Summer 2004 (12.2)
The Ali and Nino Walking Tour
by Betty Blair and Fuad
(Pre-Soviet: Nikolayevskaya Street)
to Ali & Nino Walking Tour Index
building was originally constructed as a caravanserai for merchants
traveling by camel and horse through the region. At that time,
the building was only one story. In the 1860s, the new owner
Haji Agha Dadashov ordered to the Chief Architect of the Baku
province Gasimbey Hajibababeyov to reconstruct the building.
Hajibababeyov added a second floor. In 1915 civil engineer Alexander
Nikitin added a third floor and the building became Metropol
After Baku gained its independence from the Russian Empire in
1918, Fatali Khan Khoyski convened the New National Government
in this building starting in September. Azerbaijan's independence
was short-lived - only 23 months - and when the Soviets established
themselves in Baku in 1920, the building was used to house the
Trade Union (1920-1930).
Later, by governmental decree on November 1, 1939, a decision
was made to convert the building into the Azerbaijan Literature
Museum in honor of poet Nizami on the occasion of his 800th Jubilee.
Architects Sadigh Dadashov (died in 1946) and Mikayil Useynov
(1905-1992) prepared the project and added a fourth floor. The
statues of great Azerbaijani writers are featured in the six
archways - Fuzuli (15th century), Vagif (18th century), Akhundov
and Natavan (both of the 19th century), Mammadguluzade
and Jabbarli (both of the 20th century). The building Museum
opened in 1945.
Hotel Metropol is not mentioned in the novel, but it was an important
landmark and played a valuable role in the efforts to establish
Azerbaijan as an independent nation.
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