By Laman ismayilova
The Land of Fire evokes thoughts of lush, emerald rainforests, lofty, mist-capped mountains, and a bounty of some of the earth’s rarest and most fascinating wildlife.
It’s no secret that it's an amazing country with rich and beautiful architecture, unparalleled history, wonderful culture and much more.
From charming, colorful towns to volcanic landscapes this country will rattle your senses in the most enchanting way.
Baku, one of the most beautiful world's cities is another fascinating destination in Azerbaijan loaded with historical buildings that is surprisingly well preserved.
The City of Winds has a lot more to offer than most people think. Every corner of the city has its own unique history.
One of such beautiful places is Istiglaliyyat Street, an arterial road in the central uptown part of Baku.
It begins at Gulustan Palace, located on the southern hillside part of Baku, and continues north, then northeast, terminating at the intersection of Aziz Aliyev and Mammad Amin Rasulzade Streets at the edge of Fountains Square.
Istiglaliyyat is one of the oldest streets of Baku. The former names of the street were "Nikolayevskaya", honoring the Russian tsar Nikolay I during Russian imperial rule, "Parlamentskaya" after the revolution, and "Kommunisticheskaya" during Soviet rule. After the restoration of Azerbaijan's independence in 1991, the street was renamed to "Istiglaliyyat", which means "Sovereignty" in Azerbaijani.
It stretches for 2.2 kilometres. Due to its location in the historic district, it is considered one of the most beautiful parts of Baku. There are many government offices, universities, shops, boutiques, and restaurants on the street.
Anyone who enjoys history or unique architecture will love visiting this place.
Let's start our walk from the building of Azerbaijan State Philharmonic Hall.
The building perfectly blends two styles: the Italian Renaissance and German Rococo.
Its design was inspired by the architectural style of buildings within the Monte-Carlo Casino, particularly l'Opéra de Monte-Carlo.
The society, known as the Summer Center for public gatherings prior to 1936 was originally organized as a club for the wealthy of Baku, who attended it for banquets and entertainment. During the Russian Civil War it served as a place for public rallies. Finally, in 1936, the club was reorganized into a residence for the Philharmonic society aimed at promoting Azerbaijani classical and folk music. After the building underwent renovation it was named after composer Muslim Magomayev.
One of the oldest parks in Baku, Philharmonic Fountain Park is wonderful place to spend a day. It's a great place to take a deep breath in the chaos of downtown. The music never leaves this place. Sometimes it seems that plants, blooming under beautiful sounds are quite different: more delicate and more fragrant.
Now, let's continue our walk. One of the important landmarks of Istiglaliyyat Street is a metro station "Icheri Sheher".
Glassy metro station hall which carries the Paris motifs, has now become one of the landmarks of modern Baku. Now the metro station "Icherisheher" is the last station, but according to the plans after 2020, the line will be extended.
Not far from the Fountains Square there is the National museum of Azerbaijan literature named after Nizami Ganjavi. Established in 1939, museum is one of the greatest and richest treasuries of national culture.
The building was overhauled by the project of architects Sadikh Dadashov and Mikayil Huseynov, were placed sculptures in the facade and reconstructed two floors. Later, the memorial museum was changed to the Museum of Azerbaijani Literature. Interior of the museum was designed by Letif Kerimov.
The total area of the museum is 2500 square meters, the 1,409 meters of which consists of exposition and 173 square meters of fond. There are more than 3,000 manuscripts, rare books, illustrations, portraits, sculptures, miniatures, memories of poets and other exhibits in 30 general and 10 auxiliary halls of the museum’s exposition.
A manuscript of Nizami’s Eskandar Nameh in Persian language, which was written in 1413, exemplar of a manuscript of Fuzuli’s “Bangu-Bade” (1569), “The Eastern poem about Pushkin’s decease” of Mirza Fatali Akhundov, personal autographs and other exhibits and expositions of great value are prides of the museum.
The Museum has lots of visitors from all parts of the world. The Monument to Nizami Ganjavi, a medieval Persian poet, is located in Baku in Nizami Square, on the intersection of Istiglaliyyat, Ahmad Javad, Azerbaijan and Islam Safarli streets. Sculptor of the monument was Fuad Abdurahmanov - People’s Artist of Azerbaijan.
The six-meter bronze statue is installed on 9 metered octahedral pedestal.
The pedestal is of red Labrador, and elements of Azerbaijani architecture of Nizami’s epoch were used in its handling. There is an ornamental carving and faced bronze plates on the lower part of the monument. Seven plates feature scenes from Nizami's works, and one plate displays a memorial inscription.
The mayoralty of Baku houses the executive authority of Azerbaijan's capital, Baku, being the residence of the mayor. It is a Baroque building, built in the beginning of the 20th century.
The Mayoralty of Baku was originally built as three-floor Baku City Duma and was influenced by layout of Hôtel de Ville. It has a spacious vestibule, wide corridors, marble principal staircase and sophisticated interiors. The second floor houses the state rooms and session hall.
The red decorative bricks and colored marble for the construction were brought from Italy.
Having posted a tower in the center of main front and uniting it organically with main part, Józef Gosławski provided brightness and entireness of the composition amid complex details and elements.
The central part of the facade bears the seal of Baku, which incorporates three golden torches. The building was Gosławski's last work, he died in the year the building was finished.
There is a lot to say about one of the oldest streets in Baku. You may visit it in your next visit to the Land of Fire.
Photos by Day.Az
Laman Ismayilova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @Lam_Ismayilova
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