By Laman Ismayilova
A popular tourist guide Lonely Planet has named the cities that tourists-lovers of unique architecture will like.
The rating is addressed to those who have already visited the main architectural centers of the world - Paris, New York and London and are looking for new routes.
Baku took fifth place in the ranking. Lonely Planet advises to take a walk along the streets in Old city, visit much loved symbol of the city Maiden Tower and a unique pearl of world architecture Heydar Aliyev Center in Baku.
Barcelona, Istanbul and Rome included in Top 3, Shanghai is on the fourth place. Experts also included Brazil, Oxford, Miami, Mumbai and Chicago in the top 10 cities with unusual architecture.
Like paintings and sculptures, buildings can be beautiful works of art.
If you're involved in architecture or design, these architectural pearls will delight and inspire you.
The City of Winds contains some of the world's best examples of design and architecture. The architecture successfully combines classical and national patterns.
Icheri Sheher (Old City), the pearl at the heart of Azerbaijan's cultural heritage, has a history of thousands of years.
Numerous unique monuments, including the Shirvanshakh Palace complex, mosques and minarets, the ruins of caravanserais and bathhouses make this place one of the most popular tourist attractions in the city.
The most ancient monument of Icheri Sheher is the Maiden Tower – symbol of the city of Baku. This cylindrical eight story structure of 29.5 meter high is rising in the south-eastern part of the fortress of Icheri Sheher.
In 2000, the Old City of Baku, including the Palace of the Shirvanshahs and Maiden Tower, became the first location in Azerbaijan to be classified as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
The building of Heydar Aliyev Center is another architectural treasury of Baku.
Designed by architect Zaha Hadid, the center is noted for its distinctive architecture and flowing, curved style that eschews sharp angles.
As a symbol of tasks assigned to the center, the logo of Heydar Aliyev Center also reflects the motto of passing the national and universal values, traditions of statehood to the future generations. And the motto is "To the Future with Values".
The center organizes events and exhibitions as a result of joint cooperation with different organization, museums and exhibitions.
Baku’s architecture varies enormously. Back in the early 20th century, Azerbaijan went through its first oil boom, and architects from all over Western Europe were attracted to the city to design buildings for the expanding city. There are many buildings built in Baku at the turn of the 20th century that spot Victorian and Western influence in their designs.
Azerbaijan’s State Philharmonic Hall is the unique popularization center of classical musicians.
The Hall was constructed in 1910–1912 at the request of the city elite and designed in the Italian Renaissance (exterior) and German Rococo (interior) styles. Its design was inspired by the architectural style of buildings within the Monte-Carlo Casino, particularly l'Opera de Monte-Carlo.
Palace of Happiness or Wedding Palace was founded by Azerbaijani oil tycoon Murtuza Mukhtarov. It has a very interesting and fascinating history, which could be an inspiration for poets and romantic writers.
The palace was built in 1911-1912 by the Polish architect I. K. Plosko, who designed many architectural buildings in Baku. The building was Mukhtarov`s present to his lovely wife Liza Khanum Taganova, who was astonished by the beauty of a similar building towered up in Venice in the French Gothic style.
Laman Ismayilova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @Lam_Ismayilova
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