Turkish and Islamic Arts Museum is located in the heart of Sultanahmet, one of the most touristic districts of Istanbul. The museum serves in Ibrahim Pasha Palace. This structure was originally built in the name of Pargali Ibrahim, the famous Grand Vizier of the 16th century.
There are many historical artifacts related to the Seljuks and Ottomans, who were the ancestors of the Turks, in the Turkish and Islamic Arts Museum. In addition, many manuscript books and objects from the Caliphate period are also included in the museum’s collection.
In this article, you can find information about the history of the Ibrahim Pasha Palace, which is home to the museum. In addition, Turkish and Islamic Arts Museum entrance fee and opening hours are also noted.
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History of Ibrahim Pasha Palace
The history of the Ibrahim Pasha Palace goes back to the 16th century. Once the most magnificent building after Topkapi Palace, the palace was assigned to the “Grand Vizier” Pargali Ibrahim Pasha and his wife Hatice Sultan.
Ibrahim Pasha was educated in Enderun, one of the institutions that educated statesmen in the empire. Enderun, located in the third courtyard of Topkapi Palace, was the highest school of that period.
Since the children of the sultans were also raised in the palace, Ibrahim and Prince Suleiman, who will become the sultan in the future, were raised in the same environment.
Ibrahim, who had a wide vision, quickly rose up in the palace and became Suleiman’s closest adviser. Sultan Suleiman, who ascended the throne after the death of Sultan Selim I, appointed Ibrahim Pasha to an office (Hasodabashi) in charge of all palace affairs.
Ibrahim Pasha, who rose to the position of Vizier (Minister) over time, was a very good strategist and had a great share in Sultan Suleiman’s early successes. In this way, he was promoted to the Grand Vizier, which was the most important post in the Ottoman Empire after the sultan.
In the Ottoman Empire, there was a tradition of high-level bureaucrats marrying women from the palace. In line with these practices, Sultan Süleyman’s sister Hatice Sultan and Grand Vizier İbrahim Pasha also got married.
The wedding of the couple was celebrated with the festivities held at the Hippodrome and they settled in the palace built for them.
In the Ottoman Empire, it was not considered appropriate for anyone other than the sultan to live in a flamboyant palace. However, due to his friendship with Ibrahim Pasha, Sultan Suleiman stretched many strict rules.
The Sultan and the Grand Vizier organized many military expeditions into Europe. Thanks to these military expeditions, Hungary was conquered. Afterwards, they went on a military expedition to Iran.
Somehow the relationship between Sultan Suleiman and Ibrahim Pasha deteriorated over time. Two things are thought to be responsible for the breakdown of this friendship:
One of the reasons is that Ibrahim Pasha began to see himself as a sultan because he was equipped with infinite powers. The second is that Hurrem Sultan, wife of Sultan Suleiman, did not like Ibrahim Pasha and saw him as a threat.
As a result, Ibrahim Pasha was unexpectedly accused of treason and executed. The palace named after him was used by other grand viziers in later times.
The palace, which was restored in the Republican era, now serves as the Turkish and Islamic Arts Museum in the heart of the Sultanahmet district.
Things to See in The Museum
Among the things to see in the museum are artifacts from the Umayyad, Abbasid, Fatimid and Mamluk caliphates. In addition to this, there are also works about the ancestors of Turks, Seljuks and Ottomans.
The most interesting part of the museum is the section where handmade carpets from the Seljuk and Ottoman periods are exhibited. Here you can see the world famous Turkish nomad rugs as well as Anatolian carpets from the Ottoman period.
The Seljuk Empire was the first state established by the Turks after they migrated from Central Asia to the west. During this period, the traditions of the nomadic life still continued.
Turks, who settled in Anatolia, melted the culture of the peoples living here and their traditions in one pot and a new understanding of art emerged. For this reason, the patterns of the carpets produced in the Seljuk period and the imperial carpets belonging to the Ottoman period are different.
There are also many manuscript books belonging to the Islamic States in the museum. In addition, there are many terracotta, glass, ceramic and metal items. These items from centuries ago promise you a journey in time.
The Turkish and Islamic Arts Museum offers clues about the cultural changes that Islamic States and Turks have undergone in history. Seeing this rich collection is a unique experience for those interested in history.
Turkish and Islamic Arts Museum Entry Fee 2023
Turkish and Islamic Art Museum entrance fee is 390 Turkish Liras as of 2023. Istanbul Museum Pass is valid in this museum. The information on the ticket price was last updated on August 6, 2023.
Turkish and Islamic Arts Museum Hours 2023
Turkish and Islamic Art Museum opening hours are between 09:00 in the morning and 20:00 in the evening. Please note that the ticket office closes at 19:00. This museum is open every day of the week. Information on visiting hours was last updated on August 6, 2023.
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 The Museum?
Turkish and Islamic Arts Museum is located in Sultanahmet. The museum is adjacent to the Blue Mosque and the Hippodrome Square, where the obelisks are located.
If you want to come to the museum by public transportation, you can use the Tram T1. After getting off the tram at the Sultanahmet Tram Stop, you can reach the entrance of the museum in just 5 minutes.
There are many museums and historical artifacts to visit around the Turkish and Islamic Arts Museum. Your visits to the Blue Mosque and Topkapi Palace will complement what you will see in this museum.
Turkish and Islamic Arts Museum is a hidden treasure for those who are interested in the history of Seljuk and Ottoman empires. For this reason, it is among the best museums in Istanbul.
If you want to see other museums that will complement your experience in this museum, you can also visit the Museum of the History of Science in Islam which is located within Gulhane Park (in Topkapi Palace complex).
If you want to learn more about the museums in Istanbul, you can find dozens of similar articles in the Museums of Istanbul category of this site. Nearly 40 museums are introduced under this category.
Written by Serhat Engul