The Historical Museums of Istanbul

The artistic and traditional works exhibited in museums of Istanbul visualize the life styles of the Roman-Byzantine and Ottoman periods.

Most of the buildings worth to see in istanbul -such as the Topkapi Palace and Byzantine churches have been converted to museums. For instance, the name of the palace is The Topkapi Palace Museum.

We listed the museums that are “museums” according to our understanding, too.

Many of the museums are close to the other historical buildings:

The Archaeological Museum is in the First Court of the Palace, The Museum of Turkish and Islamic Art is at At Meydanı (Hippodrome). You can combine a walk to these historical places with a visit to a museum. Say, you have visited The Archaeological Museum and Cinili Kosk, do not skip drinking a cup of tea in the garden next to Çinili Kosk.

The Naval Museum

This modem museum is worth to visit for the boats, caiques, and a map of America that was made in the early 16^ century by the Ottomans.

Open between 9 AM – 5 PM everyday except Monday and Thursday, Besikta§ Caddesi (Besiktas).

The Divan Literature Museum

The valuable manuscripts of famous poets are exhibited here. The more interesting part is Mevlevihane in the inner court: Costumes, musical instruments, writings of dervishes that whirled and wrote here can be seen in the domed dance salon. Mevlana dervish order was banned such as other religious orders by Ataturk in 1927. However, the order continued its existence in a semi-official manner. Mevlana Festival is still practiced in Konya in mid-Decembers on the anniversary of the death of Mevlana Celaleddin-i Rumi; the poet, Sufi of Islam, and founder of Mevlana dervish order, who died on December 17, T273. For thousands of Muslims rushing to this city in the middle of Anatolia due to this reason, this fascinating festival is far beyond than a folkloric dance feast. Mevlana wrote “Dancing is not being easily aired like a bit of dust. Dancing is ascending over the both worlds; is splitting your heart into pieces and giving up your own soul.” The Mevlevi dance (Serna) ceremony is rich in terms of symbols. The conical caps of dervishes symbolize death, while black dresses are for coffin and white upper clothes are for the shroud. The continuous turning of dervishes as if walking in the air symbolizes the endless rotation of the planets and the seasons.

The dominant flute sound in the music accompanying the dervishes is from “ney.” Ney, symbolizes the signal that will wake up the dead on the doomsday. The visitors can watch this Sema show the second and forth Sunday of every month.

Open between 9.30 AM – 5 PM everyday except Monday, Calipdede Caddesi (Tunel).

Carpet and Kilim Museum

The valuable old carpets and kilims (woven matting) brought from Anatolian mosques are exhibited in the Hall ve Kilim Muzesi that is in Sultanahmet Mosque complex.

Open betiveen 9 AM – 5 PM everyday except Monday, Sunday Hunkar Kasn (Sultanahmet).

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