The art of Azerbaijan is as colourful, bright and rich as its nature. Today, Azerbaijan with its ancient national ethical values and traditions, is known as the crossroads of different world civilizations. There are more than 6000 historical architectural monuments in the territory of Azerbaijan. Most of them are located on ancient caravan roads along the Great Silk Road passing through the territory of Azerbaijan. These monuments include images of early humans engraved on rocks-stones of Gobustan (Gobustan rock drawings) nature reserve, the Pre-Islamic ritual houses - fire worship temples, towers, ancient Albanian churches on the mountain peaks and worship temples, mighty fortress walls and castles, as well as large caravanserais, magnificent palaces of Islamic period, memorial rituals and other buildings. Memorial buildings of Medieval Ages period are represented with tombs located on the route of Great Silk Road.
Azerbaijan has a rich cultural heritage. The masterpieces of the prominent and outstanding poets of Azerbaijani literature like Nizami Ganjavi, Fizuli, Nesimi, Khagani Shirvani, Molla Panah Vagif gained enormous popularity among readers far beyond the borders of Azerbaijan.
Almost all forms of art, including music, literature, cinema, theatre, painting, applied arts have been developed in Azerbaijan. In 2003, UNESCO recognized Azerbaijan mugham as one of the Masterpieces of Verbaland Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. Mugham-operas by Uzeyir Hajibeyli, mugham-jazz by Vagif Mustafazade, mugham sonatas by Agshin Alizade and Nariman Mammadov, choir and symphonic mughams by Fikret Amirov, Niyazi, Suleyman Alesgerov, Nazim Aliverdibeyov are quite interesting and unique experiments developed on the basis of the Eastern and Western music traditions. "Leyli and Majnun" composed by Uzeyir Hajibeyov in 1908 is considered the first opera of the Muslim East and "Maiden Tower" ballet by Afrasiyab Badalbeyli lays the foundation of Azerbaijan ballet. Shafiga Akhundova composed her first opera called "Gelin Gayasi" (Bride’s Rock) and became the first female opera composer in the East.
Many prestigious art galleries of the world exhibit the paintings and sculptures of Azerbaijani artists, while the Azerbaijan carpets are displayed in the world museums. The works of Azerbaijani artists, sculptors are known and exhibited all over the world. Azim Azimzade, Settar Behlulzade, Maral Rehmanzade, Tahir Salahov, Togrul Nerimanbeyov, Omar Eldarov and other prominent and talented painters and sculptors of Azerbaijan have enriched the art of Azerbaijan with their works. The works of Sattar Behlulzade, an artist, graphic and one of the founders of the landscape painting genre in the contemporary fine art are exhibited in prestigious art galleries of Paris, Napoli, Vienna, Havana, Berlin, Damask, Beirut, Baghdad.
In November 2010, Azerbaijani carpets, unique samples of Azerbaijan’s applied art, were included in UNESCO’s Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
The role of theatre art in Azerbaijan’s art history must be noted particularly. The history of professional theatre in Azerbaijan dates from 1873. At present, there are 23 repertory theatres in Azerbaijan. High tolerance of Azerbaijan is also reflected in cultural life of the country and at present, there are theatres performing in different languages. The history of Azerbaijani cinema and film industry dates from 1898.
The artwork samples created by Azerbaijani artists represent the ancient national-ethical values and traditions. Azerbaijan is known as the junction of different civilizations. At present, the art work samples created by masters from Tabriz, Nakhchivan, Ganja, Gazakh, Guba, Baku, Sheki, Shamaki and Garabagh are exhibited in the world’s richest museums like Victoria and Albert Museum of London, Louvre of Paris, Metropoliten of Washington and other museums in Vienna, Berlin, Istanbul, Tehran, Cairo.
Azerbaijani cuisine is one of the ancient, rich and delicious cuisines of the world. "Azerbaijani cuisine" is not only foods and food preparation techniques, but also a part of our material culture. Azerbaijani cuisine is the harmonic unity of its culture, history, philosophy, table manners, traditions, physiology, hygiene, chemistry, equipment, ethics, aesthetics, poetry and poetic aspects of the cuisine, as well as practical habits created by Azerbaijanis in their historically inhabited areas where they lived in a harmony with the environment.