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About Architecture


Architecture is a system of buildings and structures that forms the space and environment for human life and activity. This is the art of creating buildings and facilities in accordance with the laws of beauty. The folk architecture was developed in the history along with monumental architecture. The folk architecture reflecting the lifestyle and aesthetic views of nation to which it belongs, has been a source of endless creativity.

The history of architecture
The beginning of the history of architecture starts from natural caves inhabited by primitive people.  Caves discovered at the foothills of the Greater and Lesser Caucasus, Talish Mountains in Azerbaijan, in Nakhichevan, Zangilan, Kalbajar, Gadabay, Khanlar, and finally  the cave, which  was discovered in the  Fizuli region named as “Azykh cave’ are examples of it.
Besides the most ancient settlements discovered in Gobustan (caves, a variety of primitive shelters, etc.) in Azerbaijan the megalith monuments - kromlekhs, menhirs (shepherd's stone), dolmens and the Cyclopes buildings are spread widely. These structures made of high rocks are called by people as "qalaca" or "horukdas". Defense buildings in Chalkhangala near the town of Nakhchivan (Bronze Age) and Oghlangala (II-I millennium BC) at the shores Arpachay on the walls of Qaratapa belongs to cyclopes buildings. Castle buildings were found in the territory of Southern Azerbaijan, near the Araz (Bastam, Danali, Qalaoglu, etc.).
Cities, defense buildings, majestic walls of the fortress were built in IX-VII centuries of BC in the territory of Azerbaijan. The complex of monuments in Hasanli region, study of rocks at the shore of Lake Urmia shows that house with a veranda was formed in VII century in Azerbaijan. The only religious monument of that period, such as fire altar could reach us.
In IV century - VII BC century the most important steps have been taken in the field of urban planning. Strong town walls, water pipeline constructed from ceramic pipes, stone-built defense system ("long walls") in Damirqapı (Derbent) passage, Chiraggala (VI century), the circular Christian temple in the village of Lekit (V-VI centuries), a basilica in the village of Qum ( approximately the sixth century), temple complexes in Mingachevir (VII century) shows the high level of town-building culture.
In relation to the spreading of Islam in the seventh century in Azerbaijan the development of direction of architecture has been also changed. New type of architecture of the buildings - the mosque, madrasah, tomb, caravan, etc. was the main line of construction. During this period, besides the Islamic religious buildings, in some provinces of Caucasian Albania, Christian temples, defensive fortifications were constructed, too. Among them are Javanshir tower (approximately the seventh century) in the territory of present Ismayilli, tower complex (V-VIII centuries) in the Kazakh region, near the village of Upper Askipara, Albanian temples in the Great Amirli village of Gabala region (IV-VIII centuries), the Albanian church in the town of Oguz (Middle Ages), the Albanian church in Nagorno-Karabakh region of Khojavand etc. (I century) draw the attention.
During the rise of the Arab Caliphate, center of the development of architecture was in the city of Barda. Wide construction works had been carried out in Barda, many mosques and other religious buildings, caravan, market, bath-houses were built, too.

