Soviet Mosaic Art in Azerbaijan


Mosaic artwork which was once decorating streets and avenues of every soviet city and district is now slowly dying out. There is not much history of it that I am aware of and I don't know where it all started. What I know is that since I was a teenager (1990s) whenever I walked nearby this artwork, I took a minute to stop, observe and admire. I wish I had a camera back then since a lot of those that I remember were destroyed over the recent years. Not deliberately of course (except for one in 28 May subway station and on the facade of Baku Slavic University). In most cases soviets used these propaganda messages on walls and facades of industrial buildings (plants, factories, institutions, research centers and etc) which over years were demolished due to lack of use and perfect location, especially when we talk about central streets of Baku (hello real estate hunters). Today these buildings are replaced with high-rise apartments and business centers and the mosaic art which once showed the power and influence of communism perished into history.

Nevertheless, there are still some rare examples left in and outside the capital city and when it comes to suburbs and other regions, it is mostly the case of abandoned bus stops. Partly destroyed, they exhibit some sort of a sad, yet outstanding expression. Some are left since soviet era and some since early independence years (1990s), when apparently there were still a few enthusiasts who worked hard on keeping this form of street art.

Below you can see some photos I took around the country while traveling for years:

facade of a former industial building / Inshaatchilar ave / Baku
facade of a residential building / Qelebe roundabout / Baku

an old bus stop on Guba - Khachmaz road
an old bus stop on Guba - Khachmaz road

an old bus stop on Guba - Khachmaz road

back side of the music school named after Bul-Bul / M.Muxtarov str / Baku

an old bus stop on Oghuz - Sheki road
facade of an industrial building

an old bus stop / Khanagah village / Ismailly
a detailed photo of a hand / sport center of the Technical University / Baku
sport center of the Technical University / Baku
sport center of the Technical University / Baku
sport center of the Technical University / Baku

sport center of the Technical University / Baku

facade of an industrial building / Nobel ave / Baku
an old bus stop / Nabran dstr

an old bus stop / Nabran dstr

an old roadside spring on Shemakha - Ismailly road (near Madrasa village)
entrance to an abandoned summer camp / Buzovna - Bilgah road

facade of an industrial building / Surakhani / Baku


an old bus stop / Guba



a decorated wall / Nobel ave / former Black City / Baku