Azadliq Square, Baku
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|Former name(s)||Lenin Square|
|Maintained by||Mayoralty of Baku|
The square, formerly named Lenin Square after Vladimir Lenin, was created in the 1960–70s, after construction of the Government House of Baku was finished in 1952 and monument to Lenin was erected in front of it in 1955. Along with the square, Baku authorities constructed several buildings including "Azerbaijan" and "Absheron" hotels encircling the square, which were later demolished and replaced with Hilton Baku and JW Marriott Absheron Baku Hotel. The Lenin monument sculpted by D. M. Garyaghdi was removed in early 1990s. The square was then also renamed in 1991 to Azadliq Square (Freedom Square) after collapse of Soviet Union. In 2006, the government sponsored project oversaw renovation works at the Government House and its vicinity including Azadliq Square. Works lasted until 2010.
Buildings and structures
- Government House
- Baku Boulevard, across the Neftchiler Avenue
- JW Marriott Absheron Baku Hotel
- Hilton Baku
Starting on 17 November 1988, large-scale demonstrations began in Baku's Lenin Square to protest against the alleged destruction of a forest near Shusha by Armenians. As the demonstrations continued, they became increasingly anti-Armenian, with chants of "death to the Armenians" and demands that those convicted of the murder of Armenians during the Sumgait pogrom be released. The demonstrations also developed into an anti-central government, anti-Soviet protest. On 23 November, a curfew was imposed in Baku and Soviet troops tried unsuccessfully to disperse the crowds.
The events later led to proclamation, in 1992, of National Revival Day of 17 November.
Following the Black January crackdown by Soviet troops in Baku on 20 January 1990, Azadliq Square became the gathering and mourning place for approximately 2 million people who gathered to take the dead to a burial site in Martyrs' Lane in upper Baku.
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