House Museum of Nobel Brothers in Baku Villa Petrolea

House Museum of Nobel Brothers in Baku Villa Petrolea: Address, Phone Number, House Museum of Nobel Brothers in Baku Villa Petrolea Reviews: 4.5/5

House Museum of Nobel Brothers in Baku Villa Petrolea

House Museum of Nobel Brothers in Baku Villa Petrolea
4.5
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Villa Petrolea was built in Baku by Ludvig and Emanuel Nobel in the 1880s. They chose this location for their opulent mansion to be in the middle of their production fields to have better control and oversight of their oil production and their company Branobel. Several generations of Nobels lived and were born in this mansion. Today, the villa has been restored to its former glory by the Baku Nobel Heritage Fund, and serves as a museum that preserves and promotes the Nobel heritage, wider East-West relations, and shows the lives of quintessential oil barons.
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.

4.5
27 reviews
Excellent
17
Very good
7
Average
2
Poor
0
Terrible
1

Nuriyevs
World7 contributions
Friends
This historical place was once home to the Noble family. It gives you an insight into the life of an oil barons family and some of the oil history of Azerbaijan.
Written July 17, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Thank you for your kind review! The museum continues to safeguard the heritage and its collection, and improve the maintenance of the park and the mansion. Please visit BNHF again.
Written July 23, 2019
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

johnhhaskell
Fort Lee, NJ80 contributions
Business
I visited Baku in April 2019 as part of an investor conference. 15 of the attendees were interested in seeing the Nobel House during a break in the conference. Of course the museum website and TripAdvisor both said that the museum was open, but just to be sure we had the concierge at the Four Seasons call too; he reported that someone answered the phone and the museum was open. All 15 of us loaded into 3 different Baku city taxis and headed off.

The museum is about 6km from the center of town and is indeed surrounded by a construction site - a new housing development named "White City" because the area previously had been so polluted by oil spills that it was named "Black City."

We pull up to the front door and it's locked tight. With 15 people plus three drivers we decided we had the advantage of numbers and started banging on every door we could find. After about ten minutes some sort of builder came out of the side door and told us to wait 15 minutes. Remarkably, 15 minutes later a guide drove up and opened the house up for us.

I asked the guide (I believe his name was Namyk) if he could guide us in English, he said no, so I offered him a choice of Turkish or Russian and interestingly he unhesitatingly chose Russian, so I became the translator for the group. Namyk is a good guide, he gave us a lot of detail, not only about the house when the Nobels owned it but also its 20th-21st Century operation, including how it was cleaned up and renovated. Notably, it was the site of the 1994 signing of the "Deal of the Century" for the exploitation of Azerbaijan's first offshore field.

The house is beautiful and represents a very important part of world economic history. I would definitely recommend it for anyone who is interested in the history of the oil business or that of the Nobel family. As for it being "a waste of money," this is absurd as admission is 5 manat ($3) and we paid each taxi driver 35 manat ($20 per 5 people) for a round-trip drive and to wait for us while we did the tour.

Just call ahead!
Written April 15, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Thank you for your objective review and feedback. Due to the construction of the White City (a massive development unaffiliated with the BNHF) it keeps staff preoccupied coordinating activities with utility and road workers on a daily basis. English language tour guides are available but have to be expressly requested in advance, they are not staff of the BNHF and thus require separate arrangements. Thank you, and hope once all construction is over we can host you again, and earn 5 stars.
Written April 16, 2019
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Helmut S
Bangkok, Thailand1,682 contributions
Friends
The taxi driver claimed he knew where the museum is but failed miserably. However, I had the routing on Google maps and could direct him directly to the house. Yes, construction is in process for infrastructure and apartments as part of development of this area as "White City”. I had called in advance to make sure that the museum is open, and indeed the manager Mr. Namyk himself was there, he led us through the several rooms on the ground floor, and explained the exhibits and answered all my questions in good English.

Robert Nobel sourced special hard wood in Lenkaran and when he passed Baku he saw the opportunity which the oil fields offered. His brothers, Alfred – the inventor of dynamites – and Ludwig, invested jointly with Robert in the oil business in Baku. It seems that all brothers were geniuses, Ludwig invented a number of technical staff including the first oil tanker named Zoroaster so that the oil exploration, refining and transport became very profitable for the Nobel brothers.

The Nobel bothers constructed Villa Petrolea to have a home in Baku and on the vast area a hospital and dormitories for the workers. Alfred never set foot on Baku, and although the oil business was mainly managed from St. Petersburg the other Nobel brothers and their families enjoyed Villa Petrolea from time to time. After the 1917 revolution the Nobels fled and lost their assets in Baku and Russia. Today only Villa Petrolea, rehabilitated with funds of the Nobel family, and the small surrounding garden with sculptures of horses remains. The rooms are equipped with furniture decorated with carved lion heads and the legs of cabinets with lion paws; obviously the favourite animal of the Noble family was the lion. Their favourite ruler was Napoleon whose sculpture can be seen too. Life at Villa Petrolea must have been comfortable, special cooling equipment for champagne can be admired, a piano, the first gramophone in Azerbaijan, beautiful Meissen porcelain, and many other special decorative and useful items. The Nobles did a lot for social welfare of their workers and also contributed about 50% of the cost for the Lutheran church which still exists.

