The Eternal Fire has been flickering for a very long time on an embankment in the north of Baku. The Yanar Dag burns steadily, it hardly changes its intensity. The burning embankment is revered as sacred by the locals. In Azerbaijan, fire has a positive symbolism, it offers protection from evil spirits and it also provides light and warmth.
In the west of the Yanar Dag an amphitheater was built, where you can sit and watch the "Eternal Fire". Behind the theatre is a small visitor center with a cafe and parking spaces.
The Atashgah Fire Temple was built by the Zoroastrians in the 18th century. The origins of the fire temple goes back to the 6th century. Even then, the Zoroastrians built a temple here. The eternal flame in today's temple is not natural, it is supplied by a gas tank. Nevertheless, the fire temple is one of the most important of its kind.
The religion of the Zoroastrians was founded by Zaratustra many hundred years BC. Most of the followers live in Iran and India. According to their beliefs, fire, earth, water and metal belong to the good creations, as well as humans, animals and plants.
The Qobustan National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, there are over 6,000 rock carvings. The drawings were carved into the rocks in the Stone Age. On the large boulders you can find very different representations that prove that people settled here over 5,000 years ago. Hunting scenes can be seen on the rocks, as well as horses, gazelles, fish and other animals. However, people and the sun are also immortalized in the stone. The Qobustan Museum explains the rock carvings and shows photographs of the most famous cave drawings.
The long way to the Qobustan National Park is also worthwhile for the mud volcanoes. There are many mud volcanoes in Azerbaijan. Mud volcanoes are usually not hot volcanoes, water enriched with sediments comes to the surface. Sometimes in connection with flammable gases such as methane. If the methane ignites, the mud volcano can burn. There are some of such specimens in Azerbaijan. But in the Qobustan National Park the bubbling mud holes are rather harmless. Still, you shouldn't fall into it. It is better to keep a distance to the edge.
The Qobustan National Park "Gobustan Rock Art Cultural Landscape" is located about 55 kilometers southwest of Baku.