Tuesday, April 17, 2018


Karaköy, Beyoğlu - İstanbul - Turkey

GPS : 41°01'25.7"N 28°58'30.1"E / 41.023806, 28.975028


Built in 1913, by architect Vasileios Kouremenos, the building was named “Minerva”. Minerva was the Roman goddess whom Romans from the 2nd century BC onwards equated with the Greek goddess Athena. She was the virgin goddess of poetry, medicine, wisdom, commerce, weaving, crafts and magic. She is often depicted with her sacred creature, an owl, which symbolizes her ties to wisdom.

At the entrance of the building is a bust of a woman wearing a helmet, representing Minerva. A similar bust can be seen outside the fifth floor. There are also statuettes of Cupid (Roman god of desire, affection and erotic love), carrying bowls of fruit, outside the second floor, representing fertility (in this case financial fertility as the building was a bank). In addition to these figurines, on the 5th floor there are reliefs of a pair of snakes, nestled together, symbolizing the field of physics.

The building was built as a Greek Bank with the aim of financial support for Greeks in the Ottoman Empire during the First World War. When it was first built, the basement and the first floors were used by the Greek-owned Bank of Athens; then the building was used as an ‘insurance agency’ by different companies, as well as several banks.

Although there are no accurate records, “rumors” state that the first owner of Minerva Han was a rich Greek banker who lived in Istanbul. Karaköy was once the city’s main financial centre, full of handsome bank buildings, and this splendid Islamic eclectic–style building dating from the early 20th century is one of the many impressive buildings along Voyvoda Caddesi (Bankalar Caddesi) dating from this time.


Today, owned by Sabancı University, Minerva Han provides effective on-going communication between prospective university students and their families as well as hosting a number of the University's activities related to public relations, seminars, and conferences because of its proximity to the city's center. Kasa Galeri, located in the basement vault of the Minerva Han, provides opportunities for various art exhibitions and showcases the talents of rising young Turkish artists, as well as international ones.

The sessions will be held at SU Karaköy Bilim ve Kültür Akademisi. Located in one of Istanbul's well-known historical buildings, Minerva Han, in Karakoy, SU Karaköy Bilim ve Kültür Akademisi hosts a number of the University's activities related to public relations, seminars, and conferences because of its proximity to the city's centre.


WEB SITE : SU Karaköy Bilim ve Kültür Akademisi

E-Mail : cumartesiokulu@sabanciuniv.edu
Phone : +90 216 483 9096
Fax : +90 216 483 9005

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