Azerbaijan International

Winter 1998 (6.4)

Architecture of the Oil Baron Period
German Lutheran Church

28th of May Street 17

German Lutheran Church in Baku  

The German Lutheran Church was converted into a music recital hall during the Soviet period, a role which it still serves today.

During the Oil Boom at the turn of the last century, many Europeans flocked to Baku. It wasn't long before the expatriate German community built themselves a church which today is still commonly referred to by the German word for church, "kirche."

The architect was a German named Eikhler who based his design on the Gothic style. Construction was carried out between 1895 and 1898. Two houses were also built at the same time on either side of the church-one served as the residence for the Lutheran clergy; the other housed four German benevolent societies.

In 1910 a Walker pipe organ was installed and evening organ performances in the church became a tradition. Fortunately, the church was one of the few religious buildings that was not demolished during the Soviet period when Stalin went on a rampage to stamp out religion. Instead, it was changed into a music hall. In 1939, the
church's pipe organ was dismantled and taken to the Music Conservatory. In the process, however, the organ was so badly damaged that it became impossible to restore. In 1990 a new Rieger Klaus pipe organ with 43 registers was installed. Today, the building is still known for its fine acoustics and continues to be used as a recital hall, primarily for chamber orchestra concerts and organ recitals.

Azerbaijan International (6.4) Winter 1998.
© Azerbaijan International 1998. All rights reserved.

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