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Fly to Baku with the best airfare.
Located on the southern shore of the Apsheron peninsula, Azerbaijan's capital was founded 1,500 years ago. The first written reference to Baku dates from 885, although archaeologists have found remains of a settlement predating by several centuries the birth of Christ. The city became important after an earthquake destroyed Shemakha and the of the 12th century and the Shirvanshah, Ahistan I, made Baku the new capital. There are a few theories about the origin of the name, the most widely known being that Baku comes from bad kube, meaning "city of winds". The climate is sunny and arid, with gale-force winds that sweep through on occasion, caused by masses of polar air. Baku is located on the western shore of the Caspian Sea and is Azerbaijan's largest city, with wonderful beaches, spas and a striking setting on the salty Caspian Sea. The basis of Baku's economy is petroleum. The existence of petroleum has been known since the 8th century. By the 15th century oil for lamps was obtained from surface wells. Commercial exploitation began in 1872, and by the beginning of the 20th century the Baku oil field was the largest in the world. Towards the end of the 20th century much of the land's petroleum had been exhausted, and drilling had extended into the sea.
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