The Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts is an impressive museum combining the Turkish and Islamic works. Located at the Ibrahim Pasha Palace, one of the most important buildings of 16th century Ottoman civil architecture, in the Sultanahmet neighborhood of Fatih district, the museum is the last museum that was opened in the Ottoman era and displays very unique, more than over 40,000 items at the carpet, manuscript, wood, glass-metal-ceramic and ethnography sections of the museum.
General Info & History
The Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts was first opened in the Imaret building (Alms house) inside the Sulemaniye Mosque Complex in 1914. However, there was a big theft problem from the many mosques, masjids, monasteries and lodges in Istanbul on that period. As the thefts continued despite all the precautions, with the management of Osman Hamdi Bey, manager of the Imperial Museum and a renowned painter well known for its “Tortoise Trainer” painting which is exhibited at the Pera Museum today, variety of works gathered together from many mosques, masjids and tombs, and a new museum was founded with the name Museum of Islamic Foundations in the same place.
Upon the declaration of the Turkish Republic, it was renamed to “the Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts”. And in 1983, the museum was moved to its location today, in the Ibrahim Pasha Palace (renovated by Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent in 1520) located at the Sultanahmet Square (Hippodrome), just accross the the Blue Mosque.
Visitors may see variety of great collections from the early period of Islamic art to 20th century such as “Manuscripts and Written Works, Carpets and Kilims, Metal, Glass and Ceramics, Woodwork, Stonework, Ethnography” and “the Sacred Relics”. Collections belongs to the the Umayyad, Abbasid, North African (Moorish), Andalusian, Fatimid, Seljuk, Ayyubid, Ilkhanid, Mamluk, Timurid and Safavid dynasties, the beylik and Ottoman periods and from various Caucasus countries and exhibited at the carpet, manuscript, wood, glass-metal-ceramic and ethnography sections of the museum.
The 1,700 pieces of the carpet collection of the museum, from the Seljuks, Ottomans, Anatolia from the 15th to 17th centuries, Iran, the Caucasus and renowned Usak carpets, is the most unique in the world. Due to the richness of the carpets, the museum also has been called as “Carpet Museum”.
The metal, glass and ceramic works from the 12th, 13th century and late Ottoman era; the ceramics and gypsum plaster reliefs from Seljuk and Ottoman buildings, the wall paintings rescued from Abbasid palaces and stoneware from Raqqa, the woodwork, the stonework from the early Islamic, Seljuk and Ottoman periods, are other uniqe and very valuable items exhibited at the Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts.
You may also find temporary exhibitions and events at the Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts. You may see the museum page from http://www.tiem.gov.tr/home-page/.
35 TL (Muzekart+ is valid).
You may explore the Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts via daily tours made by Viator.
Open every day except Mondays from 09:00-19:00 (from 15 April to 30 October), 09:00-17:00 (from 31 October to 14 April)
Ticket counters close 30 mins. before the museum closing time.
Not available for visiting in the first days of Ramadan and Sacrifice Festivals for half time.
The Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts is situated inside the Topkapi Palace (in the 1st courtyard), in the Sultanahmet neighborhood of Fatih district, in the Historical Peninsula of Istanbul.
How to Get There?
Getting to Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts is very easy and there are several trasnportation options.
- For the ones who stay in the Sultanahmet hotels, they can get to Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts by walking.
- From Taksim, you may take the Bagcilar-Kabatas tram (T1 line) from the Kabatas stop or the other stops along the Galata Bridge. To get to tram stops; from the Taksim Square, you may take the Taksim-Kabatas funicular (F1 line), get to Kabatas tram stop and take the tram for Sultanahmet. And from the end of the Istiklal Avenue, on the Tunel Square, you may walk downwards or take the Tunel-Karakoy funicular (F2 line) to get to Karakoy tram stop and take the tram for Sultanahmet.
- From Kadikoy or Uskudar, on the Asian side, you may take the ferries operating to Kabatas, Karakoy or Eminonu and from there you may take the Bagcilar-Kabatas tram (T1 line) for Sultanahmet.
- Check the Istanbul Railway Network Map for the Tram stops and Istanbul Ferry Lines Map for ferries.
- Also note that the Sultanahmet Square and most of the connecting roads are closed for vehicle traffic except tram and tour busses. Getting to Sultanahmet by your private car is not recommended. You’ll need to leave your car far away.
Address: Binbirdirek Mh. Atmeydanı Sk. No: 12, 34122 Sultanahmet, Istanbul
Tel: +90 212 518 18 05 / 06
Fax: +90 212 518 18 07