Baku, Azerbaijan was certainly not on my list of interesting places in the world. Ignorantly, all I knew was that Azerbaijan was formed after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 and it was host to one of the more exciting races in the F1 circuit.
Little did I realise that this little country on the Caspian Sea has a bizarre relationship with fire. So much so that even the name “Azer” means “Fire” and Baygan “Protector”, hence the “Protector of Fire”. It is also fitting, that in Greek mythology, when Prometheus stole fire from the gods to bring to humanity Zeus chained him to a rock in the Caucasus Mountains in Azerbaijan. Even Marco Polo referred to it as the “Land of Fire” after seeing weird flames that appeared all over the peninsula. Flames that once ignited are difficult to extinguish, and still today the 10-metre burning wall “Yanar Dağ” is something to behold. Obvious evidence of massive gas reserves that have contributed greatly to the economy of the country.
These flames have brought architectural design inspiration to Baku, with the fascinating Flame Towers that adorn the skyline of the city. The three buildings which cost $ 350 million to build, function as massive screens with 10 000 LEDs that are used to create a beautiful light show that can be seen from every corner of the city…. what better ode to a flame that made the country famous