Agop Bey Balian was a renowned imperial architect who, along with his brother, was appointed to the position after the death of Garabed Amira in 1866. This appointment was a testament to the skill and dedication that Agop Bey Balian had demonstrated in his work, and it also brought him a great honor: the privilege of wearing a gold set-square and compass on his fez.
Born in Istanbul in the year 1827, Agop Bey Balian was the son of a prominent Armenian family. From a young age, he showed a keen interest in architecture and design, and he soon started working with his father, who was also an architect. Over time, Agop Bey Balian honed his skills and became a master of his craft, known for his attention to detail and his ability to create stunning and functional buildings.
One of Agop Bey Balian’s most notable achievements was his work on the Dolmabahçe Palace, which was built in the mid-19th century for the Ottoman sultans. This stunning palace, which is located on the European side of Istanbul, features a blend of Ottoman, Baroque, and Rococo styles, and it is considered one of the finest examples of Ottoman architecture in the world.
Agop Bey Balian’s work on the Dolmabahçe Palace was just one of many impressive projects that he completed over the course of his career. He also designed and built a number of other buildings, including mosques, churches, and government buildings, all of which were characterized by their beauty and functionality.
In addition to his work as an architect, Agop Bey Balian was also a philanthropist and a community leader. He was actively involved in the Armenian community in Istanbul, and he worked tirelessly to improve the lives of his fellow Armenians. He was particularly concerned with the education of young people, and he helped to establish a number of schools and other educational institutions.
Agop Bey Balian died in Istanbul in 1906, leaving behind a legacy that continues to inspire architects and designers to this day. His contributions to the field of architecture, his dedication to his community, and his commitment to education make him a true hero and a role model for all who aspire to make a difference in the world.
by Vigen Avetisyan