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Memorial museum of Haji Zeynal Abdin Taghiyev

Restoration of rooms, personal belongings, and furniture of the Memorial museum of H. Z.A. Taghiyev has been organized by specialists from Azerbaijan and Italy, based on the family photo-album they managed to restore the previous interior of the rooms.

The Memorial museum includes: 1) the Taghiyev’s study, 2) Oriental Hall, 3) a library 4) a billiard room, 5) a dining room, 6) a monitored room, 7) a boudoir, 8) a bedroom, 9) a dressing room.

The exposition of the Memorial museum begins with the Taghiyev’s study. The study was notable for its severe beauty. Its walls have been decorated with patterned green wallpaper and redwood. Besides the furniture belonged to Taghiyev there are a bookcase, a writing desk, an armchair, a chair, a cupboard as well as some other belongings restored by the help of restorers based on his old family photo-album. Code of laws of the Russian Empire, reference-books and encyclopedias are collected books from his private library in the bookcase. Every morning Taghiyev’s secretaries read him periodic literature of local, Russian, European as well as Eastern press discussing the most important articles and information. Behind the writing desk on the wall there are canvases from his private collection of paintings, portraits of Iranian rulers- Nadir shah- Afshar and Fatali-shah Gadjar, on the left side- the portraits of the Russian emperor Nicholas II and his wife Alexandra Fedorovna. Opposite the windows of the study there is a canvas painted by Ayvazovsky “Storm in the sea”. The painting that depicts H.Z.A.Taghiyev’s meeting with Muzaffar-ad-Din Qajar, Shah of Iran, now is in the same place as during Taghiyev’s period.

There is a portrait of H.Z.A.Taghiyev in front of the writing-table. It was a decision of the city council to order a portrait of H.Z.A.Taghiyev for his contribution and financial aid to the construction of technical college in Baku. The portrait was painted by a well-known artist I.Brodsky in 1912. H.Z.A.Taghiyev was depicted with all medals and orders. Included among them are Russian orders of “Saint Stanislav”, three golden medals “For diligence”, Iranian order “Shiri- Khurshid” (“Lion and Sun”) and Bukhara “Golden star”.

Following the study there is an Oriental hall. The Oriental hall as palace’s one of the biggest halls combines ancient oriental ornaments famed for their beauty and grandeur. Official meetings, receptions and solemn ceremonies were held there. The doors of the Oriental hall were made of walnut, beech and pear tree and the hall itself was decorated artistically. There are openwork tables, chairs, armchairs, a grand piano and so on. The ceiling was decorated with Kuran ayats. Nine kilograms of gold were used for inscription and decoration.

A huge chandelier and sconces above the mirrors illuminate the hall and increase its beauty. Inscription in Arabic on the windowpanes denote H.Z.A.Taghiyev’s name and surname. Six-pointed stars interspersed in different parts of the hall and widespread in Muslim architecture, are in the form of Solomon’s signet ring. According to belief, it protects a human from the evil eye. Arches in the upper part add additional beauty to the Oriental hall.

Passing through the arches you find yourself in H.Z.A.Taghiyev’s library. H.Z.A.Taghiyev made great efforts for prosperity of enlightenment. Works of prominent writers, poets and historians were published at the expense of H.Z.A.Taghiyev. Taghiyev owned a newspaper “Kaspi” and he was the first to publish Koran in Azerbaijani at its publishing house. He made great efforts for establishment and subsequent activity of philanthropic societies “Nashri- maarif”, “Nidjat”, etc.

There is a set of furniture, two wooden tables, chairs, armchairs, and bookcases. Code of laws of the Russian Empire is kept in the bookcases. A carpet and curtains adorn the room.

The door on the right of the library leads to the billiard room. There is a billiard table in the middle of the room. A leather high back sofa and armchairs were meant for rest. A chandelier in special shape adorns the room.

When going out of the billiard room and the library, you enter the arched nook again. The door on the left leads to the dining- room. The walls were upholstered with panne. There is a right-angled table and velvet- covered chairs. Silver enameled dinner set which was a present of Bukhara emir is on the table. The other dinner set, cut glass goblets and silver knives with H.Z.A.Taghiyev’s monogram brought by him from France are in the cupboard. There is a big ornamented sideboard made of walnut in the room.

The door on the left of the canteen leads into a room with an interactive table. There is information on entrepreneurship and public activity of H.Z.Taghiyev, his family and his charitable activities across Azerbaijan and beyond its boundaries on the large-scale touch screen in the new exposition of the Memorial Museum. The information is presented in three languages: Azerbaijani, English and Russian. One of the advantages of the interactive table is that four visitors can get acquainted with the information mentioned there simultaneously.

To the left from this room there is a small sitting room of H.Z.A.Taghiyev’s second wife Sona khanum. Haji married a second time after Zeynab khanim’s death. From his first marriage with Zeynab khanim, Taghiyev had three children. Sona khanim was a daughter of general Balakishi bey Arablinski. They married in 1896. Despite forty years of disparity in age, it was a happy marriage. From this marriage they had five children.

Sona khanim’s small room differs from other rooms for its beauty and originality. The ceiling was covered with plate glass and walls were decorated with colorful ornaments. The room is also called “mirror hall”. There is an original round sofa in the middle of the room. It has a special place for lamp. There are quadrangular ornamented tables, soft chairs, and chairs.

A corridor following the sitting room leads to the bedroom. The bedroom consists of two parts separated from each other by a wooden ornamented partition. The first part includes a double bed and a cheval glass. In the second part there is a small circular table, a sofa, armchairs, and chairs. A carpet and curtains adorn the room.

There is a small room attached to the bedroom. It is a dressing room. It includes a vanity mirror, an easy chair, a table and wardrobes. You can see adornments on the vanity mirror.