take a walking tourof Soviet films shot in Baku
Several classic Soviet films were shot in Baku and in each one the city takes on a completely different identity. The favourite location for shooting was the Old City, where the likes of ‘Teheran 43’ (1981), ‘Amphibian Man’ (1962) and ‘The Diamond Arm’ (1969) were all filmed.
The last was a particular hit across the Soviet Union. It was set in Istanbul, whose image and ambiance were so successfully replicated that even locals struggle to see Baku in the film. In it the main character, Gorbunkov, walks around the Old City, and the street where he pronounces his famous phrase, “чёрт побери!” (“God damn it!”) outside a chemist has become a place of pilgrimage for Soviet film lovers.
In another cult Soviet film, ‘Amphibian Man’, Baku became Buenos Aires and acquired a more Western style through posters and neon lights. As well as the Old City, the plot unravels in Nizami Street and Fountains Square, where fans of the film will recognise buildings decorated for the film with Argentinian adverts.
For ‘Teheran 43’, a detective film set in World War II, Baku was transformed into the Iranian capital. The city again became unrecognisable, this time strewn with adverts in Farsi. Scenes were shot around the Maiden Tower, House of Gani Mammadov, Mugham Club (a medieval caravanserai) and Juma Mosque.
By following in the footsteps of these popular Soviet movies, you’ll hear fascinating stories related to the films and pass by some of Baku’s top monuments and places: from the UNESCO-listed Maiden Tower and Shirvanshahs’ Palace to the Baku Boulevard, Nizami Street and Fountains Square. Many other hidden gems can also be found, as well as numerous cafes and restaurants where you can stop for refreshments.