After spending the morning at the Sumela Monastery in Trabzon, we then headed over to the Atatürk Pavilion, an early 20th-century summer house originally built on the hills of Trabzon by a wealthy banker.
I don't really go for Atatürk paraphernalia, which is what the former house is now dedicated to, but I'm kind of obsessed with 20-century architecture, particularly when it comes to houses, furniture and design, so I definitely wanted to see it.
It was only when we got there that I realized I had seen it, 12 years ago on a trip with Rotary. Duh. My long-term memory is pretty bad, but still. You'd think I'd remember something like this.
The house was built by a Pontic Greek living in Trabzon who ran a prosperous bank and used in the summer time. Surrounded with well-manicured gardens, the house would have been a lovely place to spend summers, I imagine, though I didn't see any place for swimming and think that would have been necessary for me at least.
After the forced population exchange between Turkey and Greece, however, the family who owned the house was forced to give it up, along with their lives in Trabzon, and move to Greece. The house was then given as a "gift" to Atatürk in 1924. He stayed in the house three times during his trips to Trabzon.
But as I mentioned, I'm far more interested in design and layout, and this gorgeous entryway coat rack immediately caught my eye.
They don't make them like that anymore, do they? Except maybe in Turkey.
The house was designed in a very clever way, grounded by a spacious circular central room which other rooms extended from, like spokes on a wheel. It made the house feel expansive and, I'm sure, with all the windows open, the cross breeze in the summer heat would have been lovely.
Also, isn't that pool table awesome? And those floor tiles?!
One of the handful of rooms on the ground floor is where Ataturk wrote his will. My apologies for the dark photo.
And immediately next to that is this awesome waiting room, situated to the immediate right of the entrance. I'd love to have one of these. "Wait there please, I'll be with you in a moment."
It was at this point, however, that the museum steward asked me to stop taking pictures as photography was forbidden. I attempted to steathily grab a few more shots -- particularly upstairs -- but he had one eye on me and one eye on his tour group so olmaz. That just means you'll have something to look forward to when you go see it for yourself!
As I mentioned in my Sumela Monastery post, we hired a car and driver for the day, so getting there for us was easy. It should be relatively simple to get there by bus from the city centre, however. The entry cost to the house was 2 TL.