January 25, 2009

Martyr’s Alley (Shehidler Khiyabani)

Posted in Journal tagged , , , , , at 3:41 pm by Jenn

Today I took a walk with a friend to Martyr’s Alley in Baku.  I’d mentioned last week that I wanted to visit this place before I left Baku and that this would be a good time to visit because of the recent memorial service held there in honor of the fallen from January 19-20th, 1990. 

It is a beautiful day in Baku, the sun is shining and there isn’t a cloud in the sky.  Of course the wind is blowing, but that is not surprising considering it is the “wind city”.  With the sun and the bright sky it was a perfect day for a walk and a few pictures.

Martyr’s Alley as it is now called was formerly Kirov Park.  The park was torn up in 1991 to build Martyr’s Alley remembering those killed when the Russian Army invaded Baku.  It has since become a cemetery for other war heroes as well.

The Martyr’s Alley piece is really beautiful.  It is done in white and black marble with black engraved marble name plates with a picture, name and date of the deceased.  There are  a few graves that are marked as _________, I cannot remember the Azeri word that was engraved, but it meant unknown.    I wish I could remember the word…I’m going to have to go back and take a photo of one of the graves with this word.



There weren’t as many carnations as I was expecting. We did see two large mounds of carnations in other parts of the cemetary so I don’t know if they had been cleaned up from this area or if they were serving some other purpose.

As you look down the alley you see a tall cement monument to the martyrs and inside of the monument burns an eternal flame.  This flame is burning pretty strong.  We came to the conclusion that they burn it with such power so that it isn’t extinguished by the wind.



There are some of the most beautiful views of the city and the Caspian Sea from Martyr’s Alley.  This area also overlooks one of the most popular tea-houses which I’m looking forward to visiting before my time here in Baku is over.


One of the flat top brown buildings to the right in the picture is the tea house.  I’m not sure which one.


In total the walk took about an hour and forty five minutes.  On the way home I stopped long enough to take a picture of the statue that is a landmark for giving directions to our building.  Nariman Narimanov was a Azerbaijani political leader and writer.  He was sometimes called “Lenin of the East”.  There is also a town named after him in Belarus and another in Russia I believe.


Now, Im baking a cheesecake to take to our friend’s Chinese New Year celebration this evening and I think I’m going to treat myself to a nap.  When the cheesecake comes out of the oven of course.



  1. […] those killed in the Soviet crackdown in the Azerbaijani capital on 19-20th January 1990. The blog details the walk to the eternal flame at the end of the alley and posts photographs. Posted by Onnik Krikorian  Print version Share […]

    Again thank you for mentioning my blog!

  2. Marianne said,

    The word you’re looking for is NAMƏLUM, meaning unknown. Hope that helps!

    Thank you so much!

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