Architecture schools
In X-XII centuries different architectural schools emerged in Azerbaijan. They are Aran, Tabriz, Azerbaijan, Shirvan-Absheron architectural schools. There was closeness between the overall styles of the architecture schools.
The majority of buildings created by architects of Aran architectural school (Ganja, Barda, Beylagan) were destroyed during the earthquake (1139) in Ganja city and the Mongol invasion (XIII century). 3 bridges over the river of (XII century) Ganja, residential buildings in Beylaqan, baths, etc.  remains give a clear idea about the features of Aran style of architecture school. Buildings of architectural monuments of Nakhichevan School are typical with application of multi-colored glazed pottery of the bastag compositions of ornaments, and buildings belonging to the school of the Shirvan-Absheron architecture are simple with architectural divisions and decorative carvings. Fashions of the best monuments of the architectural structure of the school of Tabriz, variety of decors are typical features.
Peculiarities of Nakhchivan School were reflected on tower-shaped tombs of proportional structure, of rich decors and other structures. Highest peak of this school is the tombs of Yusuf ibn Kuseyr (1162) and Momina Khatun (1186) in Nakhchivan, as well as religious buildings that do not exist at this time the author of which was the architect Ajami Abubakr oglu Nakhchivani.
Methods of composition and decorative accessories created by Ajami had influenced the buildings of tomb in Azerbaijan, as well as other countries. Maragha monuments, which are close to Ajami style of architecture occupies a special place in the development of the Azerbaijani architecture.  Among them are "The blue dome" Tomb (1196, architect Ahmed Mohammed oglu), "Red dome" tomb (1148, architect, Mohammed Bakir).
Architectural styles of Nakhchivan school of architecture developed for constructions of stone and brick-built tombs were reflected in Gulistan mausoleum in Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic (the beginning of the XIII century) near the village Cuga, in Sheikh Babi Yaqubi tomb (1273-1274 architect Ali Məcidəddin) in Fizuli region’s Babi village and Mirali tomb (XIII -XIV centuries) of Asaghi Veyselli village, in Barda (1322, architect Ahmad ibn Ayyub al-Hafiz Nakhchivani).
Names of many Azerbaijani architects and decorations masters of X-XII centuries, had reached us in various buildings of architectural ornament, booklets, stone plate, decorative accessories. Among them Muhammad ibn Jafar (Beylagan district, "The Prophet" graveyard book plates, X century), Ibrahim ibn Osman (Ganja Gates, 1063), Mohammed Abubakr oglu (Sınıqqala mosque in Baku), etc. are the most valuable specimen of the architecture of Azerbaijan of X-XIV centuries. 
In XII-XIII centuries a number of giant bridges were built in Azerbaijan. Among them there are Khudaferin bridges on Araz River, which spans over 15 (XII century) and 11 spans (XIII century).  Sinig Bridge in Gazakh with 4 spans (the Red Bridge, XII century), 3 bridges over Ganjachay (ruins, XII-XIII centuries), bridge over the river of Qızıluzan in Southern Azerbaijan near the town of Minaya (Maiden Bridge, XII century) and others draw a particular attention.
For the Shirvan-Absheron architectural monuments stone structures, compactness of buildings’ volume-space solution, stone carving ornaments of plants are typical. Sınıqqala minaret in Baku (1078, Mohammed Abubakr oglu) and Maiden Tower (XII century, architect Masud David oglu), Mardakan towers (Round Tower-1232, architect Abdulmajid Masud oglu, Square castle, XIV century), Nardaran Castle (1301, architect Mahmud Sad oglu), Ramana Castle (XIV century), etc are among the best monuments of this school. The residence of Shirvanshahs called  "Bail Castle" built at the port of Baku in the XIII century and remained under water is one  the interesting buildings of this period. This building complex covered with zodiac walls (1235, master Zeynaddin Aburashimd oglu Shirvani, and probably architect Abdulmajid Masud oglu) and stone carvings, writings and drawings is the unique architectural ensemble.
In the middle of the XIII century, in connection with the shifting of capital to Tabriz, it became an important center for architecture.
During XV-XVI centuries Azerbaijani architects worked in other countries as well, and created an interesting specimen of craftsmanship in different cities. "Signatures" of Azerbaijani architects left in cities of Bursa, Cairo, Baghdad, Damirqapı (Derbent), Herat, Samarkand, etc. at number of architectural monuments of the architects.
In XVII-XVIII centuries in connection with the development of trade, the construction of various buildings extended. Caravanserais in Shamakhi, Ganja and Baku, covered markets in Ardabil (Qeysariyya market), and Tabriz, as well as religious buildings and residential houses were built.
Bath-houses of this period are widely available in cities.  The best baths of Azerbaijan still remained in the village of Absheron Nardaran (1388, architect Kastasif Musa), Old City of Baku (Gasimbey bath, XIV century), Basgal (XVII century), Ganja ("Chokek bath", XVII century), Shusha (bath of Merdinli settlement), Guba ("Chukhur bath" of the XIX century), Agdam (bath-house in Abdal Gulabli village of 1900, architect Karbalayi Safikhan Garabaghi) remained.
Asgaran fortress built in XVIII century by Khan of Garabagh Panahali khan (later expanded by Ibrahim Khan) is the largest defence construction of that period. Asgaran fortress built on right and left banks of the River Gargar consists of two fortifications.    
In XIX century after annexation of South Azerbaijan to Russia the appearance of new type pf buildings had an importance in development of architecture. In the middle of the nineteenth century, theatre, schools, new buildings such as hospitals, residential homes have been built, too.
In the XIX-XX centuries of the rapid development of oil industry new features had been observed in Azerbaijani architecture.
With the exception of the residential buildings of the nineteenth century, commercial buildings were one of the most characteristic building types. Such buildings used both as commercial enterprises and as well as workshops. 
During this period the hospitals and small health care facilities were also built in Azerbaijan. In 1860, hospital built by the project of architect G. Hajibababayov in Salyan functioned until the beginning of the twentieth century.
