Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Ankara's Art Museum and Ethnography Museum

On a hill south of Ulus, overlooking the city, stand two Ottoman period buildings that respectively house the Ethnography Museum and the Art Museum. These two museums are side by side, with an impressive statue of Ataturk riding a horse out front. The Ethnography Museum costs 3TL to enter and the Art Gallery is free of charge; both are closed between the hours of 12 and 1. The address is: Talat Pasa Bulvari, Samanpazari. It is easy to walk to from Ataturk Blvd--it is on the east side of the blvd and slightly south of Ulus. You can see the Luna Park ferris wheel from the front of the museums.

If you are newly living in Ankara, it is of course a must that you check out the culture that Ankara has to offer. The Ethnography Museum is worth the 30 minutes it will take you to walk around the window displays of cultural events past and present. The displays are colourful, lively and well displayed. The Art Gallery next door is free, but can be a dismal experience in some ways. It is not well frequented and the art work is not well cleaned. Currently there is a marbling exhibit on the first floor that is quite nice, albeit too small to be the sole reason for visiting.

The grand buildings that house these two museums are beautiful and architecturally interesting. Ataturk's body was temporarily enshrined in the current Ethnography Museum while the mausoleum was being constructed. In both buildings there are many interesting old photographs of Ataturk and modern Ankara history.

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