Gobustan - cave paintings and mud volcanoes included in the list of UNESCO cultural heritage - one of the most memorable sights of Azerbaijan. The reserve, located only 50-60 km from the capital of the country of Baku, will be an excellent excursion for half a day, good, it's not difficult to get here.
Beginning tourists traditionally from volcanoes - a spectacle and the truth is exotic. Gray-beige, cracked earth, where low hills stick out from here and there and shine in the sun puddles, periodically issuing a loud "chavk" and "bulka." Dirt is mixed here with water and oil, while remaining cold. There are both large enough volcanoes, and very tiny, the size of a puddle.
For half an hour wandering among the Martian landscape and still finding a rare and unappetizing, but quite cheerful "chavk", tourists, as a rule, go to the rock paintings. Here for them, as for scientists, is a whole expanse.
Rock paintings in this area were created from the primitive epoch and up to the Middle Ages, today there are about 6 thousand drawings: animals and people, hunting scenes and inscriptions.
One of the most notable inscriptions, by the way, refers to the Roman legionaries, wandered here in the 1st century AD. But first things first.
"Raisin" of the Gobustan collection is a hero figure of a reaper with a sickle, dances of dancing people, boats with rowers.
Rock paintings of Gobustan
The best specimens of the art of ancient people can be seen in the mountains of Boyukdash ("Big Stone"), Kichikdash ("Little Stone"), Ginhirdag, Shongardagh and Shikhgaya - rock carvings, human parking, tombstones of the Stone Age. Here, if you look closely, you can find the remains of a large prehistoric cromlech.
By the way, the name of the reserve means "edge of gullies" (from "gobu" - "hollow", "ravine", and "stan" - "edge", "earth")
As a rule, the plot of the drawings is uncomplicated: life and economic life, magical and totemic representations of ancient people, scenes of hunting and fishing, images of men and women, wild animals. "Raisin" of the Gobustan collection is a hero figure of a reaper with a sickle, dances of dancing people, boats with rowers.
Pay special attention to the stone slab with a Latin inscription that is at the foot of the Boyukdash mountain. The inscription left here refers to around 84-96, and its author is the Roman legionary of Emperor Domitian from the Fulminata legion ("Lightning"). According to historians, in 75 Domitian sent a legion to help the allied kingdoms of Iberia and Albania in the Caucasus. However, the same detachment of the 12th legion, who left the inscription, was later exterminated by the local inhabitants of Apsheron. And it is written, in fact, the following: "The time of Emperor Domitian Caesar Augustus of Germany, Lucius Julius Maximus, Centurion XII Legion of Lightning."
Address: Gobustan, Absheron district.
How to get there: by bus number 120 from Azneft square (the nearest metro station "Icherisheher") about 50 km to the city of Gobustan. Then take a taxi with a starting price of 40 AZN.