Panorama 1453 Museum gives us clues about the history of the Ottoman Empire. Constantinople became the new capital of the Ottoman Empire from 1453 and remained so until the fall of the empire after WW1.
Conquered during the rise of the Ottoman Empire, Istanbul witnessed the empire’s most glorious period. However, since the Ottoman history dates back to the 1300s, it is best to zoom out and start before 1453.
In this article, you can find information about Panorama 1453 History Museum entrance fee and opening hours. The museum tells about the Ottoman conquest of Istanbul in general.
However, in order to better understand the historical process, we will begin our article before the conquest. Because Istanbul was the third capital city of the Ottoman Empire. Before, important cities such as Bursa and Edirne also served as the capitals of the Ottoman Empire.
Capitals of The Ottoman Empire
The rise of the Ottoman Empire began in the 14th century. The Ottomans, which started as a small principality, organized military expeditions to the west. Having captured important cities of the Byzantine Empire such as Bursa, Iznik and Edirne, the Ottoman army surrounded Constantinople.
Istanbul was the last capital of the Ottoman Empire. Among the capitals of the Ottoman Empire were Bursa and Edirne, strategic military regions of the past. Edirne, also known as Adrianople, has been the gateway for Turks to Europe throughout history.
1. First Capital: Bursa
The Ottoman Empire declared Bursa as their capital since it was an important city and initiated city planning immediately. The most important feature of Bursa in history is that it witnessed the Ottoman’s transition from a simple chiefdom to a state.
Bursa became the place where the Ottoman Empire started to create a unique architecture. The Ottomans left the Central Asian architecture they inherited from the Seljuk Turks and began to produce a new imperial architecture.
2. Second Capital: Edirne
The most important city seized after Bursa was Edirne, also known as “Adrianople”. The Ottomans moved the capital from Bursa to Edirne as they thought Edirne was in a more crucial location.
Edirne was in an excellent position for the Ottoman Empire that wanted to manage the campaigns they planned to launch in the Balkans. The foundations of expansion policy to Europe that lasted until the attempts to conquer Vienne (1683) were laid as early as Sultan Murad I (1360 to 1389) period.
3. Third Capital: Constantinople
The conquest of Constantinople by the Ottoman Empire could have become a reality in Sultan Bayezid I era as well. They tried it, but they failed as the circumstances were not suitable.
In fact, Bayezid I made extensive preparations to take Istanbul and built the Anatolian (Anadolu) Fortress on the Bosphorus. However, as Bayezid I lost the Battle of Ankara (1402) he fought against the Mongolian Amir Timur, he didn’t have a chance to focus on that task.
The conquest of Constantinople by the Ottomans took place during the reign of the 7th sultan, Mehmed II. Sultan Mehmed built the Rumeli Fortress, which was larger than his grandfather’s Anatolian Fortress, on the opposite shore of the Bosphorus and took complete control of the Bosphorus.
Istanbul had a long history and it was important due to a few reasons: The first reason was it was the only passage that connected the Black Sea to Mediterranean Sea. The second reason was that it was a port city where the valuable goods brought from Silk Road were gathered.
The conquest of Istanbul made the Ottomans’ transition from a state to empire possible and, therefore, it holds a very important place in Turkey’s history. Thus, Panorama 1453 History Museum plays a big role in visualizing this important historical incident.
Panorama 1453 History Museum
Panorama 1453 History Museum was founded by Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality in 2009 in Topkapi Culture Park. It took eight years of non-stop work to create the museum. The mastermind behind this project was a painter and cartoon director named Hasim Vatandas.
Panorama 1453 History Museum is composed of two sections. The first of these, the Permanent exhibition, informs the guests about what happened before the conquest and guides them to the Panoramic Image, the heart of the museum.
1. The Permanent Exhibition
In The Permanent Exhibition, the conquest is illustrated from the beginning of the foundation of Istanbul and the details of the siege and the conquest are given. Following these phases, the life of Sultan Mehmed II is explained and the details of construction activities in the city are illustrated.
The battles that happened during the conquest of Istanbul is illustrated with original miniatures, gravures, and pictures of the war. With the prior knowledge you get from the permanent exhibition, you will be able to better interpret the huge panoramic image, which is the highlight of the museum.
2. The Panoramic Image
The Panoramic Image is the heart of the museum. This platform covers an area of 2350 square meters and the picture was applied to a hemisphere of 38 meters. And what makes Panorama 1453 History Museum different from other panoramic museums around the world is that it gives the feeling of three dimensions.
In this gigantic picture depicting the siege of Constantinople we see the famous Byzantine walls, also known as the Theodosian Walls. Built in the 5th century, these walls protected Constantinople from dozens of sieges for 1000 years.
In the past, Huns, Avars, Persians, Arabs and Bulgarians besieged Constantinople many times, but they could not cross these imposing walls. In fact, the Ottomans failed in the first two attempts. These previous attempts took place during the reigns of Sultan Bayezid I and Sultan Murad II.
Finally, with the advancement of artillery technology, the Ottomans managed to break through these walls with cannon fire and take the city. You can witness how this military operation ended in the panoramic image.
3. Helicopter Simulation
Moreover, there is a Helicopter Simulation section in the museum. This simulation is composed of 3D helicopter and a land shooting which is enriched by realistic wind, rain, snow and touching effects. So you can go on a virtual tour in Istanbul.
At the end of your Panorama 1453 Museum visit, I suggest you buy a medallion on top of which Sultan Mehmed II’s signature and the museum’s logo is printed. You can buy a small medallion for 3 Turkish Liras a piece from a machine.
Panorama 1453 Museum Entrance Fee 2021
Panorama 1453 Museum entrance fee is 20 Turkish Liras as of 2021. Istanbul Museum Pass is not valid at the entrance to the museum. Please note that you have to pay the ticket price in cash. This museum does not accept credit cards.
The Istanbul Museum Pass, a product of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, is not valid in museums run by the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality. The other museums in this category are the Basilica Cistern, Theodosius Cistern, Miniaturk and Tekfur Palace Museum respectively.
Panorama 1453 Museum Opening Hours 2021
Panorama 1453 Museum opening hours are between 08:00 in the morning and 17:00 in the evening. The museum can be visited every day of the week. In other words, it is open on weekends.
Visiting times of museums in Istanbul may change due to events and renovations. Before going to the museum, I recommend you to visit the official website of The Museum and review the latest situation.
How to Get to Panorama 1453 Museum?
Panorama 1453 Museum is very close to Taksim Square and Sultanahmet, which are the tourist centers of Istanbul. The museum is located in the Merkez Efendi neighborhood of Zeytinburnu district.
In order to get to Panorama 1453 Museum from Sultanahmet, you can take Tram T1 to Topkapi Tram Station and walk to the museum from there.
In order to get to Panorama 1453 Museum from Taksim Square, you can take the buses in the direction of Topkapi. Alternatively, it is possible to reach Yenikapi from Taksim Square by M2 metro and transfer to Tram T1 to reach Topkapi Tram Station.
Written by Serhat Engul