The Absheron Peninsula stretches eastward into the Caspian Sea, and the scenery is majestic and magnificent. The endless desert stretches to the distant sky, quicksand, saline-alkali land, salt lakes, boulders, and canyons are looming in the low hills. In the evening, the afterglow of the setting sun brings a touch of golden red to this gray-yellow land. The natural conditions here are extremely harsh. The Apsheron Peninsula is the place with the least rainfall in Azerbaijan, with an annual rainfall of less than 200 millimeters. The hot weather and sandy land instantly make the scarce rainwater leave no trace. In summer, the tenacious desert plants have already turned into clumps of dry grass. On the slightly undulating hills, gray-black vipers and Greek tortoises hide in the crevices of the rocks. It seems that they are the only permanent residents here. , the legendary gazelle and red heron visit only occasionally, and they are elusive for most of the year.
In the era of farming and even the era of industrialization, this barren land and scarce water resources seem to be difficult to support the development of cities. Most of the caravan stations and fortresses that emerged due to the Silk Road have been abandoned. The herdsmen in the northern settlements of the peninsula will drive their flocks to the pastures at the foot of the Caucasus Mountains in summer, leaving empty villages.
Baku is blooming enthusiastically in the southern part of the Apsheron Peninsula, known as the “land of salt water”: from a 0.22 square kilometer fortress with extreme water shortage and no green plants, it covers an area of 2200 square kilometers, full of fountains and green areas. , the Pearl of the Caspian Sea with a population of 2.3 million and many industrial enterprises, Baku took less than 200 years. Before she knew it, she quietly crossed the Eurasian border and became the largest city in the Caucasus.
The Flame Tower is a new large-scale modern hotel and business center in Baku. It has become one of the symbols of modern Baku, with a total construction area of 235,000 square meters. of buildings. Due to its towering and massive size, it can be seen from anywhere in Baku.
The era of the first oil boom
The historical development of Baku always seems to have a mysterious connection with Shamakhi. Shamakhi is about 100 kilometers east of Baku, located in the foothills of the Caucasus. The water, soil and climate conditions are far superior to Baku on the Apsheron Peninsula. In the 8th century AD, the capital of the Shirvan Dynasty was set at Shamakhi. A major earthquake in the 12th century destroyed Shamakhi, and then the Shirvan Dynasty moved the capital to Baku. At the beginning of the 19th century, Tsarist Russia occupied the Transcaucasus and the Apsheron Peninsula, where it successively set up the Caspian Province and the Shamakhi Province, with the provincial capital in Shamakhi. Baku’s positioning has always been a military fortress, and all urban planning is based on strengthening and expanding the city’s fortifications. However, in 1859, Shamakhi suffered another earthquake, and Baku once again replaced Shamakhi as the capital of the province. Baku then began to gradually change its role from a military fortress to a regional center. The southern part of the city wall of Baku’s inner city was demolished, and a large influx of people began.
This is the eve before Baku begins to become one of the world’s metropolises, and it is also her last warm-up before she exerts her strength.
In the second half of the 19th century, the huge oil resources on the Apsheron Peninsula were awakened by demand, technology, system and capital, which brought great wealth and many legends. Baku entered an era of oil boom.
Apsheron has a long history of oil extraction. Historical materials in the 12th century once recorded: “The local people used oil to treat diseases, illuminate and keep warm. They used leather bags to pick up the oil slick on the surface of the oil pool, then put it into skin bags, and then transported it away with camels.” The Russians occupied Baku. In previous decades, the industrial and commercial value of oil was not valued by Europe, and oil was transported to Persia by camel as before. Until the middle of the 19th century, with the invention and wide application of kerosene lamps, the demand for kerosene was stimulated like a fountain, and oil became “black gold” overnight.
The blowout demand for kerosene has attracted capital investment, and many legendary figures and families have gathered in Baku. Among them are the famous Russian industrialist Vasily Kokolev, the Swedish Nobel brothers, the French Rothschild family, the American Rockefeller oil company and the Anglo-Dutch Shell oil company, and the generalist Dmitry in the field of science. Mendeleev also made his debut in the history of world oil development in Baku.
Vasily Kokolev was one of the wealthiest Russian businessmen of the 19th century. He started his business by “tax package”, that is, paying to buy taxation rights from the state, and then collecting taxes from the people. By the early 1860s, he had made a huge fortune. Among Russian merchants, he received the title of “Tsar”. With a keen sense of business, Kokolev decided to invest in the establishment of a kerosene plant in Baku and switch to the oil field.
