Family grave of Balyans under renovation

Family grave of Balyans, the architects of the symbolic buildings of Istanbul, is being renovated. As part of the restoration, a monument for Balyan family will be built.

Family grave of Balyans is being renovated; palace architects Sarkis and Kirkor were the members of this family. Located in Üsküdar Surp Haç (Holy Cross) Cemetery, the family grave will be restored with the initiation of Association of Armenian Architects and Engineers (HAYCAR) and sponsorship of Anuşavan Hraç Kırmızıyan. 

Found in the construction site of Kartal Municipality in recent months and preserved in Archeological Museum now, the grave of Garabet Balyan will be added to family grave and also a monument will be built.

On September 18, a ground breaking ceremony was held in Üsküdar Surp Haç Cemetery. Architects Jan Gavrilof, Nazar Binatlı and Tavit Aynalı attended the ceremony.

The restoration is planned to be finished on May 2016.

“The disrepair disturbed me”

The sponsor of the restoration Anuşavan Hraç Kırmızıyan says that they wanted to finance the restoration, because they feel disturbed by the disrepair of the grave every time they visit Üsküdar Surp Haç Cemetery:

“We visit our relatives’ graves in Üsküdar Surp Haç Cemetery. My aunt’s grave is next to the family grave of Balyans and I saw that that grave is in disrepair and it is disturbing. I contacted Armenian Patriarch of Constantinople and HAYCAR about this issue. With my brother Hagos Kırmızıyan, we wanted to be the sponsors of the restoration, because the grave is getting worse. We are planning to finish the restoration on May 2016 and make an opening. So, Tavit Aynalı, Kevork Özkaragöz and Nazar Binatlı have lots of things to do, since they are the directors of this project. I hope that our initiation will raise awareness and people will help to protect this kind of structures.”

Kırmızıyan served as a soldier in Davutpaşa Barracks and studied in the Faculty of Electrical and Electronics Engineering in Istanbul Technical University and when he found out that Balyan family is the architects of these buildings, he had another reason to be the sponsor of the restoration. He felt that he owed them a debt of gratitude and he wants to set an example with this act of benevolence.

Kırmızıyan also said that he wants to make a map which shows the buildings that Balyan family built.

The restoration continues

Nazar Binatlı, who is one of HAYCAR architects and deals with the restoration, said that infrastructure and ground breaking works are done.

“The marbles are being renovated in a factory in Afyon, so that they will look as new. This renovation work will be done within 1-2 months and then we will install them. After the installation, we will assemble the pillar and arch. The restoration will be finished on April or May and we will make an opening.”  


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Miran Manukyan