The collection of the Turkish and Islamic Arts Museum is housed in the former palace of Grand Vizier Halil Ibrahim Pasha. The museum is located in the historic center of Sultanahmet, right by the Hippodrome across from the Blue Mosque.
In 1524, the palace was given to the Grand Vizier for his wedding with Hatice Sultan, the sister of Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent. In 1536, however, the sultan had the powerful Halil Ibrahim Pasha murdered, probably due to an order of his wife Hürrem. The entire property of the Grand Vizier was confiscated. From now on, the palace served various purposes: as a seat of government, textile workshop, barracks and prison. Gradually, the building, which was previously considered one of the most magnificent palaces, fell into disrepair. After being completely restored, in 1983 the premises were made available to the Turkish and Islamic Arts Museum. One year later, it received the European Council of Europe prize and, the following year, it was rewarded by the UNESCO.
The collection is rich in Islamic art of almost every period and dates back to the 7th century. Seljuk and Ottoman handicrafts – especially ceramics, glass, embroidery, miniatures, manuscripts and the world’s oldest collection of carpets and kilims – are located here. In each department, the museum’s collection is organized according to materials, topography, style periods and ethnography. This gives the visitor insights into the way of life of different eras and cultures.
During your visit, you can also enjoy a unique view of the classical sights of Istanbul from the terrace. There is also a nice museum café in the old Ottoman style, where you can even learn how to make original Turkish mocha.
With the Istanbul Welcome Card you can save valuable time. Do not wait in lines anymore. Free delivery to your hotel. Benefit from a 5% discount. Further information on www.istanbulwelcomecard.com