Mingachevir (Azerbaijani: Mingəçevir, Мингечаур), is the fourth-largest city in Azerbaijan with a population of about 104,500. It is known as city of lights because of its hydroelectric power station on the Kur River, which splits the city in half. The area has been settled for thousands of years, but the current city was founded in 1948, partly by German soldiers who were taken prisoner during World War II. Mingechevir is also home to Mingachevir Polytechnic Institute. The city forms an administrative division of Azerbaijan. The district is located 323 km from Baku and 17 km from the Baku-Tbilisi railway. Geographically, the region is located in the center of the republic on both side of the Kura river.
The construction of the Mingachevir Dam creating the Mingachevir reservoir and Mingachevir Hydro Power Plant was completed in 1953. The hydroelectric power stations soil dam, whose total capacity is 15.6 cubic kilometers of water, is one of the highest dams in Europe that was constructed through sprinkling. The reservoir is located 3 km north-west of the district. The length of the reservoir is 70 km, width from 3 to 18 km, deepest point about 75 meters and total area 605 km². Apart from the River Kur, the reservoir feeds two channels of the 172 km-long Upper Qarabag Channel and the 123 km-long Upper Sirvan Channel. These channels are used to irrigate 10,000 square kilometres of area in the steppes of Mil, Mugan and Sirvan. The Varvara reservoir and the Varvara hydroelectric power station are in 20 km east from the Mingechevir reservoir on the River Kur. The volume of the Varvara hydroelectric power station’s energy blocks is 16 MW.
Mingachevir has a semi-arid climate (Köppen climate classification: BSk) near the borderline of a humid subtropical climate (Köppen climate classification: Cfa) because its fairly evenly distributed average annual precipitation is just below the 400 mm threshold, apart from the average annual temperature range.
The Mingacevir Historical Museum was established in January 1968. The museum has two branches – Martyrs’ Memorial and Independence Museum. The museum has 14,461 exhibits. The city is also home to Mingachevir Gallery, which includes 310 works of art by Azerbaijani and Russian artists, including works by Mikhail Vrubel and Ilya Repin.[