By Laman Ismayilova
Azerbaijan is a great place to learn more about the art and history. The country offers variety of culturally and historically significant locations.
The country is home to 239 museums: 77 of them are historical, 42 are memorial, 67 museums are dedicated to local history, 41 – to art history and 12 are museums of other kinds.
Number of museum visitors in Azerbaijan has increased: it reached 3.17 million people in 2018.
Meanwhile, 3 million people visited the country's museums in 2017, while the number for 2016 was 2.7 million people, Trend reported.
The Land of Fire is one of the best tourist destinations to discover some of the most beautiful museums of the world. Let’s take a look at the most impressive museums of the country.
If you can't take your eyes off the enchanting rugs, then visit Azerbaijan's Carpet Museum. Established in Baku in 1967, the museum can familiarize you with the unique examples of the national carpets.
The main purpose of the museum is to store, research, and demonstrate unique examples of the carpet weaving art. The initiator of the museum was Latif Karimov – an outstanding scientist and carpet weaver, the founder of the science of Azerbaijan Carpet Weaving Art, artist and teacher, author of the fundamental work of national carpet.
The museum itself is beautiful inside and out. The new building of the Carpet Museum, designed in the form of a rolled carpet, opened in the Baku Seaside Park in 2014 and all carpets were transferred to this museum.
Today the museum hosts many events, such as exhibitions, international symposiums, and conferences.
Carpet weaving is one of the most significant and ancient kinds of Azerbaijani applied art, traditions and secrets of which were carefully preserved and passed down throughout generations.
With their fascinating patterns, national carpets have mesmerized many people over the years. These carpets are stored at the White House, the U.S. State Department, and many other museums across the world, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.
In 2010, the Azerbaijan Carpet Weaving Art was included in UNESCO’s Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
Azerbaijan is one of the oldest spots of civilization, a country with a rich and ancient history. A rich cultural heritage was created on its territory over thousands of years.
You can view the country's history step-by-step in the Azerbaijan National History Museum.
National Museum of History, located in the former mansion of Azerbaijani oil magnate and philanthropist Haji Zeynalabdin Taghiyev, is the largest museum in the country.
The museum’s exhibits include the artifacts discovered in Gobustan, Azikh cave, Kamiltepe, Geytepe as well as Karabakh and Soyugbulag mounds.
Over 300,000 items are assembled in 10 collections in the museum, including a valuable library consisting mainly of unique books.
The collections allow visitors and researchers to investigate the history of the country and the daily life and culture of the nation from ancient times to the present.
Today the museum is a large scientific center. There is a lab for restoration of rarities, production group and research committee on exposition completion.
The Azerbaijan National Art Museum is a treasure house that preserves national moral values and cultural heritage. The museum holds more than 17,000 artistic exhibits, which have a rich history. The Art department was separated from the Azerbaijan State Museum in 1936 and organized as an independent museum by decision of the Council of People's Commissars.
Azerbaijan is also home to major contemporary art museums.
In March, 2009, with the support of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, the Museum of Modern Art was opened in Baku.
The museum does not have certain subject areas. The architectural concept of the museum avoids halls with corners and has open passages and walls that meet at different angles, creating a multidimensional perspective of exhibits.
The museum gives a chance to get acquainted with works of such artists as Rasim Babayev, Ashraf Murad, Gennady Brejatjuk, Fazil Najafov, Mammad Mustafaev, Aga Oussejnov, Ali Ibadullaev, Mir-Nadir Zeynalov, Fuad Salayev, Farhad Halilov, Darvin Velibayov, Eldar Mammadov, Mikayil Abdurrahmanov, Museib Amirov, Mahmud Rustamov and other masters of brush.
The museum's exposition also has products of great European masters – founders of avant-garde style in the world art such as Salvador Dali, Pablo Picasso, and Marc Chagall. The classics of the western realism are presented by several pictures from private collections.
Laman Ismayilova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @Lam_Ismayilova
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