By Laman Ismayilova
Every day, the City of Lights draws curious visitors from around the globe who come here to enjoy numerous amazing modern architectural wonders.
So, it comes as no surprise that deciding which spots are the best places to visit in Baku can be difficult. Here is a small travel guide for those who want to see Azerbaijan's modern architecture in all its beauty.
Heydar Aliyev Centre
Designed by architect Zaha Hadid, the centre fascinates everyone with its unique architecture.
The construction of the centre’s facility was launched in 2007 and completed on May 10, 2012, to celebrate the 89th anniversary of Azerbaijani National Leader Heydar Aliyev.
For a short time, the Heydar Aliyev Centre has grown into a signature landmark of modern Baku.
Not a single straight line was used in the centre’s design. Nearly 12,027 pieces of special panels were used on the centre’s roof.
The Heydar Aliyev Centre successfully holds exhibitions, gala concerts and other events to promote Azerbaijan's culture and to expand ties between countries and nations through its projects.
In 2019, The Times listed the Heydar Aliyev Centre amongst the best architecture of the past decade.
"Built on the site of a former Soviet munitions factory, the centre's architecture embodies an enlightened philosophical framework. Its fluid forms promise to open and engage Azerbaijan’s culture with an act of attraction rather than imposition," the message said.
Named "Design of the Year" by London's Design Museum, the centre was cited as "a masterwork of invention and execution".
If you want to enjoy a marvellous city view, then take a look at the Flame Towers.
The three flame-shaped towers attract the attention of a great number of tourists and Baku citizens.
The height of the tallest tower is 182 m (597 ft). The Flame Towers symbolize the element of fire - historically resonant in a region where natural gas flares shoot from the earth and Zoroastrian worshippers saw in fire a symbol of the divine.
The towers are completely covered with the LED screens that display the movement of a fire visible from the farthest points of the city.
The Flame Towers delights Baku residents with the images of the Azerbaijani flag, a figure waving a flag and much more.
Baku Crystal Hall
Baku Crystal Hall is an outstanding example of an innovative approach to the construction of new modern buildings.
The marvellous building which opens up a magnificent view of the city was specially constructed for the Eurovision Song Contest 2012.
Its construction was carried out under the supervision of a state committee under President Ilham Aliyev's decree.
The diamond-faceted sports and concert venue was designed by the German company GMP and Swiss company Nussli International AG.
The construction of three main components of the stadium (the arena, facade and roof) was launched in parallel at the same time.
The facade of the building is equipped with numerous modern dynamic LED lights which allow creating impressive lighting effects.
One of the modern architectural pearls became the venue for the 6th e-Sports World Championship, the 42nd Chess Olympiad, multiple sporting events held as part of the 2015 European Games.
National Carpet Museum
Founded in 1967, the National Carpet Museum never cease to amaze everyone with its beautiful architecture.
Initiated by eminent carpet artist Latif Karimov is beautiful inside and out. The museum's new building is designed in the form of a rolled carpet.
The Carpet Museum stores over 14,000 exhibits of the finest Azerbaijani carpets.
The museum hosts multiple events, including international symposiums, conferences and various exhibitions.
In 2019, the museum received national status for its significant contribution to the popularization and promotion of the Azerbaijani Carpet Weaving Art.
In 2020, the Carpet Museum enriched its collection with beautiful pile carpets purchased by the Culture Ministry at the Sartirana Textile Show in Italy.
The 19th century Guba carpet "Ugakh" was donated to the Carpet Museum, while Karabakh carpet "Chelebi" enriched the collection of the museum's Shusha branch.
The Carpet Museum also focuses on cooperation with world-leading museum organizations.
Moreover, the Carpet Museum won Travelers' Choice Awards for the fourth time in a row last year.
International Mugham Centre
Famous for its spectacular concerts, the International Mugham Centre also delights Baku residents and the city's guests with a wonderful architectural style.
The construction of the building started in April 2005. The centre covers 7,500 square meters and has 3 stories. The funding was provided by the Heydar Aliyev Foundation.
The design of the building was based on the elements and shapes of the Azerbaijani musical instrument tar. Furthermore, the centre was commenced on the base of the architecture works of Vahid Tansu, Xauddin Yayk and Etirne Ahmed. The concert hall fits 350 people.
More than 2000 glasses of various sizes were used for the construction of the building.
The centre is currently working on a plan for the development of various cultural events, lectures and online projects aimed at promoting mugham and national music.
The Mugham Centre has recently signed an agreement with Heydar Aliyev Palace, the Federal Directorate of Music and Festival Programs ROSCONCERT, the Polish Baltic Philharmonic, etc.
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