Ottoman Bank Museum

Osmanlı Bankası Müzesi

A magnificent ancient building of the Ottoman Bank, built by architect Alexander Vallaury, is viewed as one of his best creations. The main building of the bank was officially opened in May 1892. The main peculiarity of the building is that its facades are executed in various styles. The northern façade is executed in neo-Renaissance style, symbolizing western civilization. It has two huge doors and its windows are decorated with sculptures. The southern façade traces some elements of orientalism. This contrast in style was supposed to symbolize money as a connecting link between East and West.

The Ottoman Bank Museum is also situated here. It was founded in 2002 and, based on the archives data, tells the story of the first main financial institution in Turkey. The exhibition is chronologically and thematically grouped, describing financial life of the last decades of the empire and the first years of the Turkish Republic. The exhibition includes photos and documents of that period, personal records of the bank clients, accounts and equipment used by the bank employees. It is particularly interesting to visit a money exposition – silver coins and banknotes issued in 1863-1914.

Museum guides will definitely tell you a story about the famous Ottoman Bank seizure of 1896, when 28 armed members of the Dashnaktsutyun party took hostage of 150 employees and customers. The aim of the seizure was to attract the world community attention to the Armenian problem after mass killings of the Armenians and the violence following it. Unfortunately, this only worsened the situation. Consequently 6000 more Armenians were killed in Istanbul.

Address: Bankalar Cad. 11, Karaköy
Opening hours: Tue-Sat 12 pm – 8 pm, Sun 12 pm – 6 pm
How to reach: Karaköy (TR1)
Coordinates: 41.024105, 28.972975