travel in Turkey,
good airplane &
of Turkish and Islamic Art (Türk-Islam
Eserleri Müzesi), on the Hippodrome across
from the Blue
is a treasure-house
of beautiful objects from the Ottoman (14th
to 20th centuries), Seljuk (11th
to 13th centuries), and earlier periods
beginning in the 8th century.
Note: the museum is currently closed for renovation. As of mid-April 2014, there is no sign of its re-opening. (The official re-opening time shown on the front of the building is December 20, 2013—last year!)
The best art was religious art during
Empire, just as it was in medieval
Turkish carpets, illuminated
Kur'ans, calligraphy (at
which the Ottomans excelled), carved
and inlaid wood, glass, porcelain
and stone are well displayed.
ethnographic exhibits—a fully-furnished nomads'
tent, a 19th-century Ottoman
parlor, and others—extend
the collection beyond mere beautiful
objects shown out of context.
The museum is housed in the restored Palace
of Ibrahim Pasha, a sumptuous
residence built by Sultan
the Magnificent's Grand
Vezir (and intimate friend) Ibrahim
Pasha (served 1523-1536). What you
see is only part of the original
structure, whose foundations date
from about 1500.
Ibrahim Pasha was such a close friend
and confidant of Süleyman's,
and had such influence over the monarch,
that the sultan's wife, Roxelana (Hürrem) was
worried. When Ibrahim supported the
candidacy of Prince Mustafa to be successor
to the throne, rather than that of
Roxelana's son Selim, Roxelana acted.
She denounced Ibrahim to the sultan
as a traitor, and on the night of March
14, 1536, after dining with the sultan
in Topkapi Palace, Ibrahim was strangled,
and all his wealth seized by the imperial
One of Ibrahim's mistakes was in living
in a palace and a style that rivaled
that of his sovereign. Rüstem
Pasha, his successor, did not make
the same mistake. More...
When the museum reopens consider buying an Istanbul Museum Pass. It may save you time and money. More...
You may also want to visit the Istanbul
a 10- to 15-minute walk northward past Ayasofya toward
Türk Islam Eserleri Müzesi
At Meydanı 46 (map)
Sultanahmet, Istanbul, Turkey
Tel: +90 (212) 518 1805
Fax: +90 (212) 518
—by Tom Brosnahan
|Above, Turkish & Islamic