Villa Petrolea is part of the history of the oil barons in Baku, so whoever is interested in the life of the Nobel family and the history of the oil boom in Baku should pay a visit to this very interesting house.

Entrance is a modest 5 Manat (about 3 USD); I had agreed with the taxi driver that he shall wait for about 1 hour and bring us back to the city center, 10 Manat (about 5 USD) for the round trip and waiting time.
Written May 5, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Thank you for your visit and such a comprehensive overview of your visit! And thank you for correcting the taxi drivers - they always think they know everything better, but Google Maps has saved the day more than once! :-) Please visit again in the future, especially once the main roads open up in a month or two.
Written May 6, 2019
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Hooman M
Nyon, Switzerland11 contributions
Friends
The House is currently difficult to access as the access road is under renovation and our taxi had difficulty finding it. On arrival we were told that the museum was closed because of the roadworks, although there was no mention of this on the web-site, however the caretaker agreed to show us around but explained that he was not a guide and could only give us the information he knew. The property seems well maintained. It also serves as a kind of club for executives linked to the oil industry. We saw several rooms that contained furniture and personal items of the Nobel family, many of these seemed to have been donated by descendants of the family who seem to continue to support the museum. We were not charged any admission fee.
Written October 12, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Thank you for your review. It seems you were very satisfied with the museum itself and the experience, as well as the fact that we are the only museum that does not charge an admission fee. Unfortunately, the reasons for which you detracted two stars from our review are completely outside of our control - we wish the road works were long completed, as even our staff experience hardships as a result. Since roadworks are not on museum property but on major state roads that hundreds of thousands of people drive through weekly, it would be somewhat inappropriate for us to note on our website. We are responsible for our territory and road conditions, but we can't keep watch and alert our patrons and visitors of the sometimes daily changes in the roadworks all around the perimeter of our museum property. We hope you visit us again for a full English language tour, and hope to earn 5 stars from you. Thank you once again.
Written April 8, 2019
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

omar j
1 contribution
Couples
Wast of time and money, in middle of wast and industrial area. Property not taken good care of ... and the picture attached has nothing to do with the actual villa.
Written August 22, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Dear Omar, we are not sure what have you visited, probably not our museum. All pictures are 100% from our museum which consistently earns 4 and 5 stars from visitors like yourself. The museum property is very well maintained, including both exterior and interior, whilst the public roads and city blocks are indeed going through major redevelopment since at least 2017. That is outside of our control. It was an industrial area in the times of Nobels, currently it is part of urban redevelopment and rejuvenation called the "White City project". We hope you visit us again and have a full English language tour of the museum so we could earn 5 stars from you.
Written April 8, 2019
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

bobca1947
home661 contributions
Friends
This impressive mansion was once home to the Noble family (as in Swedish Noble prizes). It gives you an insight into the life of an oil baron and some of the oil history of Azerbaijan. Be sure to see the private club on the second floor.
Written October 29, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Elya N
92 contributions
Located a bit far from the centre, but you can take a taxi its not expensive. Beautiful decor and interior showing life in the beginning of the 20th century. However its not absolutely authentic, its quite modern and European but very original and exquisite.
Written November 19, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

431Marian
Moscow, Russia20 contributions
Business
Baku always surprises me and this time it was a nice wonder to be in Nobel house which has a long history of more than 150 years.
Written May 22, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Masthuggsbo
Gothenburg, Sweden44 contributions
Here was the place where the Nobel brothers founded their wealth. Together with the other oiltycoons, like Rockefeller. Alfred used his shares to build up was had to become The Nobel Prices. In this house the worlds first A/C was installed and the first Bell telephone system in the Russian Empire. A very must visit if in Baku.
Written October 7, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Thank you very much, it is indeed a world class historical site. But why did you give us only 4 stars if everything was great? What else could we have done within our historical, logistical, geographic and financial constraints to get 5 stars?
Written October 8, 2019
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Irina B
Moscow, Russia3 contributions
Family
If you are interested in cultural and business connections between Western Europe and Caucasus you should absolutely visit this beautiful house and garden. Brothers Nobel were large investors in oil production in Azerbaijan as well as construction of modern workers housing in Baku. You can see some real things that belonged to the Nobel family and some artefacts of the time (late 19th - beginning of 20th century). It's a private museum, and in excellent condition, though everything around the place is a construction site. I recommend to go by Uber, because you'll never find the place on your own.
Written April 7, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Thank you for your kind and comprehensive review. We strive to show the great history and heritage left by the Nobel brothers and their family in Baku.
Written April 8, 2019
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
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