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Turkish and Islamic Art Museum

The color and the geometrical shapes are very unique at this tile which is from 13th century of Anatolian Seljuk Period
Tile Mosaic Panel at Turkish and Islamic Art Museum

Turkish and Islamic Art Museum is the first Turkish museum covering the Turkish and Islamic art works wholly.
The collection is exhibited at Ibrahim Pasha Palace which is located in Fatih village of Istanbul at Sultanahmet Square. This square had been a Hippodrome before in the ancient Roman times. 

Sultanahmet Square had been an important place since the Roman period till Ottomans. You can find all the epical historical monumnets around this square.
The Sultanahmet Square

Who is İbrahim Pasha? As being born in Greece, Ibrahim had been a close childhood friend of Ottoman Imperor Sultan Suleyman. Ibrahim Pasha Palace, which is one of the most important samples of 16th century Ottoman civil architecture samples is on the stages of the historical hippodrome from Roman period. This building had been presented to Ibrahim Pasha by Kanuni Sultan Süleyman in 1520, who would be his grand vizier for 13 years.

Turkish and Islamic art Museum had been used as palace for years in Ottoman period
Turkish and Islamic Museum building had been palace for viziers and important government men for years.
Ottoman civil buildings are mostly made of wooden, however this palace had been constructed by stones that made the building reach today's era. It had been used by other grand viziers, hosted important weddings and seremonies, used as embassy palace, sewing shop and finally as prison. 

Historical building had been renovated during 1966-1983 and has been born again as Turkish and Islamic Art Museum. The big hall, which is being used as museum today, had been the big ceremony hall of the time. The 2nd courtyard surrounding it, which had been the subject of Ottoman miniatures, gravures and tables of Western artists.

You can see the plane tree at the courtyard, which is actually a symbol for Ottomans
The Plane tree is being rehabited as it is an important sign for Ottoman Emperor, sembolizing the roots and progress of Turks from Middle Asia to Europe.

You will notice there is only one big tree at the courtyard, which is very old. It had been rehabited as it is more than 200 yerars of age. As being witnessed to all the important activities during that era, the tree had always been recognized at all the miniatures. Just do not forget to catch that ;) 
Isn't that just gorgeous! I mean, I want to hug that tree and feel the history...

There are 11 sections at the exhibition at Ibrahim Pasha Palace. The collection remains a knockout with its large scale carpets, prayer rugs, exquisite calligraphy and collection of artefacts, mainly from 16 and 17 th century. 

The entrance of carpet section of museum

Main sections that you can visit at Turkish and Islamic Art Museums are;

Carpet Section

The museum has the richest carpet collection of not only Turkey, but also the world. Besides rare Seljuk carpets, prayer rugs and animal figured carpets belonging to 15th century and carepts produced in Anatolia between 15th - 17th centuries and kufi writing are the most valuable parts of this section.

You will find the large scaled carpets here!
The carpet section includes these large scaled carpets and Koran part cases and bookrests too.

Section of Wooden Works

The most important parts of this collection are the samples of Anatolian Wood art of the 9th - 10th century. Unique samples of Ottoman wood works, inlaying art, Koran part cases, bookrests and drawers are very interesting to see.

Section of wooden Works from Anatolia

Stone Art Section

The collection at this section mainly consists of ceramic parts found at excavations made between 1908- 1914 from Samarra, Rakka, Tel Halep and Keşan. 

There are samples of ceramic art work from Early- Islamic period such as mosaics, mihrab and wal encustic tiles from Seljuk Period and Anatolian Principalities.

You can find a wide variety of glass works ranging from 9th century Islamic glass arts including Memluk candles of 15 th century to Ottoman Period glass works.

You will find a very impressive parts from early Turkish and Islamic art period at Stone Art Collection
You will find a very impressive parts from early Turkish and Islamic art period at Stone Art Collection

Ethnography Section

Ethnoghraphic parts collected for long yers from Anatolia is exhibited at this section of this museum. It is the most interesting part, as you will have the chance to see wool painting techniques, public weaving, clothe of regional enhancements, house goods, hand art and instruments.

A very unique carpet decorated with geometrical shapes
A very unique carpet decorated with geometrical shapes

How Can I Get To Turkish and Islamic Art Museum?

Take the tram from Eminonu or Kabataş and stop at Sultanahmet station. Find the Obelisk at Sultanahmet Square, as you will just see the museum aon the left side of it.


Adress: Sultan Ahmet Mahallesi, Meydanı Sok. No:46, 34122 Fatih/İstanbul. 
             For more link to google maps 

Where to eat with children as you are on visit at Sultanahmet Sqaure?

You will really love this place with the recipe of small meatballs from Ottoman period named as "Selim Usta". I suggest you to have this famous meatballs, some salad and and ayran for drink. You can have any dessert here, as it is will be from Turkish cuisine too,but always ask Turkish tea beside for drink. The menu of Selim Usta is very simple, however the taste and the total budget is just great. Take my local tip and just see the adress . Selim Usta's restaurant is just on the line of Sultanahmet tram station.

Historical Sultanahmet Meatball Restaurant
The Historical Sultanahmet Meatball Restaurant by chef Selim. This place is a known one among locals, because in the older days the chef used to prepare this special meatballs for Sultans at Topkapı Palace.  So the taste must be yummyyy.
Kids will love it, however it is not spicy but includes black pepper ;) 

How about Visiting Info
  • Turkish and Islamic Art Museum is open everyday except Monday
  • Have a museum pass, so that you can have entrance quickly to most of the museums around Turkey. You can read my Museum Pass article for more info ;)
  • The entrance fee is for adults : 35 TL
The red painted balcony of Ibrahim Pasha Palace
The red painted balcony of Ibrahim Pasha Palace is just hypnotizing me with its style

Did you know that Turkish And Islamic Arts Museum has been awarded with the Special Jury of the Museum of the Year of the European Council because of its studies for making children love the cultural inheritance?

Yes, this is the reason I recommend you a visit to Turkish and Islamic Art Museum with children on your travel in Istanbul! 

Also you will have see the gorgeous view of Sultanahmet Mosque at the courtyard and still children can run freely at this very historic point of Ottoman period. How niceeee, isn't that?

You can only see the gorgeous Sultanahmet Mosque at this level only from Ibrahim Pasha Palace courtyard.
You can only see the gorgeous Sultanahmet Mosque at this level only from Ibrahim Pasha Palace courtyard.

I hope you found my article about Turkish and Islamic Art Museum with children useful. If so, please feel free to share it so more people can reach the good qualified local mom tips for Istanbul travels.


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