By Laman Ismayilova
A friendship association between the U.S. city of Monterey and Azerbaijan’s southern city of Lankaran has been recently established in California.
Executive director of the association is the former Monterey City Councilmember Nancy Selfridge. The executive and advisory boards of the new organization include influential representatives of politics, business, science and culture of the city.
The association aims at further strengthen and develop relations between Monterey and Lankaran, which established "sister cities" partnership in 2011, through various joint projects.
Lankaran, one of the most vibrant and beautiful cities of Azerbaijan, is located in the southeastern part of the country. The region has many attractions within its borders.
The Gizil-Agach State Reserve located here hosts over 250 kinds of plants, 30 species of fish and more than 220 kinds of birds. The reserve was included into the list of UNESCO Ramseur convention "On internationally important swampy areas as the birds' residing places".
The fertile soil of the region is ideal for growing citrus fruits, rice, grapes, tobacco and tea-growing. The region is a home of Azerbaijan's first tea plant, built in 1937.
Lankaran is also famous for its rich and delicious cuisine. Lavangi, Lankaran kulcha, marji plov, white plov, pumpkin plov and turshu kebab are the best examples of local cuisine.
Unique landscapes, wonderful sceneries, historical attractions and great climate create favorable conditions for tourism development.
The ancient tower Abirlar, the tomb of Sheikh Zahed, Qala mosque, Guldasta minaret, ruins of Ballabur castle were preserved here.
There are many other sites of interest in Lankaran. Don’t miss the three-storey Lankaran Fortress and house of Mirakhmad Khanhere. This palace was built in 1913 by French architects, but has clear Azerbaijani features in its architecture.
Situated on the Pacific coast, the historic City of Monterey was the capital of Alta California under both Spain and Mexico.
Over the past period, mutual visits took place, as well as many different events dedicated to Azerbaijan were held in Monterey with the support of Azerbaijan’s Consulate General in Los Angeles.
In addition, many historic "firsts" occurred in Monterey, including California’s first newspaper, public school, theater, brick house, public library and printing press.
Laman Ismayilova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @Lam_Ismayilova
Follow us on Twitter @AzerNewsAz