In 1858, a great French novelist Alexandre Dumas (1802 –1870) visited the Caucasus.
On his nine-month journey through the region, one of the places that captured his imagination most was Ateshgah, the fire temple located on the outskirts of Baku, Azerbaijan. Dumas recorded his impressions in his Travels in the Caucasus, which was published the following year in Paris.
Dumas challenged his fellow Frenchmen not to delay in visiting this incredible site. How correct he was. Today, the Ateshgah temple has been converted into a museum and is no longer the living monument that Dumas so richly described. The fire worshippers are long gone, and the flames no longer burn spontaneously in the domed cupola. Instead, the eternal flame is fed from gas channeled in through pipes underground.
Dumas ended his account by saying, “We visited the Mount Vesuvius of Baku. The Ateshgah is greater than the Mount Vesuvius volcano of Naples because it burns eternally. Then we returned to Baku.”
Source: Azerbaijan State News Agency