History and Society
Stone age: Nobody’s sure when Baku was founded but the site is very ancient: petroglyph evidence at nearby Gobustan indicates habitation since neolithic times.
66BC: Pompey’s Roman troops reach the outskirts of Baku. Around 140 years later St Bartholemew is martyred– some versions of the myth placing his death at the foot of Baku’s Maiden Tower.
1191: After an earthquake destroys Shamakha, Baku becomes the capital of Shirvan.
1382-1417: Baku gets its sturdy medieval walls during the reign of Shirvanshah Ibrahim I.
1805 & 1826: Baku along with the other northerly khanates of Azerbaijan are incorporated into the Russian empire.
1846: The first oil well in the world was drilled in Asia, on the Aspheron Peninsula north-east of Baku (in settlement Bibi-Heybat)
1872: Russia liberalises its oil industry. Baku undergoes a massive oil boom becoming the world’s top petroleum supplier by 1905.
1918: After the ravages of WWI and the Russian revolution, Azerbaijan proclaims its independence becoming the first democratic state in the Muslim-oriented world. Azerbaijan is the first ever Muslim-majority country which enfranchised women.
1920: Baku occupied by the Red Army.
1991: The city becomes the capital of the modern Republic of Azerbaijan which proclaims its independence on 30 August 1991, four months prior to the official dissolution of the USSR.
1994: “The Contract of the Century” was signed in Baku – Agreement on the Joint Development and Production Sharing for the Azeri and Chirag Fields and the Deep Water Portion of the Gunashli Field in the Azerbaijan Sector of the Caspian Sea.
2006: The opening of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline sees the rapid accelleration of Baku’s 21st-century ‘second oil boom’.
2012 – 56th edition of the annual Eurovision Song Contest was held in “Crystal Hall” of Baku city.
2015- First European Games were held in Baku.
2016: First year of the Baku F1 Grand Prix.