Bayil is a place touched by history. It is a place of iconic buildings and famous names. Once a humble roadside settlement connecting the city and Bibi-Heybat shrine, Bayil has since found itself located on the way to the very first oil wells of famous millionarie and philanthropist Zeynalabdin Tagiyev. The world’s first oil boom began here - in these picturesque streets with the houses stuck on top of each other forming the shape of an ancient coliseum. Today, Bayil has become forever immersed into Azerbaijan’s booming capital and has essentially become part of downtown Baku. Yet, the air still carries the scent of history through the narrow streets between surviving houses of the last century and timeworn trees of the calm parks.... Historians claim that centuries ago Alexander the Great has admired the sea views in Bayil, while immediately opposite to the residential area, fragments of the fortified walls of the ancient and mysterious Sabail castle show themselves among waves of the Caspian sea.
The castle was built in the XIII century by Shirvanshakh ruler Fariburz III. Until this day, the Castle periodically dives deep to the see, then "floats" again to the surface, following the tides of the sea.From the 20-ies of the XIX century, a suburban village gradually began to take shape in Bayil bay, between the City and the Bibi-Heybat shrine. Around the same time, the Fleet of Russian Empire began to be based here. A sea port and a dock were built first but later, due to changes of sea level in Astrakhan, the Admiralty of the Caspian Sea relocated here as well. Subsequently, a settlement for the naval officers and sailors, as well as a five-domed Orthodox church (named the ‘Sea Church’) were built here in 1868. Opposite the church, the Admiralty Square was built at the same period. In 1888, during his visit to Baku, Russian emperor Alexander III visited the “Sea Church”.
In 1934, the Church was demolished by order of the Communist regime, to be replaced by a school instead. The Admiralty Square was more fortunate - in 2011, it was rebuilt to be known today as Gafur Mammadov park (or simply, Bayil Garden).
... Meanwhile, in 1848, the world's first industrial oil fountain was scored here, marking the beginning of the Era of Global Hydrocarbon Civilization. Since that time, the importance of Bayil started to grow immeasurably and intensive infrastructure construction began here. It was ineviatble that Bayil would lose its status of a separate settlement that it had until 1912. Bayil was preparing to be not just a part of Baku, but part of the downtown.
Even when it was just a suburban village, Bayil was of great signficance to Baku. At the end of the XIX, century one of the very first desalination plants had been operated here. During the Soviet Era, a lot of industrial and socio-cultural buildings have been built around Bayil.
Each of those buildings has its own unique story; here you will find Krasin power station as well as a "canteen factory" - a typical attribute of Soviet industrialization, which was redesigned later into a maternity hospital. The famous Bayil prison, is where Joseph Stalin was detained before the Communist revolution in Russia.
... In the last ten years, the image of Bayil has changed profoundly. A modern high-speed road along the sea side passes by the gorgeous State Flag, flying on the 162-meter huge Guinness-Book-recorded flagpole, as well as a state-of-art Crystal Hall, which was built especially for the Eurovision 2012 European song contest. Futuristic "Flame Towers" that climb the sky over the city; a new part of the famous Baku Seaside Boulevard with a huge Ferris wheel; stylish buildings of the Carpet Museum and Mugam center; the restored "Venice of Baku”; the Funicular and the revived historic "Intourist" hotel - all these remarkable sites surround Bayil.
Today a lot of new and perhaps the most important urban projects of the capital Baku are being implemented around Bayil.
Thus, the story goes on!