Baku

<p>Baku, the capital and commercial hub of Azerbaijan, is a low-lying city with coastline along the Caspian Sea. It&#39;s famed for its medieval walled old city, which contains the Palace of the Shirvanshahs, a vast royal complex, and the iconic stone Maiden Tower. Contemporary landmarks include the Zaha Hadid&ndash;designed Heydar Aliyev Center, and the Flame Towers, 3 pointed skyscrapers covered with LED screens.</p> <p>Other notable sites include the reconstructed Bibi-Heybat Mosque, a pilgrimage center, and the Azerbaijan Carpet Museum, housing a vast collection of ornate carpets from the region. The Baku Museum of Modern Art showcases 20th-century Azerbaijani painters and sculptors. Another prominent museum, the National Museum of History of Azerbaijan, is housed in an Italian Renaissance&ndash;style mansion from 1902. National Flag Square contains one of the world&#39;s tallest flagpoles (162m), while bustling Fountains Square is a hub for shops and restaurants. Beyond the city, Yanar Dag is a continuously blazing natural gas fire.</p>

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