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Sumgait is disposed on the littoral of the Caspian Sea, approximately 30 kilometers distant from Baku. Respectively to the recent data about 308,000 residents live here, according to which it is the 3rd most populous place of Azerbaijan.
There is the renowned State University of Sumgayit.
In local folklore exists a beautiful legend associated with the origin of the town’s title, which tells of a hero named Sum, chosen by the people to fight the monster, blocking the flow of the river. Sum, as a result was able to defeat the monster, but the liberated rapid flow of river swallowed the hero and no one had seen him anymore. Stunned by what she saw, his inconsolably grieving beloved Jeyran went to the shore and started to scream, – Sum qayıt! – What means in the Azerbaijani language – Sum, come back !. Thus, the river, and later the city, built on were named Sumgait.
In the frame of the construction boom, while laying the basis of the edifice of executive power were found oddments of an ancient caravanserai. The first reference of the settlement dates back to 1580, in the records of the British explorer Burrow, who described this place in his writings, and in 1858 Alexander Dumas, mentioned it in his memoirs of the trip to the Caucasus.
Although, it should be mentioned that until the Soviet period in the 20s of the last centenary nothing significant was created here.
In 1938-1941 was built a large-scale thermal power plants, and in later periods the metallurgical, chemical and petrochemical plants. As a result of the planning and the industrial boom, the atmosphere of the town became heavily contaminated. Absheron peninsula, on the conclusion of scientists, became the most environmentally devastated part of Azerbaijan. But after getting the independence, developed a plan of the protection of the environment aimed at reducing the level of pollution.
In the period of glasnost in the 80s, happened a number of tragic events that led to the riots, and then developed into an ethnic conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh.
Substantial research in the field of architecture of Sumgait were made by academician and honorary architect of Azerbaijan Kamal Mamedbekov, that as a result of years of work created the numerous book about the architectural development of Sumgait. His works are valuable instances of the archives of the city museum.
In spite of the fact that the city does not have ancient historical buildings, residents and guests here can have nice relax in the Park of Culture and Leisure, initially sprawled on 23 hectares of coastline. The rich flora of the park includes 39 different species of trees. You can also visit the memorial dedicated to the thousands of soldiers who died during the war. Today the park covers 80 hectares of territory.