Azerbaijan International

Summer 2005 (13.2)

Interiors: Ataturk Center

Tiflis Bank

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The building which houses the Ataturk Center was originally designed as Tiflis Bank. After the Bolsheviks took control of Baku, Tiflis Bank closed and the building became known as Baku City Bank. The words - Baku City Bank (Baki Shahar Banki) - are carved out in the early Latin script which was the official script in Azerbaijan from mid-1920s until 1939 when Stalin imposed the Cyrillic alphabet. This is one of the few examples of this alphabet that exists on a building facade. Note the symbol of Mercury, often associated with medincine, used here to indicate commerce. Photo: Betty Blair.

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