Azerbaijan International

Winter 1998 (6.4)

Architecture of the Oil Baron Period
Hajinski Residence

Neftchilar 105

Isa HajinskiThe Hajinski residence is located near the most dominant landmark in the city-the Maiden's Tower. This mansion was constructed in 1912 for Isa Bey Hajinski (1862-1918), a wealthy landowner who discovered oil on his property, and who also owned a kerosene refinery in the "Black City" sector of Baku.

Photo: Isa Hajinski.

Taller than most buildings of the period, the Hajinski residence has five stories and is distinguished by its unusual limestone carvings, especially the comic faces on the façades of the building. The building style is eclectic; in fact, the two façades are so different from each other that it seems like they could belong to two different buildings. It is said that the architect diverted money and construction materials from the project to build his own residence (now the American Embassy).

Hajinski died shortly before the Bolsheviks took power in Baku. His three sons had to flee the country. According to information which has yet to be verified, one of them, Ahmad, tried to return to Baku along with the Germans during World War II. He was captured and escorted to Baku as a prisoner and subsequently sentenced to death. They say his last wish was just to take a look at the family residence prior to his death. His request was denied.

 Baku Oil Barons


Note that both facades of the Hajinski residence are very different from each other almost as if they belonged to different buildings.

During the Soviet period, the Hajinski residence was divided up into separate apartments. On November 26, 1944, Charles de Gaulle stayed overnight in one of the best apartments. DeGaulle was enroute from Tehran to Moscow where he was to meet Stalin.


Left: Detail of the Hajinski building.

Right: The Hajinski Residence as seen from the top of Maiden's Tower.

A plaque commemorating Yusif Mammad-aliyev, a famous Azeri chemist and one of the Founders of the Academy of Sciences, is near the entrance of the building, as is customary when someone famous has lived in a specific building.

Azerbaijan International (6.4) Winter 1998.
© Azerbaijan International 1998. All rights reserved.

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