Baku - City of Water and Fire (Part 2)

This is the second part of the article about Baku. You can read the first part here .

This is the second part of the article about Baku. You can read the first part here.

5. Heydar Aliyev Centre. 
Baku has no shortage of great examples of contemporary art. But the most notable site is the Heydar Aliyev Centre. The centre is named after the former president Heydar Aliyev, the father of the current president Ilham Aliyev. A tendency to establish ruling dynasties or for someone to become a lifelong leader is common to many former Soviet Union republics. Azerbaijan is one of them.
Designed by late Iraqi-British architect Zaha Hadid and finished in 2012, the building looks very futuristic and seems to have no sharp angles at all.
A must-see place for those who like modern architecture.

6. Old and New Neighbourhoods. 
Baku has seen a tremendous reconstruction of its neighbourhoods over the past 15-20 years. Many old neighbourhoods have been completely demolished to provide space for new residential buildings. 
A new neighbourhood around the Heydar Aliyev Centre deserves noting. 
Brand-new residential condominiums have a distinct eastern flavour.
Baku, come on - metal window grates on the 5th and the 6th floor? 
A 5-minute walk from the Heydar Aliyev Centre reveals more traditional neighbourhoods from the Soviet era.
Auto roads in Baku are definitely better than pedestrian sidewalks.
New buildings - old approach: there is not enough parking to accommodate all cars. As a result, cars are parked wherever a piece of land is available often consuming playgrounds, grass and sidewalks. 

7. Palace of Shirvanshahs. 
A home to a royal dynasty of Shirvanshahs does not look that luxurious. 
It's a rather modest complex that includes a mosque, a mausoleum, baths and a few more two-story buildings.
If you think you can escape the midday summer heat in one of the buildings, you are totally wrong. It's even more unbearable to stay there as opposed to being outside as there is zero wind. 
I have no idea how royals could stay there during the summer months.
Despite some evident emptiness in the chambers, the place looks somewhat nice.

8. Baku Metro. 
Baku Metro has been on my bucket list for at least 10 years. 
I remember seeing pictures of some of its stations. What impressed me is their interior design which combines both national and Soviet motives.
Unfortunately, I had very little time to see all 25 stations. And those that I was able to visit were hard to shoot on my bulky camera due to the ancient "No photo" rule.
End of the tunnel.
Louvre-inspired entrance of the Old City station.
A bit confusing map due to the small branches.
Metro in Baku is a perfect hideaway from the summer heat and, as usual, a great way to explore the city. 

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