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Architectural City Trip in Ganja

Created with Sketch. Ganja, Azerbaijan
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In Azerbaijan you can find different kinds of architectural buildings, ever looked at a building and wondered if it’s a Islamic or Modernist style? Romanesque or Neo-Classical? There are many architectural clues to consider, especially when a building has lived through several periods like buildings in Ganja city.


  • Beginning in the Middle East in the 7th century Islamic architecture varies greatly depending on the region such as Persia North Africa and Spain. A Mosque is the best example of Islamic styles including the pointed arches, domes and courtyards. Decoration on flat surfaces take priority as the Koran forbids three-dimensional representations. You can  see this unusual  stile in Imamzade,  Shax Abbas Mosque and Nizami Ganjevi tomb, all of them in Ganja.


  • The Bauhaus movement held the idea that all art and technology would be unified under the idea of simplistic design and mass-production. Rejecting decorative details the designs favoured function. Flat roofs and cubic shapes were key. The Bauhaus principles of cubic shapes and angles can be seen in the modernist designs such as in Nizami Ganjevi Museum.


  • Considered a response to Baroque and Rococo, Neo-classicism emerged in the mid 18th Century and aimed to bring back a nobility and grandeur to architecture. Inspiration was taken from the classic styles of Ancient Greek and Roman buildings and design. Simplicity and symmetry were the core values. Grandeur of scale, blank walls, excessive use of columns, free-standing columns, large buildings, clean lines. Actually you can notice Neo-classic stile in main square of Ganja like Government House and nearby buildings.


  • Beginning in the mid 12th Century, Gothic architecture borrowed flourishes in Europe and features from previous styles and used them all together. More decorative than classical styles, walls were thinner, columns more slender, windows adorned with stained glass and designed so to draw the eye upwards where you can see it in Alexander Nevsky church Orthodox church in Ganja, built in 1887. Services at the church are carried out on Saturdays and Sundays, and also during the Twelve Great Feasts and Holidays.


  • Modernism is a blanket term given to a movement at the turn of the 20th Century and can include styles such as Futurism, Post-modern and New Classical nowadays this stile catching on in Ganja . Forms were intended to be free of unnecessary detail and focus on simplicity and there is an honouring of the materials used rather than concealing them. Lack of the decorative, low buildings, use of modern materials, interaction with interior and exterior spaces, use of sun and shading for human comfort, use of glass and natural light.


  • Influenced by classical styles, the Renaissance style appeared in Italy during the 15th Century and was characterised by harmony, clarity and strength. The designs were intended to reflect the elegance and ideals of domestic life and clues were taken from the Roman ruins. Square buildings, flat ceilings, classical motifs, arches and domes, Roman-type columns, enclosed courtyards, arcades of vaulted bays like in Ganja Philharmonic.






Ganja is Azerbaijan’s second-largest city. In Soviet times it was named Kirovabad. According to medieval Arab sources, the city of Ganja was founded in VII-VIII by Mohammad b. Khaled b.According to the legend, the Arab governor had a dream where a voice told him that there was a treasure hidden under one of the three hills around the area where he camped. The voice told him to unearth it and use the money to found a city. He did so and informed the caliph about the money and the city. Caliph made Mohammad the hereditary governor of the city on a condition that he would give the money he found to the caliph. However, modern historians believe that the Persian name Ganja suggests that the city existed in pre-Islamic times and was likely founded in the fifth century A.D.

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Created with Sketch. Ganja, Azerbaijan


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from 80,0 m
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