It is absolutely impossible to have no money, but it is also impossible to have only money. The production process of the kerosene factory was designed by the Germans, but the situation was very bad after it was built. The extraction rate of kerosene was only about 15%, and the factory lost money. Kokolev began to look for an expert who could improve the production of kerosene, and he finally chose Dmitry Mendeleev, who was an assistant professor of chemistry and physical geography at St. Petersburg University in Russia. He rose to prominence for writing the textbook “Organic Chemistry” in a concise style.
In 1863, at the invitation of Kokolev, Mendeleev arrived in Baku at the age of 29, six years before he discovered the famous periodic table of elements. Mendeleev and Eichler, the chief engineer of the kerosene plant, jointly modernized the plant and invented the continuous distillation process of crude oil. A year later, Kokolev’s kerosene plant began to make considerable profits.
But Mendeleev’s contribution to the oil field was much more than that. He is not only a great chemist, but also an outstanding economist. In the process of analyzing the price of kerosene, he found that the decisive factor in determining the price of kerosene is not the mining or even the processing technology, but the transportation cost. To this end, he proposed to Kokolev the idea of building oil transportation pipelines and tankers to reduce transportation costs. Due to various factors, Kokolev missed the opportunity to build the world’s first oil transportation pipeline.
Driven by Mendeleev’s efforts, in the 1870s, the Russian government abolished the oil monopoly system, allowing private capital and foreign capital to conduct exploration and long-term leases on oil-producing areas, allowing independent pricing and independent pricing of the extracted oil. Sale. For a while, the oil boom in Baku was comparable to the Klondike gold rush in Canada. Swedish, British, French, Belgian, German and American companies have opened branches and representative offices in Baku, the most famous of which are the Nobel Brothers Petroleum Production Association and the French Rothschild family. The influx of private capital and foreign capital brought technology, innovation and an oil boom.
Mendeleev’s idea of transporting oil by pipeline and tanker to reduce costs was admired by the Nobel founder’s older brother, Ludwig Nobel, who began to put Mendeleev’s ideas into practice in the 1870s practice. The Nobel brothers established the Nobel Brothers Petroleum Production Association in Baku. According to Mendeleev’s suggestion, they built an 885-kilometer oil transportation pipeline from Baku to Batumi, and built the world’s first oil tanker, barge, and storage tank. Depots, and ordered oil storage tank cars for rail transport, which greatly reduced transportation costs and oil prices, and shipped oil to Russia and Europe. With their oil empire in Baku, the Nobel brothers competed with the French Rothschild and American Rockefeller families in the international crude oil market for decades. After the Soviet government announced the nationalization of the oil industry, the Nobel family withdrew from Baku. library.
While the oil industry is flourishing, it has also brought serious pollution. In 1872, the Baku Council decided that all oil processing enterprises should move out of the central area to a designated area in the eastern suburbs of Baku. Subsequently, the designated area in the eastern suburbs covered with oil stains and black smoke was called “Black City”. Soon, the black city could not accommodate the ever-expanding petrochemical enterprises, and a large number of petrochemical enterprises appeared on the east side of the black city. Because they adopted more advanced and environmentally friendly equipment and relatively less pollution, they were called “White City”.
Baku accomplished the almost impossible task: in 1900, Baku’s oil production reached 50% of the world’s oil production. Churchill said with emotion, if oil is a queen, then Baku is her palace. The first industrialized oil well, the first oil tanker, and the first long-distance oil pipeline were all born in Baku, and Baku became the cradle of Russia and the Soviet Union’s oil industry.
This is a story in which resources, technology, capital and institutions stimulate each other and compete to flow. Huge oil and gas resources finally broke free from the shackles of the earth’s crust and turned into huge wealth, which changed the fate of countless people and changed the face of Baku. In just a few decades, Baku has undergone earth-shaking changes: in 1917, the population exceeded 248,000, an increase of 33.4 times compared with 1855; its scope, except for the central area with the inner city as the core, has become Expansion to the south of Bylov and the industrial districts of the east (Black City and White City); the city center is lined with long streets lined with rich and famous mansions, manors, large stores, hotels, well-known commercial and industrial companies and offices of private banks Cultural facilities such as theaters, clubs and educational institutions have been built; the railway to Tbilisi has also begun to operate, and the central area of Baku is not inferior to the contemporary European capitals.