Theatre buildings began to build in the second half of the nineteenth century was a completely new type of device in the architecture of Azerbaijan. The first theatre building was built in Shamakhy (1858, architect G. Hajıbababeyov), later in Tagiyev Theatre (now the Azerbaijan State Musical Comedy Theatre, 1883, PI Konqnovitski; destroyed at the end of 1980) and Mayilov Theatre (now the Azerbaijan State Opera and Ballet Theatre, 1911, architect N.G.Bayev).
Architecture schools of settlement (mahalla) type continuing the old traditions of the nineteenth century were formed to some extent. The specific features of the mosque buildings allows to define local   architecture schools in the territory of Azerbaijan as Baku-Absheron, Guba-Qusar, Ganja-Garabagh, Sheki-Zaqatala, Nakhchivan, Lankaran. Bey's Mosque (in Old City, 1895; architects, Mohammed Hashim al-Sayyid Hussein bin Bakuvi and Mirali al-Naqi) in Baku, Qasim Bey Mosque (1896, architect Mashadi Mirza Gafar Ismailov), Tazapir mosque (1905-14), Blue Mosque (1912 - 13), M. Mukhtarov Mosque in Amirjan (1909; Z. Ahmedbeyov is an architect of all three mosques) are the most characteristic buildings of this period.
The European architecture could not made deep roots in Garabagh zone, in the middle of the nineteenth century and a unique school of architecture was formed in Garabagh and its most prominent representative was Karbalayi Safikhan Garabaghi. Kerbalayi Safikhan Garabaghi re-built complex of Imamzadeh mosque(1868) in Barda town, Agdam mosque (1868-70), Ashagi Masjid in Shusha (1874-75), Yukhari mosque, or the Friday Mosque (1883), Haji Alakbar Mosque (1890) in present Fuzuli, Horadiz (1891-1908) and Qojahmadli (1906) rural mosques of that region, etc.
The first phase of the Azerbaijani architecture was associated with the construction of settlements around Baku for working-class during the Soviet period (Binagadi, Bakikhanov, Montin, Baku). Factory, factory, warehouse buildings, ports, bridges, stations, etc. industrial and transportation facilities has resulted in the creation of the architecture of buildings.
In the beginning of 20-es years most important works were carried out in the field of planting of trees and garden-architecture.
In 1929 there was first graduation from the Construction faculty of the Polytechnic Institute. Alumni architects S. Dadashov and M. Huseynov developed numerous projects in a short period of time. Among them present factory-built kitchen (now the maternity hospital) in Bayıl,  the new building  of Azerbaijan Industrial Institute (now the Azerbaijan State Oil Academy) (1932), House of Art Workers, a number of residential buildings, the building of Gazakh Teachers' Training College (all 1933). "Nizami" cinema built on project of S. Dadashov and M. Huseynov and the former building of Ministry of Food Industry (both 1937-39), Government House, the State Academy of Music (1937-39, M. Huseynov, S. Dadashev) draw the attention for space structure and the architectural works. S Dadashov and M. Huseynov used here creative methods and forms typical for antique Greek and Renaissance architecture.
During 1933-1936 the school construction work was carried out on a large scale in Baku and other towns.
The establishment of the Department of Architecture in 1944 gave a great impetus to architectural activity. Museum of Literature named after Nizami built in this period (1940, M. Huseynov, S. Dadashev), Palace of Culture named after Dzerjinski (now Culture House named after Shahriyar, 1948, H.Majidov) are considered as beautiful architecture building in the city. 
The design and construction of the Oil Rocks settlements built for the first time in the world, offshore, on steel piles occupies a special place in architecture of post-war period. The Oil Rocks was built in 1949, in connection with the discovery of rich oil fields in the Caspian Sea. Residential houses, cultural and social enterprises, the original street-pier system, etc. decorate the face of this extraordinary artistic and architectural town.
Reconstruction of the central part of Baku, Azerbaijan in 1950, continued as a creative activity of architects. Buildings built during 1950-1960 like the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan and the former Central Museum named after V.I.Lenin (1954, 1955, H. Majidov), the Library named after M.F. Akhundov (1960, M. Huseynov), Azerbaijan State Drama Theatre (1960, G. Alizadeh, M. Mammadov), Central Department Store (1961, N. Kankarli), etc. formed in the architectural face of Baku.
On November 6, 1967, the Baku Metro is also distinguished by a high level of architecture and art, building quality, the use of the successful synthesis of architecture and fine arts. Beautiful examples of architecture has been built in "Narimanov", "Nizami", "Academy of Sciences" (1967, 1976, 1985, M. Huseynov), "Aurora" (now "Qara Qarayev", 1972, H.Alasgerov), "Neftchiler" (1972, A. Ismayilov ) metro stations.
At the end of 60 years - 80 years a new era has started in urban planning and architectural development of Azerbaijan.  Baku, the capital city of the Republic of Azerbaijan has become a large capital city during these years.
Several large public buildings and facilities were built in Baku. Among them the State Circus (A. Ismayilov, F.Leontyeva), the Republic Palace (now the Heydar Aliyev Palace, V.S.Sulgin, B.I.Ginzburq, E.R.Melkisedekov), "Baku" (H.Majidov), "Azerbaijan", "Moscow", "Absheron" hotels (M. Huseynov), the Republic Statistics Office Building (T.Khanlarov and others), Baku Railway station (S.Zeynalova, Y.N.Kozlov), "Marriage Palace," (Ilham Aliyev), "Gulistan" wedding palace complex (H.Amirkhanov, N.Hajibeyov, T.Sharinski, F. Rustambeyov, N. Ismayilova, K. Karimov), Sports Palace (T. Abdullayev, OIsayev, Y. Gadimov, T. Khanlarov),  residence built for foreign heads of state (architect R.Aliyev), etc. majestic architectural buildings of the city had made the view of the city more beautiful.
After gaining independence, the most wonderful architectural ensembles, the modern buildings and skyscrapers have been built in the visible places of Baku city: the classic style of the Supreme Court's new building (architect Vugar Hasanov), Uniplaza (architect Nariman Imamaliyev), Heydar Aliyev Center (architect Zaha Hadid), etc.

Note: The Day of Architects in the world was fixed in 1949 in Lausanne. Since then, the first Monday of October of every year is celebrated as the Day of Architects.

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