Summer 2004 (12.2)
The Ali and Nino Walking Tour
by Betty Blair and Fuad
National Art Museum
(Pre-Soviet: Sadovaya Street)
to Ali & Nino Walking Tour Index
Art Museum really consists of two major buildings: the entrance
being at the lower building, which was built as the residence
of Mr. De Bour, manager of Rothschild's Oil Company (Shell).
The building was designed by German architect Nicholas von De
Nonne and completed in 1891. The mansion overlooks the summer
concert stage of the Philharmonic Hall (then Baku Club).
During the early years of the Soviet period, the building was
the residence of Baghirov, the First Secretary of the Communist
Party in Azerbaijan and Stalin's right-hand man in the country.
The second building of the art complex (the one higher on the
hill and closer to the President's Aparat) originally housed
St. Mary's High School for Russian Girls. It was built in 1885.
The National Art Museum is not mentioned in the novel, but certainly
it was a dominant landmark in the city at the time when Ali and
Nino spent so much time meeting each other in the Governor's
Park across the street.
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