Gothic, Baroque, neoclassical and modernist buildings popular in Europe at the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century were all reflected in the blocks built at that time. The more famous ones are: Azerbaijan History Museum, Azerbaijan National Art Museum, Azerbaijan Manuscript Museum, Baku Municipal Government, Presidium Building of Azerbaijan Academy of Sciences, Tezapil Mosque, Philharmonic Orchestra Concert Hall and Hakinsky’s Former Residence, etc. Most of the buildings were once the private residences of Baku oil tycoons or donated by philanthropists Public facilities.
In 1917, Baku’s first oil boom ended with a revolution.
The high-spirited Soviet era
In 1920, the Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic was established. In 1922, Azerbaijan joined the Transcaucasian Federal Soviet Socialist Republic. In 1936, Azerbaijan became a republic of the Soviet Union. As the most important oil industry center of the Soviet Union and the capital of the Union Republic at that time, Baku continued to develop rapidly in commerce, transportation, energy, industry and urban construction. By the end of the 1970s and the beginning of the 1980s, Baku had become the most important industry in the Soviet Union. and one of the cultural centers.
From 1924 to 1937, Soviet urban designers successively compiled three versions of the Baku City Master Plan. In the third edition of the master plan, it was described for the first time that relying on the Baku hills and facing the Baku Bay, an amphitheater composition would be used to create the urban core area, the architectural organization of the Baku Bay, and the plan to widen the main highway towards the city center. In fact, the urban construction of Baku in the following decades basically revolved around the third edition of the urban development plan. Today, the landscape belt of Baku is also concentrated in the core area, the Baku Bay Coastal Boulevard and both sides of the expressway leading to the airport.
If the buildings in the era of the oil boom were authentic and copied the most popular European style as a whole, then, since the 1930s, the design style of new buildings has undergone obvious changes. Designers are more confident and pay more attention to the Azerbaijani national architecture. The characteristics of the building are fully integrated into the Soviet-style architecture. Multi-storey buildings constructed in part of the Soviet-era core of Baku, often with slender windows and arched loggias with deep openings in the facade. The addition of these new elements can be easily distinguished from the architecture of the oil boom era.
The Government Building of the Republic is the city’s business card in the Soviet era. The 11-meter-high Lenin statue that once stood on the square was replaced by the Azerbaijani flag in 1991.
Dmitry Mendeleev, a famous Russian scientist and discoverer of the periodic law of elements, made his debut in the history of world oil development in Baku.
By 1909, the Balkany oil field around Baku, owned by the Nobel brothers’ company, had as many as 276 oil rigs.
During the magnificent Soviet era, Baku successively built the Republic Government Building, the Independence Museum (formerly the Baku branch of the Lenin Central Museum), the Akhontov Republic Library, the Azerbaijan National Drama Theater, the Nizami Literature Museum, the Guru A series of classic Soviet-style buildings such as the Stan Palace, the Oriental Bazaar Complex, and the Presidential Palace of Azerbaijan. These Soviet-era buildings of different ages have further enriched the architectural style of Baku and left the imprint of the times.
The Baku Metro is definitely an underground palace worth visiting. Like all Soviet subways, the Baku subway has a large buried depth. The escalators at most subway entrances are more than 100 meters long. At the same time, each subway station is designed and decorated like a museum of art, with exquisite sculptures and mural. The only regret is that photography is not allowed inside the subway station.
Konstantin Ivanovich Senchihen (1905-1985) served as the general manager of the Baku Metro Design Institute for a long time and was responsible for the construction of the Baku Metro. Peers dubbed it the Le Corbusier of Baku, in homage to its modernist and monumentalist style. Senqiheng left a lot of design works in Baku, including Azerbaijan Medical College, Dinamo Stadium, Transcaucasus Military District Command (now Azerbaijan Ministry of Defense), Megalithic Building, Actor Building and Expert Building and other public and civilian buildings architecture. The Shushev Architecture Museum in Moscow once exhibited the megalithic building model as a model of civil architecture in Azerbaijan for a long time.
