All About Turkey

Museums in Ankara

Anitkabir (Ataturk's Mausoleum)

Mausoleum of AtaturkIt's located in an imposing position in the Anittepe quarter of Ankara. The Mausoleum of Kemal Ataturk, founder of the Turkish Republic, was built between 1944 - 1953 with an impressive fusion of ancient and modern architectural ideas and remains unsurpassed as an accomplishment of modern Turkish architecture. It covers an area of 750.000 square meters. There is a museum housing writings, letters and items belonging to Ataturk as well as an exhibition of photographs recording important moments in his life and the establishment of the Republic. An important exhibition of the War of Liberation is also open to the public. Ismet Inonu, comrad in arms of Ataturk and the second president of the Republic, is also buried in the courtyard facing the Mausoleum. (Anitkabir and the museum is open everyday, except Mondays. During the summer, there is a light and sound show in the evenings).

Anatolian Civilizations Museum

statuette of Cybelle at the museumClose to the Citadel gate, a 15th century Ottoman bedesten has been beautifully restored and since 1921 it houses a marvelous and unique collection including Paleolithic, Neolithic, Chalcolithic, Hatti, Hittite, Phrygian, Lydian, Urartian and Roman works. In 1997, this great museum won the "European Museum of the Year" award among 65 museums from 21 European countries. (Open daily between 08:30-17:30 except Mondays. During the summer, the museum is open everyday).

Ethnographical Museum

Opposite the Opera House on Talat Pasa Boulevard in Namazgah district is the Ethnographical Museum. There is a fine collection of folkloric artifacts as well as fine items and rugs from Seljuk and Ottoman mosques in this museum since 1930. When Ataturk died in 1938, he was buried at the internal courtyard until the construction of his Mausoleum in 1953. The bronze statue of Ataturk on the horse in front of the museum was made in 1927 by an Italian artist P. Canonica. (Open daily between 08:30-17:00, except Mondays).

Ankara Citadel

The foundations of the citadel were laid by the Galatians on a prominent lava outcrop, and completed by the Romans; Then the Byzantines and Seljuks made restorations and additions. The area around and inside the citadel is the oldest part of Ankara and many fine examples of traditional architecture can be seen within its walls. Some of these old wooden houses are rennovated and used as small restaurants with the views of the city. There are also lovely green areas in which to relax.

Temple of Augustus

The Corinthian style temple can be found in the old Ulus district of Ankara. It was built in the 1st century BC and only later dedicated to the Roman Emperor Augustus at the beginning of the 1st century AD. It is important today for the 'Monument Ancyranum' or 'Res gestae Divi Augusti', the testament and political achievements of Augustus that is inscribed on its walls in both Latin and Greek. This inscription is the copy of the original which was engraved on two bronze pillars and placed at the entrance of his Mausoleum in Rome. The originals are lost but the copy engraved on the Augusteum in Ankara still exists. In the 5th century the temple was converted into a Christian church.

Roman Bath

The bath, situated on Cankiri Avenue in Ulus, has the typical features of Roman baths: a frigidarium (cold section), tepidarium (cool section) and caldarium (hot section). The hot and warm rooms were wider divisions because of Ankara's very cold winter climate. They were built in the time of the Emperor Caracalla (3rd century AD) in honor of the god of medicine, Asclepios. The dimensions of the bath was 80x130 meters and it was made of stones and bricks. Today, only the basement and first floors remain.

Column of Julian

This column, located in Ulus district, was erected in 362 AD probably to commemorate a visit by the Roman Emperor Julian the Apostate on his way to the campaign against Persians. It stands 15 meters high and has a typical leaf decoration on the capital.

Haci Bayram Mosque

This mosque, located in Ulus district next to the Temple of Augustus, was built in the early 15th century and subsequently restored by Sinan in the 16th century with Kutahya tiles being added in the 18th century. The mosque was built in honor of Haci Bayram Veli, a sufi poet lived between 14th-15th centuries, whose tomb is next to the mosque.

Rahmi Koc Industrial Museum

This is Turkey's second industrial museum opened in April 2005 by Koc family in a 500 year old building. Cengelhan was originally built in the mid-16th century by Rustem Pasha, husband of Mihrimah Sultan and son-in-law of Suleyman The Magnificent. This was a typical Anatolian caravanserai offering lodging for travelers and also supplies for the tradesman. This building opposite the Citadel is now converted into a museum preserving its architectural characteristics in a new setting. Here, the story of early industry is told through scale models since most of the full-size objects are on exhibit at the Rahmi Koc museum in Istanbul.

You can also enjoy its Brasserie in the museum courtyard, sitting together with classic cars from 1900's.

Hacettepe University Arts Museum

The Arts Museum was opened by Hacettepe University on October 2005. It's originally the continuation of Paintings and Sculpture museum founded in 1970's, and then rennovated by the university itself. There are several halls where you can see over 250 works of many Turkish painters and artists from the early ages of the Republic until our times. The museum is located in Sihhiye district of Ankara, inside the university's cultural center. It can be visited between 10:00 - 17:00 during week days (closed on Saturday - Sunday).

Artifacts of Pious Foundations (Vakif) Museum

The building was built by the General Directorate of Pious Foundations in 1928 as the first Law School of Turkey. After 1941, the school was used as a Girls' school, as a dormitory, and as a supper room until 2004. Then it was restored and opened as a museum of Vakiflar (Pious Foundations) Directorate in May 2007.

The museum is located on Ataturk Boulevard in Ulus district and houses many artifacts collected by the Vakiflar Directorate showing Turkey's near past in a wonderful display. In many exhibition halls of the museum one can see great Turkish carpets from 15th and 16th centuries, historic candle holders and Korans, old watches, woodworks from 13th century, traditional tiles, and many other etnographic objects. The museum will compete in 2009 to win the Best Museum Award of Europe. There is also a cafeteria for the visitors and some facilities for the disabled.

Other museums

Some other museums in or near Ankara are: Air Museum in Etimesgut district (open daily between 09:00-16:30 except Mondays & Tuesdays), Meteorological Museum (open daily between 10:00-16:00 except weekends), Railway Museum in central train station (open daily between 08:30-17:00 except Sundays & Mondays), Pink Pavillion at the President's residence in Cankaya district (open only during some of the National holidays between 10:00-17:00), Stamps Museum at Turkish Telecom in Aydinlikevler district (open daily between 08:30-17:00 except during official holidays), Ulker Zaim Museum (open during weekdays between 09:30-17:00), Gavurkale rock friezes and Kulhoyuk Hittite burial grounds in Haymana town (60 km south-west of Ankara).

Nearby Ankara, you should also visit Cappadocia, Hacibektas, and Hattusas sites.

For City Tours in & around Ankara and Cappadocia, please Click Here.

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