The Trabzon Museum was built in the early 1900's by banker Kostantinos Theofylaktos . Mr Theofylaktos was the owner of one of the four biggest banking and merchant houses of Trapezunta (Trk: Trabzon) and Pontus. He was a benefactor of the city of Trapezunta and mayor during the Russian occupation of the city during 1916-1918. In 1897, Mr Theofylaktos along with Metropolite of Trapezunta Konstantios, George Fostiropoulos and Konstantinos Velissaridis, worked towards the reconstruction of the Trapezunta Tuition Center which was later founded in 1883 with funds that were raised in Russia.
The chairman of the Committee which oversaw the reconstruction was Kostaki Theofylaktos. 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 Metropolite of Trapezunta.
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 Trapezunta 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 Trapezunta. All its walls except for those in the basement were hand crafted.
The museum consists of a basement which houses archaeological exhibits. The ground floor comprises a display of objects which belonged to its original owner, Kostaki Theofylaktos. The first floor houses ethnographic exhibits, and the top floor is reserved for the administrative department of the museum.
Photos: Thomais Kiziridou