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The First Western-style Hotel of Ankara:

The Hotel Erzurum

The first Western-style hotel of Ankara was built in 1916-17 during the First World War in the Ulus district. It was designed by Hungarian architects and built by Hungarian craftsmen. The story of the hotel does not only reveals the strenght of Hungarian-Turkish relations during the First World War, but also with the role played by Hungarians in the building of the Eastern Anatolian railway in the turn of the 19th-20th centuries. Ankara became a railway center and terminal in 1892. Because of this, there was a demand for Western-style hotels in the city, a demand that even grew during the war. We do not yet know the identities of the Hungarians designing and building the Hotel Erzurum – but they created a wonderful neoclassicist building demonstrating the functional advantages of Western architecture for the first time in the city (along with the Hotel Avropa built in the same years). Thus, after Ankara became a capital city in 1923, the Hotel Erzurum was a reference point in the second half of the ’20s. The success of the hotel was a base for the respect for Hungarian architects, engineers and craftsmen as well, who were warmly welcome in the capital and other cities (Muğla, Milas, Aydın, etc.), with hundreds of them working in Turkey in the next years. A couple of years ago the hotel was renovated, now its original appereance is visible painted in different colours.

E-mail:macarkulturmerkezi@mfa.gov.hu