The Port of Baku is the capital of Azerbaijan. Lying on the western shores of the Caspian Sea about 700 kilometers east-southeast of the Port of Batumi, in Georgia, the Port of Baku is blessed with the best harbor in the Caspian because the bay is sheltered by the islands of the Baku Archipelago to the east and the Abseron Peninsula to the north. In 2007, over 1.1 million people lived in the Port of Baku.
Men have known about the oil in the Port of Baku region for many centuries. In the 15th Century, oil for their lamps came from surface wells. Thus, petroleum is the base of the local Port of Baku economy. Most of the surrounding towns are drilling centers that are linked to local refineries by a network of pipelines. Oil is piped to the Black Sea Port of Batumi or shipped by tanker across the Caspian to the Volga River. With its busy petroleum industry, the Port of Baku has also become a center for manufacturing oil industry equipment. Other important industries in the Port of Baku include shipbuilding and repair, metalworking, food processing, and the manufacture of electrical machinery, chemicals, and construction materials.
Archaeological evidence suggests human settlements in the area of the Port of Baku several centuries before the coming of Jesus, but the Port of Baku was first noted in written records from 885AD. In the 11th and 12th Centuries, the Shirvan-Shahs made the Port of Baku their capital. During the 13th and 14th Centuries, it was overrun by the Mongols.
Commercial exploitation of the Port of Baku's oil resources began in the early 1870s. By the early 20th Century, the Baku oil field was the world's largest, and it continued to be the Soviet Union's biggest oil field until the 1940s.
By the end of the 20th Century, most of the easy-to-get oil reserves in the Port of Baku area had been taken, and drilling underground and into the seabed began. When Azerbaijan won its independence, foreign oil companies bought rights to explore for and develop oil-rich sites near the Port of Baku. New refineries appeared, and many oil derricks rose in the gulf in front of the city.
The center of the modern Port of Baku is dominated by the ancient old town fortress of Icheri-Shekher. Still standing are the walls that were reinforced after the 1806 Russian conquest and the 27-meter tall 12th Century tower of Kyz-Kalasy. The old town is beautiful and quaint, with narrow alleys and ancient buildings lending an air of mystery. The walled city, the Palace of the Shirvan-Shahs, and Kyz-Kalasy are today part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Today's Port of Baku rises up the hills that surround the bay with regular streets and modern buildings. The waterfront boasts a beautiful park, and most of the industrial areas are to the east and southwest of the city. Today, the city almost covers the entire Abseron Peninsula and off-shore islands.