Anýtkabir (literally, "memorial tomb") is the mausoleum of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the leader of Turkish War of Independence and the founder and first president of the Republic of Turkey. It was designed by architects Professor Emin Onat.
The site chosen for Anýtkabir was known as Rasattepe (Observation Hill), which, at the time of the architectural competition for Anýtkabir, was a central location in Ankara and could be seen by all parts of the city.
You may watch my high resolution photo of Ankara on the Google Earth according to the following coordinates 39º 55' 31.51" N 32º 50' 15.20" E or on my Google Earth Panoramio Anitkabir - Hall of Honor .
The approach at the monument is a 262 meters long pedestrian walkway that is lined on both sides by 12 pairs of lions carved in a style like the Hittite archaeological finds. The lions represent Anatolia and are sitting to simultaneously represent both power peace. There is a 5 cm. gap between the paving stones on the Street of Lions to ensure that visitors take their time and observe respectful behavior on their way to Atatürk's tomb.
The park that surrounds the monument is called a Peace Park in honor of Atatürk's famous expression "Peace at home, peace in the world." It contains around 50,000 decorative trees, flowers and shrubs in 104 varieties, donated from around 25 countries.
You may watch my high resolution photo of Ankara on the Google Earth according to the following coordinates 39º 55' 34.41" N 32º 50' 8.40" E or on my Google Earth Panoramio Anitkabir - Street of Lions .
Atatürk's tomb is situated right under the symbolic 40-ton sarcophagus in the ground floor of The Hall of Honor, and Atatürk's corpse is buried below this in a special Tomb Room in the basement level.
The room has an octagonal plan in Seljuk and Ottoman architectural styles, and its pyramidal ceiling is inlaid with gold mosaics.
The Hall of Honor is the iconic symbol of Anýtkabir and the location of Atatürk's tomb. The structure is about 41 x 57 m in plan and rises to a height of 17 m, with the columns themselves measuring about 14 meters.
You may watch my 2 min 08 sec VIDEO-Clip Ankara Anitkabir - Mausoleum of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk with Turkey national anthem.
The Ceremonial Plaza is situated at the end of the Lions Road. The area is 129 m. long and 84 m. wide and was designed to accommodate 15,000 people. The floor is decorated with 373 rug and kilim (Turkish carpet) patterns, and is made of travertine in various colors.
You may watch my high resolution photo of Ankara on the Google Earth according to the following coordinates 39º 55' 30.15" N 32º 50' 13.19" E or on my Google Earth Panoramio Anýtkabir - the mausoleum of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk .
Kemal Ataturk was the founder of Turkey Republic and he’s the most important person in Turkish history. He was the one the brought the capital here in Ankara it was no surprise he was buried here after his death in 1938.
There is no entrance fee but they will search your bags at the entrance although we had to leave bags at the car, pass through security screening and then get in the car again! (so, no one checked the bags!!).
The park is nice to walk with a lot of statues on the way to mausoleum but if you go up late you wont allowed to get inside. The mausoleum is lit during the night and I had the opportunity to watch it from close distance from a nearby house of a local friend. Pic 1 shows the mausoleum litted during the night while at pic 2 you can see it during the day light.
The mausoleum that houses his body is a huge and impressive building with the Hall Of Honor at the center. There is a symbolic sarcophagus there for the public (pic 3) but the real one (which is directly under it) is closed to the public view. The monumental mausoleum was designed in 1941 by architects Emin Onat and Orhan Arda. The construction began in 1944 but completed in 1953.
We walked up the 42 steps and saw from closer distance the rectangular plan of the structure (8 twering columns front and back and 14 columns at the sides)
At the entrance of the mausoleum there are 2 inscriptions at the side walls. The first one on the right (pic 4) is Ataturk’s last message to the Turkish army at 29/10/1938. The inscription at the left wall is Inonu’s message to the Turkish nation.
Ismet Inonu (1884-1973) was the first prime minister and the second president of the Turkish republic. He is buried opposite Ataturk in a smaller place that faces Anitcabir (pic 5). He was a commander during the War Of Indepedence, major general in 1921, lieutenant general in 1922, he signed Lausanne treaty on behalf of Turkey in 1923, elected deputy chief of the Republican People’s Party, became the first prime minister, retired from military in 1927, and elected president in 1938 after Ataturk’s passing away, his presidency ended in 1950 but served another term as prime minister between 1961 and 1965.
Don’t miss also the surrounded area, the museum, the library, the Walk of Lions etc (see next tip)
The mausoleum of the Turkish Republic's founder and leader, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, Anitkabir was built on the hill of Rasattepe. It was completed in 1953. Ataturk, who died in 1938, was removed from the temporary burial site at the Ethnographic Museum and brought here with a great ceremony the same year.
