Is travelling your passion or are you a travelling geek? If “Yes” is your answer, then for sure you are on the perfect spot. So from now onwards, for almost 10 minutes you will physically remain on your couch but spiritually you will be visiting “Museum of Turkish and Islamic Art”, therefore Get Ready!
The “Museum of Turkish and Islamic Art” is situated in Fatih district in Sultanahmet Square of Istanbul, Turkey. This Ottoman fort on the western edge of the Hippodrome was built by the great Turkish architect Sinan in 1524 for Pargalı İbrahim Paşa, childhood friend, brother-in-law and grand vizier of Süleyman the glorious. It was founded in 1914 as the Museum of Islamic Foundations and was renamed as The Museum of Turkish and Islamic Art after the declaration of Republic in 1923. Before being transformed into a museum, this astonishing palace served as a prison, a home for foreign ambassadors, a clothing factory, and a barracks. The palace is truly stunning and inspiring, and it was even more so in its halcyon days. What? Thinking of revisiting past? , no need! Just carry on with your reading.
The core gathering of the museum comprises Islamic artworks collected from across the Ottoman realm at the beginning of the 20th century. These works include Caucasia carpets, manuscripts (Islamic Calligraphy), metalwork, glassware, ceramics, woodwork, Iranian book bindings from Safavid period, antique rugs and ethnographic unique materials. The collection represents an extensive period ranging from the rise of Islam to the 20th century and the vast geographical area feint by the Ottoman Empire. This breathtaking collection represents various cultures in Turkey, particularly Nomad groups. Stucked? Don’t know about Nomad? , here’s your answer; a nomad is a member of a society who live in different locations, moving from one place to another. Focusing on the Turkish and Islamic arts, the collected works consists of approximately 33,000 pieces, exemplifying each historic era.
The carpets, numbering some 1,700, in their eminence and diversity constitute one of the most imperative collections of carpets in the world, so that the museum is also sometimes known as a Rug Museum. Atypical pieces such as Seljuk rugs to the ones known in Europe as Holbein rugs are manifested here. Hence, its carpet collection is rated as one of the best in the world, and attracts serious history explorers and carpet enthusiasts. But the museum also has other stupendous collections such as the manuscripts collection represents all the ruling Islamic states from the 7th century to the 20th century across a wide geographical region. The metalwork collection allows visitors to follow the development of Turkish metalwork in Anatolia and the affluent collection of woodwork ranges from the 9th century to the Ottoman period. The glassware and pottery collections include artifacts recovered during excavations at renowned Abbasid centres such as Samarra and Keshan and Raqqa (Syria) as well as artifacts from the Anatolian Turkish period. The stonework, most bearing epitaph, includes examples from the Umayyad, Abbasid, Seljuq, Mamluk, and Ottoman periods. The ethnographic department is the latest addition to this remarkable museum.
In the focal sector of the museum, you will see treasures from the mansions of the Abbasid caliphates from Samarra and Baghdad, including multihued mosaics and a fresco depicting two slave girls dancing, as well as a grand door rescued from the Great Mosque in Cizre (south-eastern Turkey), dating back to 1155.The museum also organizes hosts and participates in temporary national and international exhibitions. The Museum of Turkish and Islamic Art celebrated its hundredth anniversary in 2014.
Without any doubt, all of you must be feeling that you people had paid a visit to this incredible museum but you all should definitely pay a physical stopover at this museum while your visit to Turkey.
My name is Saad Waqar (you can call me Saadi), a full-time adventure travel blogger who’s been exploring the different parts of the world for over 5 years. I started to travel when I was 19 with my first tour to Middle-East.