The Trabzon Museum. Photo: Thomais Kiziridou
The Trabzon Museum was built in the early 1900's by Greek banker Kostantinos Theofylaktos who owned one of the largest banking and merchant houses of Trabzon (Gr: Trapezunta) and Pontus at the time. He was a major benefactor of the city and Mayor during the Russian occupation of 1916-1918.
In 1897 Theofylaktos along with Metropolitan of Trabzon Konstantios, George Fostiropoulos and Konstantinos Velissaridis worked on the reconstruction of the Trapezunta Tuition Center the construction of which had already begun in 1883 with funds raised in Russia. Theofylaktos was the chairman of the Committee which oversaw the reconstruction. In 1907, he and Mr G. Fostiropoulos provided the funds for the then Deacon Chrysanthos to complete a four year study program at the Universities of Lausanne and Leipzig. Chrysanthos was to later become the Metropolitan of Trabzon.
Unfortunately in 1917, he was made bankrupt, and his entire fortune including his residence which today exists as a museum, was confiscated and later sold to the Namlioglou family. During the reign of Governor of Trabzpn Galip Bey, and between the years 1927-1932, the residence was used as a court room. It was also in use for 50 years by the Ministry of Education of Turkey, as a Housekeeping Faculty for girls. In 1987, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism turned it into a museum which was inaugurated on the 22nd of April 2001. At the time of its construction, it was an architectural first since all the material used to construct it were shipped from Italy to Trabzon. All its walls except for those in the basement were hand crafted.
The museum houses archaeological exhibits and the comprises a display of objects which belonged to its original owner, Kostaki Theofylaktos. The first floor houses ethnographic exhibits while the top floor is reserved for the administrators of the museum.
Photos: Thomais Kiziridou