History of Baku Part 1
I’ve scoured the web (read: googled for five minutes web sites about Baku) for some good sites about Baku and it’s history. It’s a rather fascinating city. Here you can find a chronology of Baku, going back centuries. You should also check out the Wikipedia page. Baku has always been an international city, being on the Absheron Peninsula. It was also considered the Soviet Union’s 3rd most cosmopolitan city, after Moscow and Leningrad. And it certainly helps that Azerbaijan was one of the first major places where oil was discovered and utilized. During the Soviet period, these resources were largely ignored, but now oil and gas are back in style in Azerbaijan.
For a more touristy perspective, this is a description from a tourism website; and this is the Lonely Planet description, for those who are feeling particularly backpacker-ish (and if you are, please heal yourself of that affliction).
As a warning, I haven’t combed all of these for accuracy myself, so take a grain of salt with you on this trip through Baku history.