Azerbaijan is a beautiful country with a sophisticated backdrop that can be felt in its gestures of the dance, tunes of song, art of acting, curves of sculpture and bold strokes of painting. From the melodious mountain breeze by the river stream to the culinary delights of an Azerbaijani kitchen; elements are galore to captivate your senses here. Located at the conjunction of the European territory and south western Asia, Azerbaijan boasts of an impressive coastline by the Caspian Sea on its east. The Greater Caucasus mountain ranges adorn the topography of the country like a crown on its north. The central interior is a plain land. Moreover, Azerbaijan also possesses an exclave of Nakhichevan Autonomous Republic nearby its political boundaries.
Once known as Caucasian Albania, the region of present day Azerbaijan was the site of many conflicts involving Arabs, Armenians, Persians, Romans, Mongols and the Greek Empire. After Turkish domination in 11th century, Russia acquired the land through the Treaty of Gulistan in 1813 and the Treaty of Turkamanchai in 1828. Azerbaijan became the first Muslim republic when it declared its independence from Russia in May 1918. However it was conquered again and finally achieved freedom by parting ways with collapsing Soviet Union on August 30, 1991.