In 1924, Poland established diplomatic relations with the new Turkish government having its seat in Angora (present-day Ankara), situated in the middle of Anatolia. Soon afterwards, a decision was taken to build the Polish legation. The Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs entrusted the design of a Classicist palace to Karol Iwanicki (1870-1940), a graduate of the Department of Architecture of the Technical University of Lvov, known mostly for his perfect designs of public buildings in Kiev, Rivne (bank headquarters), Sumy (the School of the Corps of Cadets), as well as many other architectural designs of manor houses and palaces built in Ukraine, Podolye and Volhynia. Through his many architectural works, Iwanicki came to be known as an architect who mastered the art of using forms and historical costume.
The design of the building of the Polish legation in Angora, made in 1925, provided for a main building to be built on an extended rectangular plan with three wings situated in parallel to it, with the whole construction resembling the letter “E”. The first floor of the main body of the building was designed as a reception area, while the ground floor was to be adapted for office space. Residential apartments were to be located in the two most distant wings of the building. The dominant feature of the external elevation was a Classicist two-storey portico crowned with a tympanum. On the ground floor, the architect had planned to implement banded rustication and the entire surface of the building was to be covered with a pitch and multi pitch hip roof to correspond with its form.
For financial reasons, the construction of the building did not begin until 1927 and was completed in 1929. Finishing work and interior decorations were done during the following year, most probably under the guidance of Jerzy Warchałowski, the artistic consultant for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs at the time. The building of the Polish legation, which became the Embassy of the Republic of Poland in Angora in 1931, was picturesquely situated on a small hill. Thanks to its exquisite form and meticulously decorated interiors, it was and continues to be one of the most interesting examples of architecture in the service of Polish diplomacy.
Key words: Polish Legation, Polish Embassy, Ankara, Angora, Karol Iwanicki, Turkey, diplomacy