OK, I admit I have bent my rules here somewhat. With no major cities beginning with Q in Europe (17 in China with populations over 100,000 out of interest), I have had to go with a region for Q.
Qobustan is a region close to Baku in Azerbaijan and the home to some interesting rather than mind blowing things to see.
The area has been settled since the 8th millennium BC and there is actually a town called Qobustan with a population of around 15,000.
Here are a few pictures of my visit to the region.
Diri Baba Mausoleum
The mausoleum was built into a cliff in the 15th Century.
Locals believe in a legend that a sacred person called Diri Baba was buried at the mausoleum and remained imperishable.
However, many legends and mystic events are related to this monument. That is why the mausoleum attracts many pilgrims and curious people since the 17th century.
Mud Volcanoes, Qobustan
Azerbaijan and its Caspian coastline are home to nearly 400 mud volcanoes, more than half the total throughout the world.
In 2001, one mud volcano made world headlines when it suddenly started ejecting flames 15 m high.
On the average, every twenty years or so, a mud volcano may explode with great force in Qobustan, shooting flames hundreds of metres into the sky, and depositing tonnes of mud on the surrounding area.
Qobustan is very rich in archaeological monuments. The reserve has more than 6,000 rock engravings dating back between 5,000 – 40,000 years. Most of the rock engravings depict primitive men, animals, battle-pieces, ritual dances, bullfights, boats with armed oarsmen, warriors with lances in their hands, camel caravans, pictures of sun and stars.
There is also an interesting museum on the site explaining all about the history of the area and the drawings.
On the way to Qobustan you pass a huge mosque which is worth making a stop for.
The existing structure was built in the 1990s, is a recreation of the mosque with the same name built in the 13th century by Shirvanshah Farrukhzad II Ibn Ahsitan II, which was completely destroyed by the Bolsheviks in 1936.
The city beginning with the letter Q that I would most like to visit that I haven’t yet? Qom in Iran.
How about you?
Look out for R on tomorrow.