Culture and art venues in Baku

Many cities of the Orient like Izmir and Beirut describe itself as “Petit Paris.” However, if there’s one city that deserves this description, it’s the capitol of Azerbaijan

The cultural life of Baku enchants both residents and guests of the city with its broad-ranging evening programs, regardless of whether it is a business day or at the weekend. There are many museums and private exhibitions of popular artists, vintage theatres and amazing performances, art galleries and monuments to local and international artists, installed in Baku’s wonderful parks, where you can enjoy good times with your family or simply by yourself.


Its design was inspired by the architectural style of buildings within the Monte-Carlo Casino, particularly l’Opéra de Monte-Carlo. The society (known as the Summer Center for Public Gatherings prior to 1936) was originally organized as a club for the wealthy of Baku, who attended it for banquets and entertainment. In 1936, the club was reorganized into a residence for the Philharmonic society aimed at promoting Azerbaijani classical and folk music. On 11 August 1937 after the building underwent renovation it was named after composer Muslim Magomayev. The opening of the fully renovated building took place on 27 January 2004. The opening ceremony of the newly-renovated building was held on January 27, 2004.

Azerbaijan State Philarmonic Hall


The cultural center includes an auditorium (congress center), a museum, exhibition halls, administrative offices. The project of the center was developed in 2007 by the famous architect Zaha Hadid. The construction of the building was covered on the channels of Discovery and Science Channel, dedicated to the most courageous engineering projects of modernity and architectural masterpieces of the world. The opening took place on May 10, 2012. In 2014, the Heydar Aliyev Center was awarded the Design of the Year. It is considered one of the symbols of modern Baku.

Heydar Aliyev Center, Baku


National Museum of Azerbaijani Literature named after Nizami Ganjavi was founded in 1939. The museum is located in the center of Baku, near the Fountain Square and next to the entrance of Icheri Sheher (Inner City). To date, this museum is one of the largest and richest treasuries of Azerbaijani spiritual culture. In 30 main and 10 auxiliary rooms of the museum there are more than 3 thousand manuscripts, rare books, illustrations, portraits, sculptures, miniatures, memoirs of writers and other expositions. Part of the building is allocated for a bookstore.


The theater was built in 1910 by the famous construction engineer, Baev. As with other works of national architecture from the beginning of the century, it includes elements and features of baroque, rococo and Moorish styles. The development of the national opera  is closely linked  to the name of one of the outstanding composers of the 20th century, the founder of Azerbaijani professional music, Uzeyir Hajibeyli, who created the first Azerbaijani opera, Leyli and Majnun in 1908.

Academic Opera And Ballet Theatre, Baku


March 10, 1873 saw the laying of the foundations of the National Theater, later renamed, in 1919 – the Azerbaijan State Academic Drama Theater. Since 1991, the theater has been called the Azerbaijan State Academic National Drama Theater.


The founder and initiator of the Azerbaijan Puppet Theater was Molla Aga  Babirli. On May 16, 1931, by order of the Commissariat of National Enlightenment, a puppet theater was established in Baku. Named ‘Circus’, the very first performance on the stage of the theater was given in April 1932. The building of the puppet theater was constructed in 1908 by the Polish engineer, Iosif Ploshko.

Azerbaijan Puppet Theater


Founded in 1928, the Theater of the Young Spectators is one of the oldest theaters in Azerbaijan. In 1936 the theater was renamed the Azerbaijan State Theater of Young Spectators. In 2009, within the framework of the reforms envisaged by the State Program for the Development of Theaters “Azerbaijan Theater 2009-2019”, the staff of the two leading theaters of the Republic – the Azerbaijan State Youth Theater and the Baku Chamber Theater were merged into the troupe of the Young Spectators Theater.


The State Song Theater, created in 1964, still bears the name of its founder – the great stage master, People’s Artist of the USSR and world-famous singer, Rashid Behbudov.


The Azerbaijan State Theater of Musical Comedy is one of the oldest theaters in the Republic. The building, erected in 1883, was the first theater building in the Middle East. The first musical comedy “Husband and Wife” was created in 1910 by the great composer Uzeyir Hajibeyli.


The Azerbaijan State Pantomime Theater or “Deli Yiginchagy” (The Assembly of Madmen) was established in 1994 and for some time was located at the Theater of the Young Spectator. In 2000 the collective was given national status.


It is one of the theatrical art genres that are popular all around the world. Such theater tradition does not exist in many countries due to its complexity. The first performance in Azerbaijan using marionette puppets, was presented by director and artist, Tarlan Gorchu in the late 1980s. A marionette performance based on the “Arshin mal alan” (cloth peddler) operetta by Uzeyir Hajibeyli, the founder of the Azerbaijani composers’ school, was premiered in France in 1990, and subsequently the show was performed in Germany, the USA, Russia, Poland, Switzerland and other countries.

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