After the Baku Metro Design Institute completed the preliminary design of the underground part of the Baku Metro, Xian Qiheng took the preliminary design plan to the Ministry of Communications of the Soviet Union to defend the design plan. At the defense meeting, the Minister of Communications of the Soviet Union suggested reducing investment by reducing the number of subway stations and carriages. None of the participants dared to stand up against it. Xian Qiheng took the words and proved that Baku, as a rapidly developing city, cannot only look at the short-term benefits and ignore the fact that the expansion of the subway station in the future will require much more investment. His speech decided the fate of the Baku Metro.
The Government Building of the Republic is also the city card of the Soviet era. “In this building, the hollow loggia of the corner tower rises from the magnificent stepped platform, as if melting into the air; in front of the square of the main building, the bronze statue of Lenin stands on the base, integrated with the viewing platform, the Caspian Sea The sea breeze blows it. Everything looks so empty and smells of the sea.” This text describes the Government House of the Republic. The Republic Government Building stands on Petroleum Workers Street, 55 meters high, with a “п”-shaped floor plan, and the gap faces the coastline of Baku Bay, which is close at hand. The Republic Building had a decisive influence on the aesthetic direction of post-war architecture in Azerbaijan.
In 1934, Azerbaijan invited tenders within the Soviet Union, planning to build the “Baku Soviet Palace” near the Caspian Gulf to hold large-scale conferences and uniformly house government agencies. The requirement was that “its exterior should correspond to the interior and purpose of the building, worthy of Soviet Azerbaijan” and draw on “everything positive in Azerbaijan’s architectural heritage”.
The proposal of Soviet architects Lev Rudnev and V. Muntz won the tender. Rutnev designed many Soviet buildings including the main building of Moscow University and the Gorky Red Army Military Academy. A similar style is called Soviet Memorial Classicism, also known as “Stalin’s gold-absorbing beast”. In the design of the Republic Building, Rudnev also added Azerbaijani elements. The hollowed-out balconies of the four towers around the building seem to be inspired by the columns of Kivanhanna of the Shirvan Palace in Baku.
In 1955, an 11-meter-high statue of Lenin was erected on the Republic Building Square. In the entire history of Soviet architecture, the Republic Tower in Baku is considered one of the best examples of a true fusion of architecture and sculpture. The statue designer could not determine the appropriate height of the statue of Lenin for a long time. A friend came to his studio and put a drunk wine bottle on the statue base in front of the model of the Republic Building. The designer’s eyes lit up, and he determined the design height of the statue of Lenin according to the ratio of the bottle to the model. In 1991, the statue of Lenin was replaced by the flag of Azerbaijan.
During the Soviet-German War in World War II, Baku produced a total of 75 million tons of oil, accounting for three-quarters of the total oil production of the Soviet Union; 85% of the gasoline needed by the front, 85% of aviation gasoline, and 90% of lubricants The oil is shipped from Baku.
In July 1942, the Germans cut off all supply of oil products to the front from Baku via Grozny to Rostov. Baku oil workers and Caspian sailors began to keep the front line supplied through the Caspian Sea and Krasnovodsk, and they completed the feat of transporting oil-laden train tanks by sea for the first time in the world. Every night, 35 railway storage tanks are sent in a row by sea, becoming the “road of life” to the front line.
During the war, Baku’s machine-building factories switched to producing weapons and ammunition. The famous “Molotov Cocktail” Molotov cocktail filling fluid, “Katyusha” rocket launcher, and “Yak-3” series fighters are all produced in Baku.
During the Soviet-German War, a total of 180,000 heroic sons and daughters in Baku went to the front line, and some even fought on the thrilling hidden front. Legendary spy, Hero of the Soviet Union Richard Sorge codenamed Ramsay was born in Baku. In 1941, he warned that Germany would attack the Soviet Union, and at the same time confirmed that Japan would not attack the Soviet Union in the near future. In 1944, Sorge died in Tokyo because his identity was exposed. There is Sorge Park in the city of Baku. There is another square tomb to the east of the Sorge Monument. There are several huge steel swallows on the top of the tomb, and a large broken stone flower in front of the tomb. There are only 1941-1945 on the tomb. A few numbers should be a tribute to the unsung heroes on the hidden front.
To the stars and the sea
In 1991, the Soviet Union collapsed and Azerbaijan gained independence. Azerbaijan ushered in the second oil boom, and the economy is booming. The city of Baku is changing with each passing day. It has become the most modern international metropolis growing towards the sky and marching toward the sea.
