Didem Doğan

Eskisehir and Odunpazari Modern Museum

The historical urban district of Odunpazari, which is listed in Unesco’s tentative list, is located at the northern part of Eskisehir and takes its name being formerly a wooden market. The first Turks who came here, nearly thousand years ago were from different tribes. The first settlers were the Selcukis, then the Ottoman Turks came and they built mosques, schools, wooden houses which were well preserved until today. This neighbourhood still preserves the traditional Turkish neighbourhood structure with its living culture, local cafés, artisan shops and studios, mosques, religious centres. The most important of them, Kursunlu Mosque Complex is still being used as a madrasah/mosque attached to the Mevlevi mystic school.

This historical neighbourhood gained another attraction recently by a rather modern structure. The Odunpazari Modern Museum is founded by an Eskisehir born architect and art collector; it stands right in the middle of historical houses. This modern building, with wooden platforms and glass façade

and a significant collection of contemporary art that was opened in September 2019 is an art work itself. As you arrive the museum the first thing that you’ll notice is the building itself. Designed by renowned Japanese Kengo Kuma & Associates architecture firm it suits and contrasts, at the same time, with the traditional houses that surrounds it. Wooden blocks on top of one another make a great reflection of Japanese minimalism with the historical background. It is really impressive. Among the collection you will find international artists such as the Catalan artist, known mostly with his sculptures, Jaume Plensa, Japanese artist Tanabe Chikunsai (his installation with bambu sticks), Seung Mo Park- the Korean artist with fabulous wire portraits, Stephan Kaluza as well as Turkish ones Ramazan Bayrakoglu, Nuri İyem, İrfan Önürmen.

You may include Eskisehir to your route if you are driving from Istanbul to Ankara or come here just to visit this special place!

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