Turkish and Islamic Arts Museum

Türk ve İslam Eserleri Müzesi

The entrance to the Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts is located in Sultanahmet Square, opposite to the Blue Mosque. The museum, constructed in 1914, originally had another name and location. The museum is now housed in the former palace of Ibrahim Pasha, the Grand Vizier, a brilliant warlord, negotiator, diplomat and a childhood friend of Sultan Suleyman the Magnificent. Suleyman presented Ibrahim Pasha with a palace of four courtyards at the Hippodrome that exceeded in size the very Topkapı Palace! The fact that the Grand Vizier was married to the sister of Suleyman did not save him from his enemies’ plots – he was strangled in 1536, and all of his possessions, including the palace at the Hippodrome, were confiscated in favor of the State.

During the following years the palace saw many owners, but after the renovation of 1983 the building was eventually given to the museum. The museum’s collection features more than 40,000 exhibits from mosques, archeological sites and libraries. Seven extensive exhibitions display artworks of wood, stone, glass, ceramics and metal. Ethnography and calligraphy sections offer great collections as well. One of the most famous features of the museum is its collections of carpets, some of which are the world’s rarest (date back to 15th-17th centuries). But the most amazing of all is the Ottoman sultans’ jewelry and personal belongings exhibition.

Address: At Meydanı Sk. 46, İbrahim Paşa Sarayı Sultanahmet
Opening hours: Tue-Sun 9 am - 4.30 pm, Mon closed
How to reach: Sultanahmet (TR1)
Coordinates: 41.006006, 28.974503