Zoroastrian holy site in Azerbaijan turned into reserve with cafe, amphitheater
After a major reconstruction, the Yanardag reserve near Baku has changed beyond recognition.
Prices for visitation have also risen.
Yanardag [Az. Burning mountain] is a fire that burns continuously on a hillside near Baku. Natural gas emanating from the mountain ignites on contact with oxygen. In ancient times, Yanardag was a place of worship for Zoroastrians.
Previously, Yanardag was just a blasing hill, preserved in its original form.
VIDEO: Yanardag before adding infrastructure
After the reconstruction, the area in front of the hill was covered with concrete, and a museum with ancient household items was built in the area, in addition to an amphitheater for concerts, a cafe, a souvenir shop, a play area for children, and a parking lot, writes Report.
Earlier, foreign tourists could see the burning mountain for just $1, now the price has risen to the equivalent of $5 in AZN.
For citizens of Azerbaijan, the price remains the same – $1.
Schoolchildren will be able to visit the reserve free of charge (previously it cost $ 0.10 for them).
Chairman of the State Agency for Tourism Fuad Nagiyev says 500-700 foreigners visit the Yanardag per day, and that this figure is growing.
Many Baku residents did not like the new look of the old “mountain”.
Many users of social media say that the new infrastructure is inappropriate and tasteless. Moreover, they fear that the concrete coating may interfere with natural processes below ground and that the fire will go out.
“Such ignorance can even put out an eternal fire.”
“Before, there was a real, authentic atmosphere, but now it is not clear what it is.”
Although there are those who believe that the reconstruction will only do good for the site.
“It has become much more comfortable and beautiful. And tourists will no longer sniff in disappointment.”