The aim of this presentation is to discuss the spatial and architectural development of Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan, against the context of the history of the city. Successive stages of the growth of the city are described and an interpretation of its current layout is offered. Situated on the Caspian Sea in the beautiful bay on the Apsheron Peninsula, the city used to be a trade centre in the Middle Ages. Yet its actual development goes back to the second half of the 19th century, when Baku became centre of oil (petroleum) production. In the early 19th century, it was a small fortress, based on an organic plan, with double walls. Later on, suburbs, with a regular grid of rectangular quarters, appeared near the fortress and gradually grew in size. In 1860, the city centre which had remained within the fortress moved to the suburbs, significantly bigger and more suitable for new houses. However, they soon turned out to be too small, the built-up area was extended beyond the limits of the initial project, and new quarters were planned in the eastern part of the city. The so-called Black Town, a new district that would accommodate the growing oil industry was laid out approximately 2 km from the city. The development of Baku in the 1920s was so intense that the Black Town became its part. The period coincided with the Polish contribution to the architecture of Baku as a number of interesting buildings in the city centre were designed by Polish architects who were professionally active in the area at the time. After the October Revolution, Baku became the capital of the Republic of Azerbaijan. After the country regained its independence in 1991, the architectural development of the city began with a renewed force. However, Baku, with its population of approximately 3 million inhabitants, has been growing upwards and many high-rise buildings have been erected. Located randomly, they spoil the beauty of the panorama of the city. Fortunately, Baku still offers magnificent views and remains a delightful and picturesque city.