Azerbaijan: Land of Fire
Since gaining independence in 1991, Azerbaijan has formed a powerful international identity, culturally and economically.
With over $15 billion of oil exported annually, Azerbaijan has invested heavily in itself. Today state-of-the-art arenas share space with 700 year old palaces, together creating a fast-growing tourism industry. A rugged, beautiful geography plays host to an architectural style uniquely inspired by an ancient local culture, Soviet pragmatism, and newer Western influences.
Azerbaijan takes its nickname, 'The Land of Fire,' from its Zoroastrian roots, when oil-fueled lamps illuminated pilgrim-filled temples. Today this same oil has created a country burning with industry, energy, and ambition.