There is a square tomb on the east side of the Sorge Monument built to commemorate the Soviet hero Richard Sorge. There are only a few numbers from 1941 to 1945 on the tomb, which is a tribute to the unsung heroes in the Soviet-German War.
The great architecture of the first oil boom and the Soviet era seems to have become the backdrop for this most modern city, with elegant and bold skyscrapers and new landmarks popping up on Aliyev Avenue and Corniche Shine like stars in the city of Baku. This is a city that grows towards the sky, and it seems that only the stars are its goal.
The gate of Baku today has become the Aliyev International Airport. The shape of the terminal building is light and smooth. A large number of materials such as glass, chrome-plated steel and oak are used for the walls and interiors. It is the most beautiful airport in the world; from the airport to the city center is Aliyev Avenue, about 25 kilometers away, which is her entrance; the many modern skyscrapers standing along both sides of the avenue are her pillars stretching to the sky. They are different and reflect each other, so that some people use “Oriental Dubai” to describe Baku in the first impression; Baku Bay with soft waves and flat tide is her balcony with sea view.
The majestic government building of the Republic in the past can no longer occupy the C position of the coastal boulevard. The bold, elegant and smooth flame tower and the crescent project can catch the discerning attention of tourists all at once. The Venetian Water City, Crystal Hall, Carpet Museum, Maqam Center, Stone Chronicle Museum, Water Sports Center, and Surahani Tanker Museum scattered along the coastline have added a cultural heritage to the already picturesque Baku Bay.
From the Maiden’s Tower to the Republic Government Building, to the Flame Tower and the Aliyev Center, the landmark buildings of Baku’s various eras coexist harmoniously and reflect each other, confirming the development history of Baku.
Baku people, who are used to seeing big scenes, can no longer catch the eyes of the Baku people who are used to seeing big scenes only by the height of the “cool” skyscrapers. Even the Baku Tower, the tallest building in the Commonwealth of Independent States, has not been seen in various albums. In Baku, there is no shortage of sleek modern buildings. The Heydar Aliyev Center (hereinafter referred to as the Aliyev Center) and the Flame Tower are the new pride of Baku people.
The Aliyev Center, built in 2012, is the most famous convention and exhibition center in Baku. It was designed by Zaha Hadid, a world-renowned architect and winner of the Pritzker Architecture Prize. The main building of the Aliyev Center is wavy and white as a whole. , hidden in the green. The central building complex embodies the post-modernist architectural style, trying to express continuity and infinity. No straight lines are used in the design. The whole building rises from the ground in a wave shape, flies up and reintegrates into the earth. From a distance, it looks like a freeze frame waves. In order to build this landmark building with a height of 74.1 meters and a total area of 15.93 hectares, a set of steel skeletons with a total length of 90 kilometers was built, and 12,027 panels of different sizes and geometric shapes were used for the roof alone. After its completion, the Aliyev Center won prizes and got soft hands.
The Flame Tower, which was built at the same time as the Aliyev Center, is another favorite of Baku people. The Flame Tower is a newly built large modern hotel and business center in Baku. It has now become one of the symbols of modern Baku and a must-see for tourists. The Flame Tower is located near the Highland Park in the West District of Baku, with a total construction area of 235,000 square meters. It consists of three sail-shaped buildings with heights of 190 meters, 160 meters and 140 meters. It can be seen from anywhere in Baku due to its towering and massive size.
The Baku Conference Center is the largest ultra-modern business center in the Caucasus region, with a construction area of 46,000 square meters. Its neighbor is the award-winning Aliyev Center.
The Aliyev Center is the most famous convention and exhibition center in Baku. The entire building rises from the ground in a wave shape, flies up and reintegrates into the earth. From a distance, it looks like a frozen wave.
The terminal building of Aliyev International Airport is light and smooth in shape. The walls and interiors are made of glass, chrome-plated steel and oak. It looks crystal clear at night. Many people call it the most beautiful airport in the world.
350 meters southwest of the coast of Baku Bay is the Outer Bayer Fort, known as the “Atlantis” of the Caspian Sea.
The oil block of the Azeli-Chirag-Guneshli (ACG) oil field is located in the Caspian Sea, about 100 kilometers from the coastline. Nearly three-quarters of Baku’s oil production comes from the offshore field.
