Baku is a city which is developing rapidly, fusing oriental, Soviet and futuristic architecture. It has an intriguing but complex identity sitting somewhere between East and West, on the cusp of Europe and Asia. But Baku is also a city that undergoes a remarkable transformation each evening, after the sun has gently faded over the Caspian Sea and cast its golden haze all the way from the Boulevard and Icheri Sheher to Narimanov and Yasamal.

I remember very clearly my first evening in Baku about a year ago, driving through a city shrouded in gleaming lights, fountains and parks. I was surprised to witness a post-Soviet city that looked so enchanting by night. Exploring Baku on foot I began to capture ordinary scenes from this extraordinary transformation of a city after dark. But what I came to appreciate most was not so much the glitz and the glamour, the Flame Towers, the Carpet Museum and Port Baku, but the timeless images of Bakuvians playing backgammon, the gentle glow of lamps from apartments in Badamdar, and the moon reflecting calmly over the Caspian Sea. The following is a photo essay of Baku by Night, from its innovative architecture, broad avenues and elegant parks, to the city’s quiet inner districts, the beaches on the Absheron Peninsula and the suburbs of Bayil and Badamdar.

Baku Nights with Mark Elliott