EarlylifeHajiZeynalabdin Tagiyev was born in 1823 in a poor family of shoemakers in Baku.
His mother Ummu passed away when Zeynalabdin was 10 years old. LittleZeynalabdin was a hardworking and an intelligent child. He worked as abricklayer when he was 10 years old. Hewas already specialized in masonry by the age of 12, and he was already a stonemasonwhen he was 15 years old. After a while he begins to be recognized as a masterof construction and organizer.
After saving, and accumulating some amount ofmoney he started to build houses and sell them. He personally supervised hissubsequent construction work. His style was obvious, in buildings which heconstructed, for example, in the building he lived and personally launchedgymnasium for girls. Business Later he starts to dealwith trade and light industry. He succeedsin both fields thanks to his abilities, owns shops and manufactures. He was oneof the most successful entrepreneurs’ who was exporting Baku oil via CaspianSea and Caucasian railway. As a result of purposeful measures, Tagiyev was oneof the first national industrialists to break the colonial character ofAzerbaijan’s economy. OilIndustry and Transportation In1870, Tagiyev had a kerosene plant with two boilers.
Along with the Keroseneplant, he later created “H. Z. Tagiyev” company. All Muslim, Russian,and Jewish charities in Baku chose him as Honorary Chairman. At that time, Bakubecame the real oil state. In the villages surrounding Baku, the lands werebought by investors from Russia and abroad, and oil barriers were raised. Thisalso attracts Haji and he starts to operate in oil sector.
In 1872, when theoil rich lands were in auction, Tagiyev also rent’s a land. Tagiyev, whonever lost hope, finally actualize his desires. Oil erupts like a fountain fromthe lands that he acquired. By registering the oil company “H. Z.Tagiyev” he pays a high salary to the laborers of Zeynalabdin mine, andinstalls the latest equipment. As a result his revenues are rapidly increasing.
After that, he also purchases oil refineries. In 1882, Tagiyev was nominated asa merchant of the 1st Guild. In 1896 his oil company achieved the highestresults in production.
32 million pounds (512kg) of oil. Due to the creation of “Mazut”company, they created the “Baku-Batumi” oil pipeline joint stock company with theleadership of local wealthy person Colaq Aghabala Quliyev. At that time, theoil pipeline, which was considered a gigantic construction, crossed the Kurplain and crossed the slopes of the Caucasus Mountains and the slopes of SuramFortress, extending over 800 kilometers from the Reon Plain and linking theCaspian coast to the Black Sea coast.
Baku oil would lead to oceans, far-awaycountries and international markets. Started in 1897, they completed thepipeline construction in 1907. WeavingIndustry In 1897 Tagiyev sold his oilfields to one of the Britishcompanies, and invested to non-oil sector. The Baku textile factory, built by him,was the beginning of the new production in Azerbaijan. In order to supply thetextile factory with raw materials, Tagiyev purchased land for cottoncultivation in Yevlakh region and built a cotton-cleaning plant in Javad in1909. The trade house, which is considered to be the largest shopping center inBaku, was also created by Tagiyev. FishingIndustryEmperorII Nikolay’s brother, the great prince Mikhail Alexandrovich, married a Polishgirl, and after taking his throne, he asked Tagiyev to allow him to hunt in theforests around Yevlakh and rest.
He sent a gift to Haji with a golden gearembellished with jewelry. He acquired the 300 km land for fishing from thecoast of Azerbaijan to the coast of Dagestan, Derbent and Port-Petrovsk ofCaspian Sea. He was renting the fishing territories around Kur from thegovernment. In 1890, Tagiyev, whowas invested a huge amount in the fishing industry, had large fishing grounds.He has built a refrigerator plant, an ice-making plant, and a tub factory inMakhachkala to keep the fish products. Properties He built a largepalace in the center of the city in three years (1895-1897). All four facadesof this palace and giant domes on the roof attract attention from far away. Oneside is “Bariyantinski” street, another is “Star?y politseyski” street, thethird is “Merkuri” street, and the fourth is “Qarçakov” street; it is considered as one of the mostbeautiful buildings of the city in all respects due to its externalarchitecture and interior design.
The author of the project, Yuzef Goslavski,used the architectural style of the European order and created an individualcomposition. A huge gas lantern was lit in every four corners and main entranceof the building. Charity Haji Zeynalabdin Tagiyev spent about 300,000 manats in1901 and built the first girls’ gymnasium in Baku. This was the only girls’school in Transcaucasia.
The building of the school started in 1898 and it wasready in 1900. This school is located “Nikolayevski” street. The building ofthe girls’ school is in the national-romantic style of the Azerbaijani architecture.The wall of the main room is made of the white and golden bricks.HajiZeynalabdin Tagiyev was known in all over the Russia for his kindness andenlightenment. That was not a coincidence that his educational services mainlystart at the beginning of the twentieth century. After the 1905 revolution, thegovernment’s October Acknowledgment triggered the revival of cultural andeducational activities in the country. A number of societies have appeared throughout thecountry for charity purposes.
Newspapers and magazines have started to print. Thecreation of these societies, the publication of newspapers and magazines isprimarily related to Tagiyev’s name. In this activity, Tagiyev was a kind oforganizer.
The societies created for charity purposes are created either by Tagiyev’spersonal involvement or funds or by his help.The firstcharity society was the Muslim Charity Society, founded in 1905. In addition,Haji Zeynalabdin Tagiyev was a close associate in the creation of “N??r v? Maarif”,”Nicat” societies. At thattime, prisoners were on the Nargin Island. The people were suffering whilevisiting their relatives. Finally, they appeal to Zeynalabdin to help them withthis issue, and solve this problem. Then he gives the five- storeyedmill (now a confectionery factory) which was considered to be a remote place ofthe city built in Guba (Fuzuli) Square and the Coal Miners Square, for prison.
Accordingto other references, a high-ranking official is appointed to Baku. Haji goes tohim and says that, if you need any help, do not be shy to say, I am notstealing anything from the government. An official explains: “We keep theprisoners on Nargin Island, and the workers spend a lot of time on the road.They also suffer; if possible, help us with this issue.” Haji Zeynalabdin givesthe mill building to the government for the prison. He moves the mill equipmentwhich was imported from abroad to the area where the weaving factory is, andbuilds a new mill there. He built a private property near the factory for hisfamily and stayed there periodically.