Baku is the capital of the Republic of Azerbaijan. It is a large scientific, cultural and industrial center. Ancient foundations, a large area and population all make Baku one of the oldest and largest cities in the East. Baku is situated on the shore of the Caspian Sea in the south of the Absheron peninsula. It covers an area of 2,200 square km and has a population of 2 million. Nearly 500,000 refugees from Armenia as well as IDPs from the occupied territories, currently reside in Baku.
People have lived and founded their settlements in Baku city and the Absheron peninsula since ancient times. Baku was first mentioned in the Book of the Dead by the Egyptian Pharaoh Minesan in 3,500 BC. The ancient age of Baku is also evidenced by stone carvings dating back to 12,000 years ago and archeological excavations. Another important piece of evidence is a stone carving by August Guy Octavio, who reflected the stationing of a military camp under the rule of the Roman emperors Pompey and Lucius near Baku ( 40 km to the south) for the purposes of seizing the southern Caucasus in the 1st century BC. This means that Baku is nearly 5,500 years old.
Baku is a major industrial center. The suburbs of Baku are the centres of oil extraction where the enterprises of railway transportation, of machine-building and construction materials (quarries of stone blocks, cement and lime production) are located , chemical, light, machine-building industries, building materials, electrotechnics are very well developed here too . It is the place where in the vicinities of the city one can see mineral sources (Shikh, Surakhany), a number of mud volcanoes (Keyraki, Bogkh-bogkha, Lokbatan and others) and salt lakes (Boyukshor, Khodasan and others).
Baku is the largest cultural center of Azerbaijan . It is there that the first national theatre of Muslim East was opened, the first opera was staged, the first Azerbaijani newspaper was published, and the first Azerbaijani library was established. Today's Baku has 30 museums, 7 theatres, 11 higher education institutions, a philharmonic society, an opera theatre, a film studio, cinema theaters, libraries which work in the most beautiful buildings of the city the exteriors of which are as rich and interesting as the city's culture life itself.
The Climate of the Absheron Peninsula where Baku is situated is moderately warm with hot dry summer and short mild winter. Strong northern winds “Khazri” and southern winds – “Gilavar” are typical here.
Baku has 11 administrative districts and 5 settlements