose hall along with walkways, foyers and offices.

Baku was the venue for the Eurovision Song Contest 2012 , as Azerbaijan won the Eurovision Song Contest 2011 .

Baku is known for its vibrant nightlife. In a ranking by the travel guide Lonely Planet , Baku was in the top 10 of the world's best destinations for urban nightlife. Numerous clubs, bars, restaurants and cafes are concentrated around Fontains Square .


Air traffic

Baku, along with Baku Airport, is a regional hub for international air traffic. The airport is connected to the city center, 25 km to the west, via an expressway. It is the home airport of Azerbaijan Airlines , and is also served by Austrian Airlines , British Airways , Lufthansa and Turkish Airlines , among others .

Road traffic

Almost all major motorways and expressways in Azerbaijan lead to Baku and flow into Izmirstrasse in the west of the city: M1 from the west, M2 from the north and M3 from the south.


Ferries cross the Caspian Sea to Turkmenistan and Iran .


Baku is the central hub in the network of the Azerbaijani state railway company Azərbaycan Dövlət Dəmir Yolu . The main lines of the Azerbaijani railway converge in Baku, for goods traffic in the extensive port facilities on the Caspian Sea, for passenger traffic in Baku station north of the old town. In detail these are:

Public transport

Local public transport relies on a subway and city ​​buses . The Baku metro was opened in 1967 and has an operating network of 25 stations on three lines with a total length of 36.7 kilometers. Some subway stations are opulently designed, for example with mosaics. The Baku Metro carries around 1.8 million passengers a day.


Oil production in Baku

The basis of Baku's economy is petroleum . The existence of petroleum has been known since the 8th century. In the 15th century, the oil that surfaced was used for lamps. Between 1844 and 1848, the world's first mechanical oil well took place in Baku. Economic extraction of oil began in 1872. At the beginning of the 20th century, the Baku oil fields were the largest in the world. At that time they provided half of the world's oil production. However, by the end of the 20th century, onshore oil reserves were depleted and drilling was extended into the Caspian Sea. On May 25, 2006, the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline went into operation, with a length of 1,760 kilometers it is the longest and most technically complex pipeline in the world. According to the plans of the American Caspian Pipeline Consortium CPC, two more oil pipelines were to be built from Baku to Supsa and Novorossiysk , among other things. a. to connect the Tengis oil field in northwestern Kazakhstan with the Russian Black Sea port of Novorossiysk.

Baku is one of the most important centers for the production of equipment for the oil industry. During the Second World War , the battle for Stalingrad and the advance of the Wehrmacht into the Caucasus ( Edelweiss Company ) included control over the Baku oil fields.


Baku is the main sporting center of Azerbaijan. Currently six of the twelve teams in the first Azerbaijani football league come from Baku, including FK Baku , FK Keşlə (until October 2017 in Baku ), Səbail FK , FK Ravan Baku , the exile club Qarabağ Ağdam and Neftçi Baku PFK . Neftçi Baku is one of the oldest and most successful clubs in the country. With eight championship titles in the Azerbaijani league, Neftçi Baku PFK is not only the record champion, but also spent 27 seasons in the highest Soviet league during the time of the Soviet Union . He plays his home games in the Tofiq Bəhramov Stadium, which has a capacity of almost 30,000 .

Baku is also an important center for wrestling and boxing. The 2007 World Wrestling Championships , the 2010 European Wrestling Championships and the 2011 AIBA World Boxing Championships were held in Baku. A women's tennis tournament, the Baku Cup , has also been held in Baku since 2011 .

In July 2014, Azerbaijani Sports Minister Azad Rahimov announced that a contract for a European Grand Prix had been signed in Baku for 2016. In October, the route designer Hermann Tilke presented the route for the Formula 1 racetrack around the historic city center.

The first European Games were played in Baku from June 12th to 28th, 2015. Baku was the only candidate to host the Games and was elected with 38 votes to 8. Azerbaijan had previously failed with its applications for the 2016 and 2020 Olympic Games as well as for the Paralympics of the respective years.

science and education

As one of the major educational and scientific centers in the Caucasus region, Baku is home to numerous universities, colleges, vocational schools and institutes. The Baku State University was the first university to be founded in 1919. Other universities are the Baku Technical University , the Azerbaijan State Oil Academy founded in 1920, the Baku Oil Academy founded in 2011 , the Academy of Music, the Slavic University of Baku , the private Khazar University , the Medical University of Baku , the University of Architecture and Construction and several others, public and private universities and academies. Military colleges are the Azerbaijani Officers College - Geidar Aliyev and the Azerbaijan Officers College of the Naval Forces , which emerged from the former Caspian Red Banner Officers College of the Naval Forces SM Kirov . Baku is also the seat of the Academy of Sciences of Azerbaijan , which was founded in 1945.

Twin cities



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Web links

Commons : Baku  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files
Wikivoyage: Baku  - Travel Guide
Wiktionary: Baku  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

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  10. ^ Soviet 1959 census
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  12. ^ Soviet 1979 census
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