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Balyan Family

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#1 Vigil



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Posted 08 March 2004 - 12:34 AM

Until the 17th century, architects serving at the Ottoman Empire were either Muslim or had adopted Islam later in life. Most probably, as the result of the reform movement architects from the minorities gained popularity and among them the western educated Balyan family has a distinct place in architecture of the Ottoman Empire. Members of this Armenian family built various palaces, kiosks and summer palaces for the Sultans, which like Sinan’s are among the most famous Ottoman structures. They have used western architecture technique and designs however have not disregarded the traditional Ottoman-Turkish fundamentals. The most important and largest construction the Balyans have built was Dolmabahçe Palace, which is considered to be one of the finest 19th century palaces in the world. The palace carries major characteristics of western architecture however especially with the Ottoman-Turkish elements it does not exactly fit any western style.
Four generations of architects from the Balyan family served six Ottoman Sultans over the course of 100 years. These imperial architects built prolifically in Istanbul and its environs, marking the landscape with land marking artworks. Most are still in use and registered as historical monuments by The Turkish Republic.

Following are some of the artworks of the Balyan family

Krikor Amira Balyan
Old Seaside Palace, Old Beşiktaş Palace, Çırağan Palace. Arnavutköy Validesultan Palace, Aynalıkavak Kasrı, Istanbul Mint, Tophane-Nusretiye Mosque, Selimiye Barracks and Davutpaşa Barracks.

Senekerim Balyan
(? – 1833)
Beyazıt Fire Tower (Beyazıt Kulesi)

Garabet Amira Balyan
Dolmabahçe Palace, New Çırağan Palace, Yeşilköy Hünkar Kiosk, Old Yıldız Palace, Ortaköy Mosque, Armenian Hospital, Beyoğlu Surp Yerrortutyun Church, Kumkapı Surp Asdvadzazin Church, Mimar Sinan University (former cannon forming) building at Tophane, Beşiktaş Surp Asdvadzazdin Armenian Church

Nikogos Balyan
Ihlamur Pavilion, Küçüksu Pavilion, Dolmabahçe Mosque

Sarkis Balyan
Çırağan Palace, Beşiktaş Akaretler buildings, Galatasaray High School, Malta Kiosk, Beylerbeyi Palace

Last Updated : 25.12.2003

Edited by Vigil, 31 May 2004 - 03:37 AM.

#2 Takoush



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Posted 05 November 2005 - 06:55 AM

The artsy and super creative Balyan's are the pride of Armenians. We indeed have to pay homage to the Balyan great family.

Edited by Anahid Takouhi, 05 November 2005 - 09:40 AM.

#3 Zartonk



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Posted 05 November 2005 - 10:58 PM

You might as well say EVERYTHING in the Empire. The Dolabahce Palace is an amazing edifice.

#4 Armat


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Posted 06 November 2005 - 08:53 PM

I bought a thick book on Balyan family.I was blown away just how many great architecture was created by them.

#5 Yeghishe_Charents


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Posted 10 September 2006 - 02:34 PM

hey armat i was wondering where you got that book on since i cant find any on them , btw i got relatives by the last name of balyan smile.gif

#6 kayserili


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Posted 12 December 2008 - 04:57 PM

hello fellow armanians i am turkish but i do regret the killing on bothe sites during 1915 the reason i am writing here is that i want tho know what is happened and to read about the tragic things that happened during the war one thing is sure the balyan familly had it roots in the city of kayseri what is also my city in turkey

Greetings to all of my fellow countrymen and i mean all of them not just the turks

#7 Johannes



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Posted 13 December 2008 - 05:02 AM

QUOTE (kayserili @ Dec 13 2008, 01:57 AM)
Hello fellow Armenians I am Turkish but I do regret the killing on both sites during 1915 the reason I am writing here is that I want to know what is happened and to read about the tragic things that happened during the war one thing is sure the balyan family had it roots in the city of kayseri what is also my city in turkeyGreetings to all of my fellow countrymen and I mean all of them not just the Turks

You are welcomed Kayserili,

Thank you for the kind words, but, if you please, let me tell what i think...

There is no two sides, but one side, which is the Turkish state; the exterminator, and its' isolated Armenian citizens, from Edirne to Bayazid.

#8 hyethga



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Posted 16 December 2008 - 10:23 PM

Do the Armenian Balyans of this world have anything to do with the Balians from Western Europe? Perhaps some sort of "xarneling" during the Crusades?

#9 Yervant1


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Posted 30 September 2016 - 09:47 AM

The Balyan Family: Armenian masters behind Ottoman architecture

The Balyan family was one of the most well-known Armenian families during the Ottoman era. Family members served as imperial architects for years and are remembered as the masterminds behind many palaces, mosques and barracks like the Dolmabahce Mosque and the Beylerbeyi Palace, Daily Sabahwrites.
An Armenian family coming from the province of Kayseri was the origin of nine craftsmen consecutively, and they left their marks on many buildings in Istanbul and its surroundings during the 18th and 19th centuries such as palaces, mosques, churches, mansions, waterfront residences, barracks, schools, hospitals, towers, fountains, weirs and theater halls.

The Balyan Family developed a unique architectural style by blending Europe’s baroque and imperial styles with Oriental ornamental style. Apart from passing down their knowledge and experience from one generation to another, the Balyan Family succeeded in modernizing themselves and making sure they were not forgotten.

Not many people who perform their prayers at the mosques in the Bosporus are aware that some of these mosques have been built by an Armenian.



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