Baku è città gemellata agli inizi anni ’70 con Napoli, fu fondata nel VI secolo si dice da Alessandro Magno, è situata sul Mar Caspio nella penisola di Asperon. La cartina dell’Azerbagian ci ricorda la forma di una aquila e la sua capitale, Baku appunto, la testa di questo animale. La penisola di Asperon si protende per circa 60 km nel mare. La sua crescita, agli inizi, fu abbastanza lenta, si pensi che agli inizi del 19° secolo essa faceva appena 8.000 abitanti. Con lo sviluppo industriale e soprattutto con la scoperta di giacimenti petroliferi nei sui pressi la sua popolazione ebbe una graduale e costante crescita ,tale che nel 1913, furono censiti 400 mila abitanti. Attualmente essa occupa una immensa area della penisola di Asperon e co una popolazione che sfiora i 2 milioni di abitanti. Asperon è alla stessa latitudine dell’Italia e Baku, quasi a quella di Napoli, ma con clima abbastanza diversi. La sua riviera sul mare ricorda molto da vicino quella di Napoli, ed in più Baku è anche in parte in collina. Ha una cinta muraria risalente al sec. XII, in essa si trovano interessanti monumenti quali il palazzo e la moschea del Khan, del secolo XV. La città fece parte dell’Impero islamico e fu poi conquistata dagli Ottomani cui appartenne dal 1583 al 1606; passò poi ai Persiani e nel 1906 venne definitivamente incorporata nella Russia zarista. Alla fine dell’800 e nei primi anni del 1900 fu uno dei principali centri del movimento operaio russo e teatro di una serie di scioperi tra il 1903 e il 1914. Dopo la Rivoluzione di ottobre, l’Azerbagian aderì alla U.R.S.S, con la scomparsa della Unione sovietica è diventata Repubblica indipendente. A Napoli per ricordare il gemellaggio esiste una strada denominata Baku

Baku was founded in the 6th century. In the beginning of 19th century there were 8,000 inhabitants in Baku. With the development of industry, significant growth of population took place: 1839 – 13,500, 1880 – 40,000, 1897 – 111,000, 1913 – 400,000. By 1913 Baku’s territory reached 23.97 sq. km. In the beginning of the 20’s, there were 8 banks with the capital of 8.5 mln roubles, 6 higher educational establishments, 203 schools, 20 kindergartens, 15 hospitals, 8 museums, 15 libraries, 9 cinemas. Seventy years later the population of the capital of Azerbaijan reaches 1,733,000 people (plus 130,000 refugees), the area of the city was nearly 2129.2 sq. kms., and the number of big industrial enterprises became 288. The map of the Azerbaijan Republic reminds one of a Caucasian eagle heading, and the capital of it, Baku, the head of this proud bird. Baku is situated where the spurs of the Great Caucasian Range are like “knocking” the Apsheron Peninsula out itself into the sea for 60 km. The mountains cover this part of Caucasus, and historically there was a road lying along the seaside lowland in the middle of which Baku is situated even now. To add here the hills (up to 350-400 meters) creating plateau in several terraces – an amphitheater, as if specially created for the city: the vwey beautiful bay and convenient, for ships to stand by: the local construction material, limestone: and the riches of dephts, of which Jules Verne said, “Do you want to get instantaneous lighting or heating? Nothing as simple, just make a hole in the soil where the gas will break out from”: to add all of this here, you’ll understand why man inhabited this place. Millions of years ago the sea reached out over the territory of Baku. But also later when the faults of the earth crust brought the formation of dry here, its mysterious life caused people many troubles. The sea now advanced on the land flooding the steppes and forests, houses, and roads, now it retreated uncovering the bottom. Maybe that’s why the Caspian, the biggest lake on the globe, during its history received 70 names (a record of its kind). The sea on this latitude does not freeze, and Baku port functions all year round. Being situated on the same latitude as Italy, Apsheron is distinguished with higher average annual temperature and lower amount of precipitation. By the way, average annual temperature of the air in Baku and on the earth agree – 14.4oC. On the number of clear, less cloudy days (284) Apsheron holds the first position in Caucasus, and on the amount of precipitation (from 180 mm in the South to 322 mm in the North of it) the last position. The stormy winds, khazri, which, according to a medieval geographer, “chased sheep and horses into the sea” make the work of seamen, oil-workers, fishermen difficult, and make the weather unstable. They tell that a ruler sent out people to the ends of the world in order to know what climate is where. First came back the one that was sent to Baku, “Do not be angry, oh kind, that I was so fast. The first day was cold, even with snow. The next morning blew a warm wind and scattered the clouds, spring streams started murmuring. The third day blew the cold autumn wind and I got cold. So four was enough to see there the four seasons of the year.” But on the whole khazri, for Baku, is not as bad as it is good. It serves as a gigantic natural fan which systematically cleans the air of the huge industrial city, pacifies the summer heat. Because of the hot summer, of the winders and of the lack of water the flora of Apsheron is poor. Among the trees, best of all grows a species of fir tree that doesn’t demand great amount of humidity, Eldar tree. No rivers here, except the Sumgayit river that dries up in summer. That’s why, especially lately, artificial irrigation got developed in Baku. The first thing you’ll feel stepping on the Baku soil is a special, unique smell. About it, the air, with which “the breast couldn’t get filled enough”, Aleksey Pisemsky, a well-known 19th century Russian writer said, “Dry and mountain air, flows from the shore and here it gets a little humid and soft by the sea and it soaks in the natural grass”. At present the city covers a huge square, not only the area of Baku bay, stretches out tot he suburban hills and lowlands. Because the industries, plants, part of which appeared already in the time of the oil boom in the middle of the last century, are closely linked with each other forming a whole complex, and because the industrial zone and the zones of resort, suburban, and of the agriculture are inseparable from each other practically all of Apsheron got within boundaries of greater Baku. Moreover here included the settlements of oil-workers on a number of islands round the peninsula. So, steel island-amphibian Oil Rocks, which is 100 km from the sea cost, is also Baku. Greater Baku occupies 220,000 hectares of land . In 1972 it become Napoli’s sister city, in this city there is a road called Baku

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