Within the Anitkabir complex, there are many towers named after important events/organisations in the Turkish history. The hallowed Mausoleum hall itself is a colonnaded temple with huge bronze doors but little in the way of decoration. Opposite is the tomb of Ismet Inonu, the first prime minister of the Turkish republic and president after Ataturk's death.
The Anitkabir museum is located between the Tower of the National Pact and the Tower of the Revolution. A number of Ataturk's personal belongings are exhibited, including clothes that he wore, and gifts presented to him by visiting foreign officials.
When I went there I was about 10 years old, and thought the whole site was quite impressive with its size and design, especially with the passage to the Mausoleum with lion statues on both sites.
Opening hours: Winter - 0900-1200 & 1300-1700. Summer - 0900-1230 & 1330-1700, closed on Mondays.
Apparently, there is a sound & light show at nights but please check it in advance.
Anýt Kabir, or Monumental tomb, the mausoleum of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk is one of the highlights of a visit to Ankara. It stands on top of a small hill in a park about 2 km west of Kýzýlay. Atatürk was the founder of the modern Turkish republic and managed to save the country's territorial integrity in the war of independence against the Greeks. In addition he was the man who gave back to the Turks their identity and self-esteem. One of his famous quotations is: "Ne mutlu Türküm diyene", meaning "How happy is he who can say I am Turkish".
For me, this is my favourite place to visit in Ankara. I like the vast, open spaces, and unfussy architecture, with the solemn, but unstuffy air of respect.
I've visited it twice, both times with my friend Bilal and his friends who were born and have always lived in Ankara, so this has probably added to my experience of the importance of this place to them and their families.
Anit Kabir (ah-NUHT-kah-beer) means monumental tomb.
Yes, this vast site spreads for over one km square, engulfing the whole hillside towards the centre of Ankara
The mausoleum is situated in landscaped parkland, with paths and steps leading to a courtyard, which is surrounded by the sarcophagus of Ismet Inonu (Ataturks close friend and Chief of Staff), and a museum housing personal effects and memorabilia of Ataturk.
Opposite Inonus' sarcophagus is the Mausoleum of Ataturk.
The mausoleum was built between 1944 and 1953. Its' design appears modern, with straight lines, and light stonework, but there are carvings and statues depicting Hittite, Roman and Seljuk influences on Anatolian history.
The rectangular Mausoleum has an exterior of pillars, 10 at the front and the back, 14 at each side, each stretching the full height of the building.
Exerpts from Ataturks speech made on the 10th Anniversary of the Turkish Republic, are inscribed on the wall, which is near the entrance.
Entering the tomb, through huge bronze doors, the interior walls are made of red marble, with the ceiling decorated in gold , with Turkish motifs. The tomb itself is below the huge marble monolith.
15 years after his death, (On November 10th 1938 in Istanbul) Kemal Mustafa Ataturks body was transported from the Ethnographic Museum, where it had lain over these years, then was finally laid to rest here.
World leaders, politicians and dignitaries,visiting Ankara, usually visit this site to pay their respects, as do hundreds of Turkish citizens and visitors from around the world.
Open 0900 - 1200 13.30- 1700 April - Sept - closes 1600 Oct - March.
Although there are various entrances to this site, the intention was for the mausoleum to be approached from the main entrance on Anit Caddesi.
Gardens to each side of the road, contain plants and trees that have been sent as gifts from various corners of the world.
At my last visit, the lilac trees were in full bloom, perfuming the air. (My friends friend asked the guard if he could pick a bloom for me, which he allowed, and I still have it pressed in my photo album)
From the ticket office (Where I believe there is now a security check with x-raying of bags)
head towards the stone steps which are flanked by 2 groups of statues.
On the left hand side, 3 male figures- a soldier, a villager and a student, who represent defence, productivity and education.
Opposite are 3 female figures, one at the back is silently crying, to represent the peoples grief at the death of Ataturk, the other 2 figures hold a wreath- to symbolise fertility.
The male and female statues are of equal height , as Ataturk had recognised equality of women in the workplace and in voting.
The statues are situated in front of two towers representing Independence and Liberty/ Freedom.
The Towers have pyramid shaped roofs, with a bronze spear . (This was the custom for Turkish war tents)
The long avenue leading to Victory Square and Ataturks mausoleum was designed to give an impression of greatness.
The Avenue is known as Lions Way, as it is lined with 24 stone paired Hittite styled Lions, indicating Defence. (A Hittite symbol of Strength and Power).
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