Backstreets of Targova – the residence of Agha Bala Guliyev

mural 2

Source: Azerbaijan International

The complicated history of Azerbaijan left Baku with plenitude of architectural gems not highlighted in typical tourist itineraries. That’s why, when visiting the city, it is worth setting aside some time to stroll through the backstreets of Targova, the area rich in beautiful mansions constructed during the first oil boom. Nowadays many of them crumble due to neglect over the last decades, nevertheless they still give an idea about their former grandeur.  Among the buildings deserving special attention is the former residence of Agha Bala Guliyev designed in 1899 by a Polish architect, Eugeniusz Skibinski. Currently the building serves as the seat of Architects’ Union.

The mansion


Source: AZerbaijan International

Located just a short walk from the Fountain Square, the former residence of Agha Bala Guliyev is among the most impressive and best preserved buildings in the area.  Guliyev owned many mills and, unlike most of the local rich of his times, made his fortune  trading flour (hence his nickname the ‘’Flour Baron’’). In contrast to the fashionable European designs used by other millionaires, he decided to build his house in Baku-Absheron architectural style and incorporated decorations from the portals of the Shrivan Shah’s Palace (Source: Azerbaijan in the Beginning of XX Century (…) see the link below). But the richly decorated villa contains not only Oriental elements – there’s also a multitude of modern artwork including colorful oil paintings and murals. Click here for more information.


Source: Azerbaijan International

Getting there:

The place is located on 24 Murtuza Muktarov Street, about 10 mins walk from the Fountain Square. You should be able to enter without any problems. Just remember to be considerate for the people working there!

Useful links:

Interiors: Architects’ Union. Agha Bala Guliyev’s Residence. Azerbaijan International

Azerbaijan in the Beginning of XX Century: Roads Leading to Independence. Dilara Seyid-zade


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