The best free museums of Baku: Nobel, dinosaurs and agriculture

Baku, March 12, AZERTAC

The first museums in Azerbaijan opened at the beginning of the last century. And today in the country there are over 250 public and private museums. Visiting museums will allow tourists to learn more about Azerbaijan and get extra pleasure from the trip.

Among the metropolitan museums there are several free ones, an overview of which we offer to your attention.

Nobel Brothers Museum or Villa Petrolea

House Museum of Nobel Brothers in Baku opened in 2008. This is the only Nobel museum outside of Sweden. Restoration of the Villa Petrolea complex, built by Nobel brothers in 1884, was one of the important steps of the Baku Nobel Heritage Foundation, established in 2003 by famous Azerbaijani philanthropist Toghrul Baghirov in cooperation with the Nobel Family Society, an organization that officially represents the interests of the whole family.

Nobel brothers, Robert, Ludwig and Alfred, founded the Nobel Brothers Petroleum Production Company in 1879, which conducted its main activities in Baku and Absheron. The capital received by Nobel brothers from operations with Baku oil amounted to about one fifth (about 20%) of the Nobel Prize material base, which is the most prestigious in the world.

The villa was built by famous Swedish architect Lindvall in the Byzantine style, using local limestone and wood. The Bells telephone and air conditioning system were installed in the house for the first time in Baku and the region.

The interior of the house is changed compared to how it was with its owners, however, some elements (for example, fireplaces) are recreated exactly. In general, the interior of the villa is made in the usual European style, but one room is decorated in oriental style. In addition to the Museum of the Nobel brothers, the Baku Nobel Petroleum Club and the International Business Center are located in the residence.

In the renewed Ville Petroleum and the museum there are a lot of artifacts, family valuables, works of art of famous masters. A number of exhibits were purchased from the heirs of the Nobel brothers (there are more than 400 of them now), from private collectors and in antique stores in Europe.

It should be noted that Villa Petrolea was a residential settlement built by Nobel brothers at the end of the 19th century for employees of their company in the suburb of Baku. On the territory of the village were built houses for employees, schools, hospitals and the family residence of Nobel brothers.

It is known that employees of the Nobel's partnership lived in one- and two-storey wooden cottages with a stone foundation. The lower floors of the largest building were allotted for the office, on the upper rooms there was a club, rest rooms, a library. All interiors were richly furnished and covered with carpets made by Azerbaijani and Persian craftsmen. The total cost of the park, club, library and houses for employees exceeded 250,000 rubles - a lot of money at that time.

Villa Petroleum remained the property of Nobel brothers until nationalization in the 1920s.

Thanks to the professional restoration, Ville Petrolea returned her former luxury and Scandinavian restraint. Visiting the museum is free.

Opening hours: Monday-Friday from 11:00 to 17:00. Non-working days - Saturday and Sunday.

Address: Baku, Nobels Avenue, 57/2, Villa Petrolea.

Natural History Museum named after Hasan bey Zardabi

The museum is named after Azerbaijani enlightener and publicist Hasan bey Zardabi. Stepping over the threshold of this museum, visitors immediately fall into another world. Here, representatives of the rich nature of Azerbaijan are looking at you from behind the windows and from the stands. This is a park of wonders, concentrated in a small, but very cozy and well-kept pavilion, where parents often bring their children.

The museum has two departments: geological, where samples of ore and non-metallic minerals, minerals and rocks of Azerbaijan are located and zoological. The main fund of the museum contains more than 1,400 various exhibits. In the expositions and showcases of the biological department, a part of the numerous skeletons and fragments of animal bones found during the expeditionary period and processed by researchers in different years were displayed for display. The oldest exhibit is the ichthyosaur teeth from the Cretaceous period, which are more than 120 million years old.

Scientific studies of the Natural History Museum have developed in several directions, mainly on paleontological objects. The main ones are: the study of the Binagadin Quaternary and Eldar Late Sarmatian hipparion fauna, the Pirekishkul higher vertebral fauna, numerous sites of the primitive people of the Azykh cave, etc.

In the collection of the quaternary fauna of Binagadi, 41 species of mammals, 110 species of birds, 2 reptiles, 1 amphibians, 107 insects, 22 plant species should be distinguished. Among them, almost whole skeletons of fossil horses, red deer (Binagadin subspecies), gazelles and saiga are of particular interest. The latter is now not found on the territory of Azerbaijan. From carnivorous mammals can be distinguished remains of Pleistocene wolves, Cave lions, Cave hyenas, Binagadi primitive bull, bear etc. In addition to them, more than 16 kinds of cetaceans, Binagadi fox, badger, pigs, jackals, hedgehog, and unique Binagadi donkey and Binagadi rhino.

Eldar fauna consists of 23 forms of various representatives of vertebrates. Of exceptional interest is the presence in its composition of the fossil ostrich, as evidenced by the found fragment of the egg shell that belonged to it. In addition, there are two species of hipparion (mammals from the horse family), the Sarmatian whale, the lower jaw of the mastodon.

The museum also features the upper jaw, tusks and teeth of a southern elephant that lived 600 thousand years ago and was discovered in 2001 in Mingachevir city in Azerbaijan.

Free admission

Opening hours: Tuesday-Saturday from 10:00 to 17:00. Non-working days - Sunday and Monday.

Address: Baku, Lermontov Street, 3.

Azerbaijan State Museum of Agriculture

Opened in 1924 as an exhibition of achievements of the national economy, the State Museum of Agriculture in 2014 solemnly celebrated its 90th anniversary. The museum introduces the history of agricultural development in Azerbaijan and reflects its current situation.

The museum exposition covers various branches of agriculture: plant growing, animal husbandry, gardening. Here you can get acquainted with the crops that are grown in different regions of Azerbaijan, areas of animal husbandry, the production of products based on agricultural products, pest control.

A total of about 10,000 exhibits. The museum is widely represented agricultural tools, both traditional and modern, models of harvesting machines and combines, which in an interesting way introduces visitors to the museum with the stages of development of agricultural technology in different periods of history. A number of exhibits are devoted to ethnography: documents and photographs, various installations, reflecting the traditional way of rural life.

There are antique items. For example, a manual mill, for grinding flour, over 100 years old, an oil lamp, which is also more than 100 years old. As well as a stone for pressing grape juice, ceramic jugs for whisking milk and getting butter, stirrups, saddles.

Among the exhibits of the museum are also unique crafts of the employees themselves. For example, a large map of Azerbaijan, embroidered from silk threads, for the manufacture of which it took a year of hard work. Another map of Azerbaijan is made of wheat, lentil and cress seeds.

Documentary films are shown in museums, lectures are held, and mobile exhibitions are organized. Interestingly, the guides of the museum are dressed in national Azerbaijani clothes.

An impressive collection of exhibits of the Azerbaijan State Museum of Agriculture attracts many visitors. The museum is especially popular with students from various educational institutions, for whom special thematic excursions and museum lessons are held, where they can clearly trace the stages of agricultural development in Azerbaijan.

Undoubtedly, a visit to the Museum of Agriculture in Baku with its most interesting and rich collection will be remembered both by adults and children for a long time.

Attendance is free.

Opening hours: Monday-Friday from 09:00 to 17:00. Non-working days - Saturday and Sunday.

Address: Baku, Darnagul highway, 30/97.

Emil Eyyubov

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