June 5, 2023

On May 3, the Heydar Aliyev Center opened the exhibition “Old Baku through the lens of the Russian Geographical Society: the first photographs of the city.” The exposition dedicated to the Days of Moscow in the capital of Azerbaijan presents unique photographs of the middle of the 19th century from the “Photographic Album of Views of the Caspian Sea Ports with Surroundings”.

The album of old photographs of Baku was compiled based on the results of hydrographic studies of the Aral-Caspian region, which were carried out by the Russian Geographical Society in 1856-1867. With the completion of the work, the Caspian became one of the most studied seas of Russia at that time.

“These are unique pictures of old Baku, thanks to which we can travel back in time and see what the Azerbaijani capital looked like 100 years ago,” noted the First Deputy Executive Director of the Russian Geographical Society Ilya Gurov.

The maps created by the participants of the expedition of the Russian Geographical Society in 1856-1867 were used for almost a century. As a result of the study of the Caspian by Russian geographers, the safety of navigation increased, new data contributed to the development of trade and industry, an increase in oil production, the processing and transportation of which still remains one of the key sectors of the national economy of Azerbaijan. Now it is a powerful industry that provides for the domestic needs and export capacities of the country in the field of energy.

The exhibition runs at the Heydar Aliyev Center, designed by the world-famous architect Zaha Hadid. Upon completion of construction in 2012, the unusual building became an unofficial symbol of modern Baku. Now postmodernism and photographs of almost 170 years ago have met here.

The earliest Baku photograph was taken by Alexander Ulsky in 1857. It is called the “Rock of Cape Shoulan” near which the steamer “Cuba” crashed. Perhaps this is the first landscape shot in the Caucasus– Ilya Gurov emphasized.

The opening of the RGS exhibition in Baku was attended by Russian Ambassador to Azerbaijan Mikhail Bocharnikov, Head of the Department of Foreign Economic and International Relations of Moscow Sergey Cheremin, Chairman of the Moscow City Duma Alexei Shaposhnikov, First Deputy Executive Director of the RGS Ilya Gurov, Director of the Department of Expert-Analytical and International Activities of the RGS Alina Lisenkova, members of the public, travelers and journalists.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *