Ludwig and Robert Nobel, Alfred Nobel’s brothers, built the largest oil company the world had seen in Baku, Azerbaijan. People know Alfred Nobel, inventor and Nobel Prize founder. But his father Immanuel and brothers Ludvig and Robert were equally ingenious – working primarily in tsarist-Russia. Ludvig grew the family’s mechanical workshop to Russia’s leading machine factory. Robert founded Branobel, one of the world’s largest oil companies. Their story streches from the 1880s until the Russian revolution.
Villa Petrolea was built in Baku by Ludvig and Emanuel Nobel in the 1880s. They chose this location in Baku 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. Villa Petrola was much more than just a single villa, it was in fact an entire community spread over 20 acres, with living houses, a building especially designed for entertainment and a luxuary garden.
Several generations of Nobels lived and were born in this mansion (Villa Petrolia). Today, the villa has been fully restored to its former glory by the Baku Nobel Heritage Fund, and serves as a museum that preserves and promotes the Nobel heritage.
It provides also hotel 9 room for VIP guests, Swedish and foreign business people are welcome to stay and visit. See our pictures below…
Reconstruction of the Nobel mansion
In the Soviet times, the buildings fell in disuse. They living quarters were demolished, while the theatre and the club were destroyed in a fire. The mansion was largely neglected prior to the 2000s. In 2004, a public organization named the Baku Nobel Heritage Fund was established. Under its leadership, the Nobel mansion was completely restored and renovated. On the 25th of April 2008, it re-opened its doors for its first visitors.
After the reconstruction, Villa Petrolea has been housing the Baku Nobel Oil Club, the International Conference Hall and the Nobel Brothers Museum, the first Nobel museum outside Sweden. The museum contains possessions of the Nobel family. Even though the interior of the mansion is not completely the same as it was prior to the departure of the family from Baku, some elements, such as fireplaces, were very precisely recreated.
See Cawa Media pictures from our visit to Villa Petrolia in Baku, a very interesting museum and mansion to visit. We recommend it when visiting Baku in Azerbaijan.