take a walking tour ofBaku’s oil-boom architecture
When Baku’s oil industry took off in the late 1800s, the city grew rapidly. A new architectural layer formed around the Old City as Baku's nouveau riche funded the construction of lavish mansions and public buildings. Blending Gothic, Baroque, Neoclassical and Art Nouveau, these fin-de-siècle buildings provided a dramatic contrast to the Old City and led to Baku being dubbed ‘the Paris of the Caucasus.’ Many of them were designed by European architects and a group of Polish architects left an incredible mark on Baku’s appearance in particular.
The oil-boom architecture was largely forgotten during the Soviet era, but local historians and enthusiasts have since thoroughly researched all the best buildings and shaped their secrets into thrilling architectural walking tours. These tours, offered by a number of local tour operators, allow you to not just admire all the amazing architectural details but also uncover the incredible stories behind each building.