The goal of the Baku people is not only the stars, but also the sea. “Atlantis” in the Caspian Sea, the world’s first drilling platform and the ACG offshore oil field prove the courage and determination of the Baku people to march towards the sea.
350 meters southwest of the coast of Baku Bay is the Outer Bayer Fort, known as the “Atlantis” of the Caspian Sea. Outer Bayer Fort consists of 3 circular towers and 12 semicircular towers, surrounded by stone walls, commonly known as “undersea city”. in the water. In the 20th century, the water level gradually dropped, the upper part of the tower was exposed to the sea, and 699 stone carvings with characters were salvaged from the bottom of the water. These stone carvings are currently on display in the Shirvan Palace in the inner city of Baku, as well as in local museums.
Outer Bail Fort is like a slap in the face to the Baku people by the bad-tempered Caspian. However, instead of being intimidated, they went deeper and further into the sea. “Petroleum Reef” is the world’s earliest offshore drilling platform, and it is also the first footprint of Baku people towards the ocean. It is located 42 kilometers southeast of the Absheron Peninsula. It is a small town floating on the sea, built on a platform several meters above the sea surface, and the platform is supported by metal rammed pipes driven into the seabed. In 1994, Azerbaijan also signed the “Contract of the Century” with world-renowned oil companies to jointly explore and develop oil blocks in the Azeli-Chirag-Guneshli (ACG) oil field located in the Caspian Sea, about 100 kilometers from the coastline. The Caspian Sea has also rewarded Baku with great generosity: Nearly three-quarters of Baku’s oil production now comes from the offshore field. If we say that Baku has experienced the second oil boom after independence, then this prosperity is due to the calm and forward vision of prominent Azerbaijani politicians, and the determination and courage of the Baku people to step into the deep sea.
become garden capital
The problem of water supply in Baku cannot be simply divided into which era has completely solved it. Because with the rapid development of cities, water source selection and water supply pipeline systems need to constantly adapt to new requirements, which is a dynamic and constant adjustment process.
If you can travel back to 1917, you will hear shouts in the streets and alleys of Baku: “Sell water, sell water, sell Sholal water.” Historically, fresh water in Baku was not expensive, but very expensive. For more than 1,000 years before the middle of the 19th century, whether it was Baku or other settlements on the Apsheron Peninsula, water use had always been resolved by “Kagoliz” and “Ovdan”. “Kagoliz” and “Ofdan” are typical water supply and storage systems in Central Asia, West Asia and the Arabian Peninsula during the Silk Road period.
”Kagoliz” is similar to the Karez system in Xinjiang. Its construction method is the same as the shield tunneling method for subway construction. First, many shafts were dug from the water source to the settlements, and then the workers entered the bottom of the shafts and dug horizontal tunnels in the direction of the adjacent shafts, gradually forming a grand underground canal system. After “Kagoliz” was penetrated, the water from the water source flowed to the settlement’s underground water cellar – “Ovdan” by gravity.
”Ovdan” is essentially a large closed reservoir that slopes into the ground, and the water sources in the reservoir include underground seepage, surface water and the “Kagolitz” system. Entering from the entrance on the ground of “Aufdan”, there is a wide step that slopes downward to reach the underground reservoir (usually with a depth of 3-4 meters), and the water collector can go directly to the pool to fetch water. Compared with common water wells in China, Offdan can reduce water evaporation, eliminate the lifting system of well ropes and potter’s wheels, and satisfy multiple people to draw water at the same time, with higher water intake efficiency.
Neither “Kagoliz” nor “Ovdan” can completely solve the water quality problem in Baku. The Absheron Peninsula itself is a place of salt water. The sewage pipes, septic tanks and shafts in the inner city of Baku are often mixed together. Coupled with the hot summer weather, the water quality in the underground cisterns is extremely poor. Residents’ drinking water is often transported into the inner city of Baku by ship from the Kura River on the south side of the peninsula through the Caspian Sea.
As Baku became the center of the region in the second half of the 19th century, coupled with the advent of the oil boom era, the population expanded rapidly, and the oil extraction and processing industry developed extremely rapidly. Water was only taken from the mouth of the Kura River and the Volga River and shipped back to Pakistan. The water volume is not enough to support the growing Baku, and the water price is very expensive. Finding drinking water and designing a water supply system have always been the focus of discussion in every session of the Baku City Council. Since there was no available fresh water source in the peninsula, Baku began to set up a seawater desalination plant in 1896, but the desalinated water was expensive and the water quality was still poor, and the urban water problem had not been fundamentally resolved.
