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    • Located in Azerbaijan, this temple has maintained its flames alight for centuries.

    The Fire Temple of Baku: a castle of inextinguishable flames / 

    In the Abseron peninsula, in Azerbaijan, a mysterious temple whose religious origins are still unknown is found. The place is called the Fire Temple of Baku, and it was built between the seventeenth and the eighteenth century, conceived as a centre for fire based rituals. In the underground of this place there are oil deposits that lead to natural gas leakages on the surface, which in turn are responsible for the consistent flames that have been alight for centuries. This phenomenon attracts thousands of travellers and has bestowed on the place a mystic-religious halo.

    When the Hindu population of Azerbaijan decreased during the nineteenth century, the temple was abandoned. Although the religious origins of the building remain unknown, it was mainly the Hindis that used this construction to practice their devotion and ascetic life. This is a complex space, with pentagonal walls that create a temple, which at the centre becomes an altar at the “heart” of the building. The corners of the pavilion hold four small flames, and the temple is surrounded by cells —rooms in which the religious practitioners could devote themselves to their spiritual life.

    The place was conceived as a space adapted to practice igneous rituals. It was even constructed over a natural gas source that emerges from the underground, through a pipeline that releases fire in strategic places according to a sacred map.

    In 1975 the Temple of Fire was adapted into a museum. The city of Baku also represents an interesting cultural mix since there are still remnants of Soviet Union era, when this republic was incorporated to the unification. 

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