Azerbaijan State Museum of History

Azerbaijan State Museum of History

Azerbaijan State Museum of History the largest museum of Azerbaijan, located in Baku city , in the former mansion of Azerbaijani oil magnate and philanthropist Haji Zeynalabdin Taghiyev. The Museum founded in 1920.

The building of the Museum built in 1893-1902. The Italian Renaissance-style mansion is immense and takes up an entire city block. There are four floors in some parts of the building. It designed by Polish architect Jozef Goslawski.

When the Red Army reached Baku in 1920, Taghiyev’s residence – like that of other wealthy oil magnat- immediately confiscated. Under a resolution of the USSR People’s Commissariat, the residence established as a museum in June 1920, only a few months after the Bolsheviks took Baku.

On the second ground of Taghiyev’s residence, side by side there are two major ballrooms. One is based on Oriental designs (Mauritanian) style and the other, on Occidental design. The Eastern Room has enormous plate glass windows, gilded arches, highly ornamental walls, ceilings and chandeliers. The lines in the Occidental Room are more perpendicular to each other – rectangular.

According to photographs that are about 90 years old, one of the most elaborate rooms was Taghiyev’s wife’s boudoir (private sitting room). All of the movable furniture and paintings in this room have disappeared. Nothing remains today except the ornate mirrored mosaic ceiling. During the Soviet period, four layers of white paint applied over the highly decorative floral designs on the walls. Still in the main halls of the residence, the original paint withstood the passage of time incredibly well. The paint made of finely ground egg shell as was the practice of artists of Byzantine icons. Almost 100 years later, the original colors with their subtlety and sophistication have neither faded nor chipped.

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