The Churches In Baku

There isn't a place in this world where religion wouldn't play a pivotal role. The most ancient representatives of religion have been around for as long as the humanity itself. Every nation one way or another prefers one religion over the rest of them, which doesn't define their culture whatsoever but without a doubt, leaves a rather impressive imprint on its society, shaping it. Even though, the majority of modern Azerbaijan prefers to identify as muslims throughout history, the country faced a lot of religions, being almost a center of Zoroastrianism (fire-worshipping religion) and then later on also having a wave of Christianity take over Azerbaijan. The grasp Christianity seemed to have on azerbaijani people lasted for many centuries, and even more so, Azerbaijan's lands seemed to be a link between Christianity and the rest of Caucasian countries. At that point in time, Azerbaijan was yet to witness another spread of religion as intense and all-consuming as christianity. To this day, Christianity is the second most preached religion in the country, with more than 300000 people being a part of it. Nowadays, there are 3 main functioning churches in Baku only, as well as those that are not working anymore, but still hold the cultural significance.

In our opinion, it’s important for everyone to have a better understanding of the culture of the region they're visiting in order to get a wholesome experience, and we are arguing it is really fulfilling to do that through the lenses of religion as well. Especially, the connection, the similarities and differences are way more evident through the faith that you might be sharing with said country.

St. Mary's Church

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The first church we will be talking about today is the St. Mary's Church. It is a beautiful piece of modern azerbaijani architecture, but the true story of the construction of this holy place traces centuries back. First catholic community in Baku was officially organized in 1882 and soon after that christians were given the permission to build an actual catholic church. The Church turned out to be a majestic building, which was sadly destroyed not so long after its creation by the soviet forces, who at that time were ultimately against any showcases of religion. By 1939, the church was razed to the ground.

The next chapter for it starts only after Azerbaijan has gained back its independency. It takes some time, but by 1997 the catholic community is renewed and the St. Mary's church finally gets rebuilt in 2006, constructed by the hands of Italian architect Paolo Ruggiero, who added his own professional vision to the project, complement overall modern style of the building with Gothic elements. In front of this beautiful construction the architects also placed a sculpture of St. Mary herself. Nowadays, it is fully functioning with community readings of morning and evening prayers in russian and english languages.

Church of the Holy Mother of God

Church of the Holy Mother of God was built almost a century ago, and while it faced some changes, all in all its setting and cultural significance hasn't changed. Constructed in 1896, it was counted as one of the most beautiful buildings in the whole capital decorated in Russian-Byzantine style. Having an immensely huge territory belonging to it, they also built a school and a separate chapel too. It was reconstructed in 1926, where it existed in peace until the severe oppressions of religious people have started in USSR, after which it served multiple purposes, none of them though having to do anything with the faith.

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It regained its status soon enough, and recently, from 2019 to 2021, it was under a lot of restoration, which led it to the picturesque magnificent monument we see today. With its golden ornaments and frescoes, it looks as breath-taking and renewed as it will ever be.

the Church of the Savior

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The last one we will be mentioning today is not currently functioning as a church but it is still worth the mention, due to the beauty, cultural impact and historical meaning it holds. The construction for the Church of the Savior, or as some still call it, Lutheran church started back in the march of 1896. In the span of two years the process was finished and huge golden cross, that weights for over two hundred kilograms, was placed atop of its dome. It is documented that during the opening ceremony more than thousand people gathered around of it to take a glimpse.


It is the only church in Baku that was in a possession of an organ. The whole place looks quite marvelous, the single visit to this church leaving a great impression on everyone. Nowadays though The Church of The Savior was redesigned into the orchestral concert hall, where the beautiful classical music performances regularly take place.

The churches in Baku, no matter are they still functioning as such or not, still hold a very important meaning to them. They prove the hold Christianity had over azerbaijani people, the respect and love this country carries to this day and the importance of religion in everyone's hearts. Religion is about cherishing and loving each other, environment and everything around us. It's about letting go of the hateful parts of our souls and letting the kindness take over them. So, in our opinion having a place where you can reconnect with people, who share the same beliefs as you, is a beautiful feeling everyone should have a privilege to experience, no matter the religion they feel closer to. For that, it is also interesting to see the history behind other religions as well as learn more about the morals of them, and Azerbaijan Travel International is thriving to introduce you to our Baku Religious Sites Tour, that will take you to the most iconic and important stops in Baku, places that played a pivotal role in the creation of Azerbaijan we know of today.

Tags: Baku , Azerbaijan , Christian temples , Christians , Tourism

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