Kaleiçi Museum, full name THE SUNA & İNAN KIRAÇ KALEİÇİ MUSEUM, a museum affiliated with
AKMED, which is part of the
Vehbi Koç Foundation. It is situated in Kaleiçi, Antalya in the Traditional Antalya House and the Church of St. George, both registered as protected cultural assets. The museum, which opened to visitors as a private museum in 2000, aims to document traditional Turkish folk cultural artifacts and introduce them to new generations.
After it was acquired by
Suna Kıraç and
İnan Kıraç in a state of disrepair, the Traditional Antalya House was restored between 1993 and 1995. A classic example of nineteenth century Antalya houses with exterior anterooms, the house entrance is covered in traditional mosaics featuring botanical and geometric designs fashioned from pebbles set into a special mortar. On the top floor, there are three rooms opening onto a type of open hall known as “hayat”. The decoration of hand-carved ornaments and wooden strip ceilings was inspired by the Tekelioğlu Mansion, one of the most significant examples of civil architecture in Kaleiçi, Antalya. The rooms are made up to reflect a household during a wedding in nineteenth century Antalya, using special effects to show wedding traditions such as hosting guests for coffee, the groom’s traditional shave and the henna night.
The second building in the museum garden is a Greek Orthodox church built in honor of Hagios Georgios. Although the construction date is unknown, an inscription on the church itself states that it underwent extensive renovation in 1863. Following the population exchanges in the 1920s, the church’s congregation became extinct and for a long time the building was used just for storage. During this time it fell into disrepair, losing its original wooden features, but has now been faithfully restored. The church is rectangular with a single nave and a vaulted ceiling, representing heaven, which is decorated in shades of blue with simple hand-painted and stucco motifs. Since its restoration, the church has been used as an exhibition space, presenting a range of art works from the Suna and İnan Kıraç collection, particularly Çanakkale ceramics. It is also used for concerts and other cultural activities.