Azerbaijan boasts an enormous cultural heritage, stretching back over a thousand years. Azerbaijan culture is a seductive mix of traditional folk music and dance, a long film and literary culture and striking architecture that blends eastern and western influences.
Understanding Azeri culture
Azerbaijani – or Azeri – culture has been forged by the many competing powers that the country has seen in its lengthy history, including Zoroastrian, Islamic, Turkish, Safavid and Russian influences. It was part of the Soviet Union from 1920 to 1991 and has since become a Republic, but Russian is still spoken across Azerbaijan and in its capital Baku.
Travel around Azerbaijan to discover its many cultural delights. Each year, the city of Goychay in central Azerbaijan hosts a Pomegranate Festival, which celebrates the joys of this local fruit. The country’s many folk dances are also a significant part of its cultural heritage. Typically performed in intricate traditional dress, these dances are showcased at festivals and formal occasions, like weddings.
Classical music in Azerbaijan is called Mugham. Linked to Sufism, it is similar to traditional music in Iran, and a Mugham Festival is held annually in the northern city of Shaki. Elsewhere, Azerbaijani art is also highly revered, and is mostly commonly bought in the form of decorative rugs.
Culture in Baku
Explore the distinctive architecture in Baku to learn more about Azeri culture. Baku’s ancient attractions include the Maiden Tower and Palace of Shirvanshahs, while the city’s Metro system is also well-known for its enchanting mix of traditional Azeri and Soviet symbols.
To learn more about Azeri history and culture in Baku, visit the Taghiyev History Museum, the Nizami Museum of Literature and the State Carpet Museum.