First Baku name references date back to the Middle Ages. Even that time the city was already well developed with oil trade as a main business.
Nowadays this is one of the main cultural centres of Transcaucasia,
It is very clean here. I have not met any beggars or bums in the city during my two day stay. Probably they were removed from the streets in course of Islamic games preparation, but anyway it gives an extremely pleasant impression.b
It seems that Baku struggles to host many international events. In addition to Islamic games this year Formula 1 Grand Prix will be held here.
Formula 1 circuit is barred with concrete blocks and fence.
The most attractive city district is the old town - Icheri Sheher. Most buildings are 100-150 years old, but some were built in 15-16 centuries. Some locals complained that oligarchs often build new (old-looking though) hotels or other property here.
There are many narrow crooked streets in Icheri Sheher. It seems sometimes that one can easily be lost here.
There are also many carpets and souvenirs traders here. Somewhere here is that street from "The Diamond Arm".
Many houses here are just regular living ones. People gather on balconies, children play at yards. All is very neat and clean.
The famous Maiden Tower is one of main Baku attractions. Basically it is a view point strategically located in the heart of the old city. But transparent barriers spoil both the view and the scene. There is no elevator - you can get on top on your own only.
Parking is packed with cars. Can't imagine how they will manage to drive away.
Many walk along the sea promenade or Baku Boulevard towards the evening. The Boulevard looks a bit deserted - there is a lack of attractions.
But one can observe the Fire Towers well from here. This time I was unlucky enough to watch them in a dense fog. Better luck next time.
A bit further there is a giant Azeri flag. It is on of the world's biggest. But it is also not seen well.
Overall the city is quite interesting, but it sort of lacks in life. There are some events in the centre, while peripheral districts are just new built houses. The city is clean, but too clean. It seems a bit unnatural and a bit dull.
The weather changes fast here. It can by a shiny warm morning, while in the evening you have to wear a sweater and even a coat.
But overall feelings are good.