Lenkaran is a city in Azerbaijan, on the coast of the Caspian Sea, near the southern border with Iran. It has a population of 83,300 (2010 census). It is next to, but independent of Lankaran rayon. The city forms a distinct first-order division of Azerbaijan.Lankaran is located in the south-eastern part of Azerbaijan on the Caspian Sea. This is one of the brightest and most beautiful cities in the country. Exquisite architecture, a wonderful climate and beautiful natural landscapes are the hallmarks of this city. The fertile soil serves to the prosperity of agriculture, the presence of hot springs attracts tourists and people who want to improve their health and a long history and an abundance of historical and cultural attractions do not leave fans of Antiquities indifferent.
The city was built on a swamp along the northern bank of the river bearing the city's name. There are remains of human settlements in the area dating back to the Neolithic period as well as ruins of fortified villages from the Bronze and Iron Ages.Lankaran's history is rather recent, dating from the 16th century. With the death of Nader Shah and his disintegrating empire, the Talysh Khanate was founded by a certain Seyyid Abbas, who's ancestors were members of the Iranian Safavid dynasty, and had moved into the Talish region during the 1720s during a turbulent period in Iranian history. From the founding of the khanate, until 1828, it was ruled by subsequently by the Iranian Zand and Qajar empires.
Following the Russo-Persian War (1722-1723), Lankaran fell in Russian hands from 1728 to 1732, but in 1732 it was ceded back to Iran per the Treaty of Resht. Following about another century of being back in Iranian hands, during the Russo-Persian War (1804-1813), General Kotlyarevsky heading the southernmost Russian contingent during the war, stormed and captured Lankaran's fortress, making it effectively fall into Russian hands. Following the Treaty of Gulistan it still remained part of Qajar Iran. However, per the outcoming Treaty of Turkmenchay that followed the next war Russo-Persian War (1826-1828), Qajar Iran was now forced to irrevocably cede the city to Russia.Once absorbed into the Russian empire, it became a part of the Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic after the Russian revolution in 1917, and the short time as part of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic. In 1991, following the dissolution of the Soviet Union, it became a part of independent Azerbaijan.