Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan, located by the Caspian Sea, is an impressive blend of Medieval old town with an ultramodern skyline. Rich in architecture and historical monuments, it serves together – Persian, Soviet, Turkic, and European influences. Baku creates the most potent and vivid impression through this mélange. Structures, precious in the study of Azerbaijani history and culture are the national treasures and pearls of architecture. With a wide variety of city attractions from skyscrapers to exploring its very own Mini Venice, Baku offers something for everyone.

Below are some must-visit places in Baku, Azerbaijan.

1. Flame Towers

The Flame Towers, resembling the divine symbol of fire, has a flame-shaped composition. The tallest Tower with 182 m height with two more towers, makes it a trio of skyscrapers in Baku, Azerbaijan. Spectacular views can be seen from Baku Boulevard, a 3.75 km coastal promenade around the Caspian Sea.

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Image Sources: Flame Towers ©t3.gstatic.com

2. Heydar Aliyev Centre

A large building complex of 57,500 sq.m, designed by Architect Zaha Hadid, is named after Hyder Aliyev, the first secretary of Soviet Azerbaijan and President of Azerbaijan Republic. The structure is known for its unique, flowing, and curved style that shuns edgy angles.

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Heydar Aliyev Centre ©www.zaha-hadid.com

3. The Maiden Tower

A notable example in the De Stijl movement, which emphasizes on proportions, is constructed using rectilinear Euclidean geometries.

The geometrical lengths and widths of the house in plan suffice the 1:1.618 criteria of the golden ratio with the color palette depicting De Stijl’s style of architecture.

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The Maiden Tower ©atlasobscura.com
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4. Azerbaijan National Carpet Museum

Designed by Austrian architect Franz Janz, the museum established in 1967, is a must-visit place in Baku. The new building, opened in 2014, resembles a rolled-up carpet. The museum caters to the most extensive collection of carpets and rugs in the world with an opportunity to learn traditional carpet-weaving and its importance in Azerbaijani culture.

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Azerbaijan National Carpet Museum ©atlasobscura.com

5. Mini- Venice

First opened in the 1960s, Baku’s Mini-Venice will give you a flavor of the City of Canals. Connecting several islands through bridges, Mini- Venice, the place on Baku Boulevard is one of the prime tourist attractions for a romantic and eventful evening.

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6. Palace of the Shirvanshahs

The Palace was listed in UNESCO in the 15th-century and can be seen on the back of Azerbaijani’s 10 manat banknote. The complex comprises a palace, mosque, a mausoleum, and burial vaults, and served as a royal residence. With a remarkable architecture, it is as spectacular as the magnificent views of the city it presents.

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7. National Museum of History of Azerbaijan

An Italian Renaissance-style mansion with more than 30,000 artifacts, the National Museum of History of Azerbaijan is largest in Baku. Exhibiting the span – ancient to modern history, and ethnography, the museum has an extensive numismatic collection including Ancient Greek coins.

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8. Government House

Home to various government departments, the Government House was built between 1936 and 1952 in opulent Baroque-style. Architectural beauty with a play of colorful lights at night attracts visitors.

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9. Fountain Square

A vivacious area filled with dozens of fountains is a pedestrian-friendly square, formerly known as Parapet. Surrounding buildings with bars, cafes, and restaurants with outdoor terraces make the place charming.

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10. Teze Pir Mosque

Teze Pir reopened as a mosque again in 1943 after the 1917 October Revolution. The mosque, recognized for its gold-plated minarets, is a must-visit place in South-western Baku.

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11. Ismailiya Palace

The lavish Venetian Gothic Palace was designed in the memory of Agha Musa Naghiyev’s son, Ismayil, by architect Józef Płoszko. It was served as a meeting and assembly hall for the Muslim Charity Society, now occupied by the Academy of Sciences.

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Teze Pir Mosque ©www.alluringworld.com

12. Palace of Happiness

The Neo-Gothic style building by Józef Płoszko is a masterpiece. The Palace of Happiness is also known as the Palace of Marriage Registrations, was built for Murtuza Mukhtarov’s wife.

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13. Azerbaijan State Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre

Depicting the Art Nouveau style, this piece of architecture is an ingenious design by an American architect Nikolai Bayev. The Azerbaijan State Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre opened in 1911, which was formerly known as the Mailov Theatre.

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14. Nizami Museum of Azerbaijan Literature

The Nizami Museum of Azerbaijan Literature stands near the end of Pedestrianised Nizami Street. The building has a rich collection regarding Azerbaijan literature and culture. The museum, named after the 12th-century poet Nizami Ganjavi, features six statues of well-known poets and writers on the building facade.

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15. National Flag Square

The National Flag Square was featured in the Guinness World Records as the world’s tallest flagpole with a height of 531 ft and a giant flag of 230 ft X 115 ft. Opened in 2007, towards the western end of Baku boulevard, the Square is a symbol of national pride.

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Tanvi Saraf
Author

Tanvi Saraf, an architect who believes that every space has a story, waiting to be narrated. Always looking to make a tiny effort to connect the dots through experiences.

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