Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

I thought the first time I stood in front of it that it was the municipal administration building, so I walked away looking for the Grand Mosque.  The second time I passed by there I enquired from the guy at the gate if it’s a “Muzesi” (museum), and it was.  He invited me to get in and toured me around the mansion. 

It is hard to find information of many sights in Midyat online including this – at least in English – so it pays to learn the basic tourist terminologies.

The Midyat Belediyesi Kultur Evi basically translated in English as “Midyat Municipality Cultural Centre” is located in the new part of the town (Yeni Midyat).  This superbly restored stone mansion sits at one end of the large plaza square at the end of the market street – Dr. Alaaettin Aslan Cadessi.
Interesting antique ornament.

Entrance hallway of the Midyat Kultur Evi.

The gorgeous 2-storey mansion built on 550 square meters of land serves as home of the municipality cultural events.  It is more than century old and was recently restored by the Municipality of Midyat.  It welcomes foreign and local visitors, the local elders, scholars, artists, politicians, athletes, and it conduct various cultural activities, meetings, presentations, chat sessions in and about the premise.

The staff are very hospitable, the guy who accosted me was eager in showing me all the chambers of the mansion, each one of them, although he has not spoken much and if he does, it’s in Turkish.
The house has several rooms – bedrooms, study and reception salons - mostly with arched-ceilings and are well-ornamented and furnished with beautiful antiques.
Nicely decorated chamber.

There is an open terrace on the second level where one could observe the happenings on the plaza below and a vista of the outlying villages.

At the second level terrace with the staff guide.

Very interesting is the ground floor or probably basement which are interconnected cave-like chambers, one room leads to another through arched entrances, all decorated with interesting objects such as copper and brasses, carpets, mostly antiques displayed on the shelves carved on its stone walls.  All the cave rooms are well lighted so nothing spooky but if I was on my own, I’m pretty certain I’ll get lost.

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Interestingly, almost all the rooms have wall carpet decors with faces of famous Turkish personalities and celebrities with their names on it – statesmen, religious personalities, artists, famous movie and music personalities, football players, etc.  I saw similar ones in the bazaars of Gaziantep, I remember seeing them in the Anadolu Hani.

Framed wall carpets of famous Turkish personalities.

I was surprised that entry is free and with a guide, well, he did not speak English but nice to have someone steering you to the right directions so as not to miss some interesting area or objects in the mansion.

Compared to the famous Konuk Evi at old Midyat which started to charge –  albeit on a give-away entry fee of TL1 – where I did not see any of the rooms, in Kultur Evi you will be “forced” to check-out all the rooms.  That was really nice.


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