After nearly 30 years of discussions and attempts, starting in 1911, the people of Baku made up their minds to invest huge sums of money in the construction of the Sholar water pipeline system. Shoral is 180 kilometers north of Apsheron, with abundant groundwater and excellent water quality. The water delivery system consists of cisterns, pumping stations and 180 kilometers of pipelines with a diameter of 80 centimeters. After untold hardships, in 1917 the Sholar water delivery system was put into operation. The largest water supply project in Europe at that time basically solved the water supply problem in Baku for the next 40 years.
In 1954, the double track of Shoral was opened; in 1971, the Kura water pipeline was opened; in 2010, the double track of the Kura water pipeline was opened; in 2011, the Oguz-Gabala-Baku water pipeline was fully put into operation. Baku, which is said to use twice as much water per capita as London, has emerged from water shortages as pipelines continue to expand.
Today’s Baku can be called the capital of gardens. Fountains, sculptures, monuments, street gardens, exquisitely decorated art spaces, cafes, and restaurants are all over the streets and alleys of the city; olive trees, loquats, quinces and other subtropical evergreen trees are planted in residential areas; green grass, Dozens of parks and woodlands, such as the well-proportioned coastal boulevards, Central Park, Waterfall Park, Governor’s Garden and Aliyev Central Garden, have formed a huge green ribbon from east to west, resisting the wind and sand from Absheja peninsula, and Brings shade to Baku.
However, until the mid-19th century, Baku was basically a city without green spaces. Except for a few clusters of pomegranate and fig trees near the Khan Palace in the inner city of Baku, there is almost no green. Absheron Peninsula’s saline and oil-laden soil and scarce fresh water have made orchards and green spaces a luxury on the peninsula for thousands of years.
Fountain Park in Baku. Today’s Baku can be called the capital of gardens. Fountains, sculptures, monuments, street gardens, etc. are all over the streets and alleys of the city. Dozens of parks and woodlands, such as the green grass and well-proportioned coastal boulevards, Central Park, Waterfall Park, Governor’s Garden and Aliyev Central Garden, have formed a huge east-west green streamer, bringing Baku shade.
At the end of the 1850s, the governor of Baku ordered that all ships entering the port of Baku must bring in a certain amount of black soil to fill up the trenches between the inner and outer walls of Baku. Soon the fertile black soil came from the two sides of Baku Overflow between the city walls, and soon the first garden in Baku, the Governor’s Garden, was born here. Many olive trees were planted in the garden, which later became the female parent of the Apsheron olive tree, and the irrigation water came from the underground water cellar with the lowest salinity. In 1879, the Swedish Nobel brothers, who were engaged in oil development, decided to build a house for their family in Baku and green the factory area, and the Byzantine-style Petroya Villa (Nobel Garden) was born in this way. By 1900, the first green spaces appeared in the city center – Governor’s Garden, Mariinsky Square, Tsitsianovsky Square, Bailov Admiralty Garden, Nobel Garden, Primorsky Promenade. All gardens are enclosed and fenced and closed to the lower classes, or open once a week. In 1917, the 180-kilometer Sholar water pipeline was put into operation, and large-scale greening of Baku was put on the agenda. The “New Plan of Baku in 1927” put forward two principles: one is to create a unified and continuous green space system, and the other is to provide green space for citizen residential areas as evenly as possible. A blueprint for greening Baku was drawn up. Beginning in the 1950s, Baku began a large-scale urban greening with the participation of the whole people. This greening focused on the landscaping of urban streets and highways, as well as the construction of numerous forest parks. After a short century of hard work, Baku’s green area has undergone tremendous changes. If we say that the urban green area was only 3 hectares in 1880, then in 1980, 100 years later, it reached 9,520 hectares, an increase of more than 3,170 times.
Entering the 21st century, Baku people continue to improve the city’s water supply by relying on the newly built double-track Kura Water Pipeline and the Oguz-Gabala-Baku Water Pipeline. The spring water from the Caucasus Mountains spans nearly 200 kilometers. Thanks to the unremitting efforts of Baku people, they came to Baku’s lawns, fountains, and pools to dance with people, making Baku, a garden city, even in the hottest summer, still green and green. moving.