Constructed in 1884, Villa Petrolea was a residence for Nobel brothers for almost 40 years. In 1879 they established the Brothers Nobel Oil Company – “Branobel”, which very soon became one of the biggest oil companies in the world and the only vertically integrated. Despite the common belief Alfred Nobel together with his elder brothers Ludwig and Robert was the initiator and one of the major shareholders of “Branobel”. But of course the “father” of the company was Ludwig Nobel who made significant contribution to the development of oil industry in Azerbaijan, to its economic, scientific and cultural rise at the end of XIX century. He was generally regarded as a true oil king of that time. Ludwig Nobel built first oil tanker, oil pipeline and storage reservoirs.
Ludwig Nobel and then his son Emmanuel, who skillfully managed the “Branobel” till 1920, when Bolshevik Red Army invaded in Baku and nationalized the oil industry, considered Baku (Villa Petrolea) as their second home. They created a real oasis, a beautiful park in the famous “Black City” of Baku, with trees and flowers from Italy and France. Their architects, invited from Europe, constructed the modern Village Petrolea with houses for top managers, schools, theatre and hospitals, etc. But the central point was the brother Nobel family house – Villa Petrolea, which was completely reconstructed and restored in 2007 by Baku Nobel Heritage Fund (BNHF), a non-profit private organization. BNHF was established in 2004 as a civil initiative to restore the Nobel brothers’ heritage in Baku. Villa Petrolea is now home to the Nobel Brothers’ Museum, International Conference Centre and Baku Nobel Oil Club.
A few words about BNOC. It is an exclusive private business club with full membership service, international and national cuisine, wide choice of fine wines, whiskey and cognacs, great cigars and kalians. There are private rooms available for dinner and lunch parties and conference rooms with video equipment for business meetings. Internet access is available during the day, and there are a number of large-screen televisions for watching sports and other exciting events. There are special VIP and oriental rooms for private banquets and a large walk-in conference room. The BNOC was designed like an English club in a classical style with a lot of antiques, ancient paintings, local Azeri fine arts, live piano jazz/mugam music.