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Photographer's Note

The photo is not especially good but I post the picture because the history of this building is very dramatic and interesting. Although it is situated in the centre, I went there on my last day when the weather was cloudy.

The building was built by an Azerbaijani Oil Baron Murtuza Mukhtarov for his wife Liza-Khanum Tuganova. The designer was the Polish architect Józef Plośko who had also built several other historic buildings in Baku in the early 20th century.
Mukhtarv often took his wife Lisa Tuganova, who was of Ossetian origin and the daughter of the Russian General Tuganov, on expensive trips to Europe. During one of their trips to France, they came across a beautiful French Gothic building. Lisa, astonished by its architecture said: "How happy the tenants of this building must be." Mukhtarov did not reply but on his return to Baku, he ordered his people off to France to purchase blue prints of the building and bring them back to Baku. An exact copy of the building was raised in central Baku within nine months.
In 1911-1912 the magnificent building was rented to a client. Mukhtarov had not yet said a single word to his wife about his surprise. Only after completion of all work, together with his wife he went to see the palace. Lisa couldn’t believe when her husband showed her the newly built castle and said: "This is your palace!"
The palace was committed and modelled to the spirit of French Gothic style, with each column, window, door, element of architectural composition represent real works of art.
Muxtarov, as a ruthless industrialist, despised the Bolshevik troublemakers who led damaging strikes during much of the period. He is said to have personally threatened Stalin with 'a whipping or worse' if he came near any of Muxtarov's factories. Yet the old man was too stubborn to flee during 1920 when the Red Army was marching to overthrow the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic, convinced that no 'worker' would dare cross the threshold of his palace. However, two Bolshevik horsemen rode straight in. Without dismounting they demanded his surrender to the new communist authorities. 'Get off my bloody carpet' bawled Muxtarov and shot them dead. He shot himself straight after, though his wife somehow escaped out the back door.
Notice the sandstone statue on the gable high above the doorway. It is Polish knight Zawisza Czarny.
Adding this statue was the building finishing touch, a moment for glory for the master builder Gerasimov who had to cement it into place personally. However, as he finished his task, he slipped and fell to his death. To cap off the tragedy, his wife killed herself too. (After Wikipedia, Mark Elliott Guidebook)

Bigger beta picture


On the map (Saadet Sarayi)

Side view

A bit more of the lower part but with a sign.

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Additional Photos by Malgorzata Kopczynska (emka) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 13027 W: 139 N: 33713] (153780)
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