Baku is the capital of Azerbaijan and, at 2 million people, is also its largest city. Located on the south point of the Absheron Peninsula, Baku is also a bustling trade port on the Caspian Sea, and petroleum refinement is the main industry.
It has 11 districts and 5 settlements covering most of the Absheron Peninsula; some are on islands and one settlement is even built on stilts out in the Caspian Sea, 60 miles from the center of Baku. At a total of over 1,300 square miles, the city of Baku is slightly larger than the whole US State of Rhode Island!
Archeologists believe the region of Azerbaijan was first populated nearly 1.7 million years ago. The first written mention of Baku as a city was in 885 CE. It became a capital city in the 1100s. As part of the Soviet Union, Baku served as the capital of the Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic from 1920 until Azerbaijan became independent in 1991.