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Baga (now بغ bagh) and kuy are the Old Persian words for "god" and "town" respectively; the name Baghkuy may be compared with Baghdād ("God-given") in which dād is the Old Persian word for "give".Arabic sources refer to the city as Baku, Bakukh, Bakuya, and Bakuye, all of which seem to come from a Persian name.Near Nardaran, in a place called Umid Gaya, a prehistoric observatory was discovered, where on the rock the images of sun and various constellations are carved together with a primitive astronomic table.
The Baku International Sea Trade Port is capable of handling two million tons of general and dry bulk cargoes per year.
At the beginning of 2009, Baku's urban population was estimated at just over two million people.
Officially, about 25 percent of all inhabitants of the country live in Baku's metropolitan area. Baku is divided into twelve administrative districts (raions) and 48 townships.
In recent years, Baku has become an important venue for international events.
It hosted the 57th Eurovision Song Contest in 2012, the 2015 European Games, 4th Islamic Solidarity Games, the F1 Azerbaijan Grand Prix since 2016, and will host UEFA Euro 2020.