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- Hours: Open Tue-Sun Apr-Oct 9:00 am - 7:00 pm, Nov-Mar 9:00 am - 5:00 pm. Closed Mondays.
- Admission: 10 TL
The Turkish and Islamic Arts Museum is located in Istanbul’s Sultanahmet Square, formerly the site of the ancient Hippodrome. Once the palace of Damad Ibrahim Pasha, the first grand vizier to Suleyman the Magnificent, the building housing the museum was built by the imperial architect Sinan in 1524.
The museum is home to a variety of Ottoman and Seljuk treasures, dating from the 8th and 9th centuries through the 19th century. Exhibits include a wide array of religious art, calligraphy, peace treaties and examples of the sultan’s official seal, as well as carved wood, stone, porcelain and glass. It also showcases one of the best collections of antique carpets in the world, including examples from Caucasia and Iran. Turkish ethnographic exhibits recreate rooms or dwellings from different periods of Turkish history and feature a full-size and fully-furnished nomads’ tent and an example of a 19th century Ottoman parlor.
If you need a break during your exploration of the museum, check out the courtyard coffee shop with tables overlooking Sultanahmet Square.
The Turkish and Islamic Arts Museum is normally open daily from 9 to 4:30, except Mondays. Admission for adults is 10 Turkish lira. Located in the center of Sultanahmet, it is easily reachable on foot if you are staying in the area. If not, take the tram to the Sultanahmet stop and walk from there. Note that the museum has been closed recently for renovation, but may re-open as early as spring 2013.