Turkish and Islamic Arts Museum
Turkish and Islamic Arts Museum (Sultanahmet Mh., Meydanı Sok. No:46, 34122 İstanbul) — Built in 1524, the Turkish and Islamic Arts Museum is housed in the former palace of İbrahim Paşa, the grand vizier to Süleyman the Magnificent. The palace is truly spectacular and impressive, and it was even more so in its heyday.
Before being converted into a museum, this remarkable palace served as a prison, a home for foreign ambassadors, a clothing factory, and a barracks. Today, the museum contains exquisite examples of Islamic calligraphy, tiles, and rugs, as well as ethnographic displays, such as dioramas of Turkic nomadic life. Its carpet collection is rated as one of the best in the world, and attracts serious history buffs and carpet enthusiasts. In the main section of the museum, you will see treasures from the palaces of the Abbasid caliphates from Baghdad and Samarra, including colorful mosaics and a fresco depicting two slave girls dancing, as well as a splendid door rescued from the Great Mosque in Cizre (south-eastern Turkey), dating back to 1155. Add to that some Selçuk pieces and some fine “Miletus” ceramics (actually made in İznik), and you have an excellent collection that is not to be missed
Admission: 35 TL per person. Hours: 9:00 am – 7:00 pm (April-October), 9:00 am – 5:00 pm (November-March) daily (closed on Mondays).