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Agop Bey Balyan (1837-1875)

Agop Bey Balyan was the son of Garabed Amira and the brother of Nigoğos and Sarkis. He was born in Beşiktaş in 1837. After being educated privately, he was sent to Paris for his study in 1855. He graduated from the Department of Architecture of the College of Saint Barbe in 1858 and proceeded to pursue further studies in Vienna, Venice and other European cities. Upon the premature death of his elder brother Nigoğos, Agop returned to Istanbul to work with his father and brother. 

He proved himself soon as an excellent architect under the guidance of his father. After the death of his father in 1866, Agop and his brother Sarkis Bey continued their works as imperial architects. Agop earned the right to attach a gold setsquare and compass to his fez as a sign of his standing as an architect.

He prepared almost all the plans and drawings of the palaces, pavilions, mosques, barracks and other buildings for which Sarkis Bey undertook the contracting and structural work, yet had such a modest character and dislike of pretension that he allowed his brother to present his plans to the Sultan, while he remained in the background. In 1867, Agop was accorded the rank of Ula Eveli and Mutemayiz and awarded the fourth class and third class Mecidi medals in 1859 and 1864 respectively. Agop Bey was interested in all the arts, particularly literature and theatre, and his house in Ortaköy became a meeting place for the Armenian writers and artists of the period. Agop Bey died on 12 November 1975 in Paris after two years his wife Pembe died in childbirth. He was buried at the Pere-Lachaise Cemetery in Paris.

The list of his important works:

  • Tokat Pavilion,
  • Beykoz Valide Sultan Pavilion,
  • Üsküdar Âlipaşa Mansion Khedive İsmail Paşa Pavilion, Üsküdar Khedive İsmail Paşa Pavilion,
  • Çubuklu Pertevniyal Valide Sultan Mosque
  • Tombs in Aksaray
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