Marseille-style houses in Black Sea province draws attention

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The Marseille-style houses that were built according to the “golden ratio rule” in the Zeytinlik village on the skirts of Giresun Castle have survived until today with their unique gardens, ovens, stoves and wells, becoming a center of tourist attraction.

The neighborhood is getting ready to be included in the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List, announced Mustafa Varank, Turkey’s Industry and Technology Minister, in a video post he made on his Twitter account.

He also noted that the village was a good reflection in terms of its regional development.

Windows of some houses in the Black Sea province of Giresun’s Zeytinlik were designed with the art of the golden ratio as in a famous painting by Leonardo Da Vinci, a renowned painter of the Renaissance period.

The houses were built by some wealthy miners who settled in the province of Gümüşhane more than 200 years ago by using tools brought from the French port city of Marseilles by hazelnut traders.

The settlement, which was planned as a row of houses with gardens, also attracts attention with its ovens, stoves, wells, laundry rooms and outbuildings.

The houses have gained an important place in the social life of the region where Greeks and Turks lived together for years, so much so that the houses have even been a subject of many songs.

It is noteworthy that the houses were constructed in a way that none of them affected the light, view and air circulation of the other.

[HH] 4.5 million Turkish Liras spent

In 1991, the houses were registered by the Culture and Tourism Ministry.

Recently, the Eastern Black Sea Development Agency (DOKA), together with the Giresun Special Provincial Administration, has prepared an exemplary project for regional development to revive the neighborhood.

Some 40 registered buildings in the settlement were restored following the original with the project budget of 4.5 million Turkish Liras ($562,000).
The aim was to turn the region into a tourism destination with its marvelous buildings, some of which were converted into boutique hotels, cafes, restaurants and museums.

The Giresun Municipality also supported the project in which the country’s only registered transformer building was restored.

The golden ratio, 1.618, which is also called the divine proportion, is the mathematical calculation of a large piece onto a small piece in architecture.

This ratio, which is still in use today, had also been used in the ancient architecture of Greece.

The golden ratio, which describes the excellence of the work in visual arts such as painting, photography and cinema, is defined as the numerical equivalent of universal beauty.

Hurriyet Daily News

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