The Mausoleum of Kemal Atatürk is a large monument over the founder of the republic. The courtyard in front of the mausoleum is huge and it is lined with colonaded walkways and museums. Steps lead up to the entrance.
ANITKABIR is the mausoleum of our great leader Mustafa Kemal ATATURK who died in 1938. There is a museum inside the monument also with pictures, archives and belongings of Atatürk. The most important place to visit in Ankara to understand our history and culture
Ataturk (born Mustafa Kemal) was the founder of modern Turkey. He was also a highly decorated commander of Turkish troops in both World War I and the Greek-Turkish war of the early 1920s in which Turkey maintained its independence. After the wars, Ataturk served as Turkey's president from 1923 until his death in 1938. During this period, he dramatically reformed Turkey, bringing it into the modern age.
The mausoleum complex that was built in the 1940s to house his body is very large and impressive. Its centerpiece is a large central hall, the "Hall of Honor", whose ceiling is over 50 feet high. Inside the Hall of Honor is a symbolic sarcophagus where people lay wreaths in honor of Ataturk. His actual tomb is in a chamber below the Hall of Honor that is closed to the public. Outside the Hall of Honor is a large courtyard, which is enclosed by a colonnade that contains a couple of smaller Ataturk-related exhibits (his cars and boat) as well as the tomb of Inonu, Turkey's second president. Leading up to the courtyard is a long walkway flanked by lion statues called the "Walk of Lions".
Another part of the mausoleum complex worth visiting is the excellent museum about Ataturk, his wartime exploits and his reforms as leader of Turkey (see our separate tip for more info on that museum).
On a hilltop standing like a Turkish version of the Parthenon, Anıtkebir is where the founder of the Turkish Republic, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, is buried. Even if you have no interest in the politics or history of modern Turkey, I would still recommend a visit to the mausoleum if you happen to be in Ankara, as everything is on a huge scale, simple yet very impressive.
A visit to the mausoleum begins with a bag search at a checkpoint on one of two access roads, where you are also advised to read the numerous rules. No smoking. No sitting on the grass. No wearing of hats. No chewing gum. No rowdy behaviour. No walking in the gardens. No flash photography. The list goes on.
The access road takes you up the hill through gardens which are off-limits to most people. I entered from the Tandogan side, and the first monument I came to was the Road of Lions, a long straight road lined with stone lions. At the start are two small buildings, Independence and Freedom Towers, with stone men and women facing each other outside. There was an international competition to design a suitable mausoleum held shortly after Ataturk's death, and in one of these towers you can see some of the alternative designs submitted.
The Road of the Lions brings you to a gigantic plaza, with the mausoleum at the far end. Before climbing the steps to the mausoleum, have a look at the designs carved into the stone on the walls around the plaza. Also, your visit might coincide with the change of guard, when Turkish soldiers ceremoniously slow-step across the plaza in a long line, and swap places with the soldiers who have been stuck in little glass boxes for a few hours, with nothing to do but stare straight ahead and ignore tourists taking photos. The hats lend them a comical appearance...they look very First World War! This is probably the only opportunity you will have in Turkey to legally take photos of the military.
The mausoleum itself may be a grand building on the outside, but the interior is quite plain and simple, probably so the tomb is the main stand-out feature. Hats must come off to enter the mausoleum. In case you were intrigued as to what the tomb looks like from a slightly different angle, live footage is beamed to a video screen in the museum below.
The museum is well worth a visit. entry is on the left as you come out of the mausoleum, and takes you through tunnels under the mausoleum and out the other side. I spent an hour in there, as some of the exhibits are fascinating. One room has a collection of items from Ataturk's life, another gifts he received from various foreign dignitaries, and late rooms have paintings and displays on the war for independence, in particular the Battle of Sakarya in which Ataturk played a leading role. Photos and paintings show many of the atrocities committed during these battles. But what I found interesting was the displays on what Atatürk did after taking power. Black and white photos show how he transformed tiny Angora into modern Ankara by relocating the capital from Istanbul, how he toured the country introducing the new Turkish alphabet in schools and how literacy rates increased dramatically, what he did culturally for the Turkish state. It is also just as interesting for the history that isn't mentioned. At the end of the museum is a cafe, library and shop selling anything you could ever want with an Atatürk image on it.
Back in the plaza, head to the far end to see the tomb of İsmet İnönü, the Prime Minister and second President of the Turkish Republic. In one of the nearby rooms, you can also see a couple of Atatürk's cars.
Entrance is free, but entry restricted to 9am-5pm most days. Expect to meet mostly Turkish tourists here, as well as local school groups.
Anitkabir is the masoleum of Ataturk (the founder and first president of Turkey ) and it is a must-visited place in Ankara. It is a huge monuement on located on one of the highest points of Ankara.
Ataturk had died in 1938. The construction of Anýtkabir started in 1944 and finally finished in 1953.
Anitkabir takes place in the middle of the "Peace" Park which is made by palanting sapplings brought from all over the world.
Lastly, I've been there on March 2006 in order to see new Ataturk Museum in it. This new museum exhibits not only clothes and many belongings of Ataturk and his vax statue but also large hall exhibiting scenes from Turkish Independence Wars. It is the most impressive part of the museum. Another section is the library where Ataturk's books are displayed. It is possible to learn details about the books using the electronic information screen.
The tomb of Ismet Inonu (second president of Turkey) is on the square where Anitkabir is located and it is at just opposite of Ataturk's tomb.
"The Anıtkabir" (Monumental Tomb), crowning a prominent hill in the center of Ankara about two km west of Kızılay along Gazi Mustafa Kemal Bulvarı is the Mausoleum of Kemal Atatürk, founder and first president of the Turkish Republic.
You enter the tomb complex between two square kiosks and several stylized statues. The kiosk on the right shelters a model of the Anitkabir complex and photos taken during its construction.
Continue along a monumental avenue lined with neo-Hittite stone lion statues to reach the main courtyard.
On the right as you enter the courtyard is the cenotaph of General Ismet Inönü beneath the western colonnade. Inönü, victorious general in the battle of that name during Turkey's War of Independence, was Kemal Atatürk's friend, comrade in arms, chief of staff, diplomat, prime minister and second president of the Turkish Republic.
Opposite the Inönü cenotaph is the Anıtkabir itself, simple and timeless in style but grand and imposing. High-stepping guards parade before it.
As you climb the monumental staircase to enter, note the inscriptions in gold on either side, excerpts from Atatürk's speech given on the 10th anniversary (1932) of the republic's proclamation.
You enter the mausoleum through huge brass doors. The huge hall, lined in red marble, has simple mosaic decoration recalling the many ages and civilizations of Anatolia: Hittite, Hellenic, Roman, Seljuk, Ottoman.
Before you on the north side is a huge marble cenotaph cut from a single block of stone. Atatürk's actual tomb is beneath it.
On the east side of the courtyard, a museum holds personal effects and memorabilia of Atatürk, as well as several of his official automobiles. A multimedia show about his life will fill you in on this most important period in Turkish history.
The Anıtkabir is open every day from 09:00 am to 17:00 (5 pm, till 16:00/4 pm in winter). The museum closes for lunch from 12:00 noon to 13:00 (1 pm). Admission is free.
Travelling with tourist groups is almost compulsory to visit the memorial if they pass by Ankara.I was travelling with them from Istanbul to Cappadocia.