Fatih is one of the unique districts where you can experience the rich history of Istanbul. Having witnessed the Byzantine era as well as the Ottoman period, Fatih is home to various historical landmarks. Naturally, some of these landmarks are preserved, and today they function as museums. There are also other museums where historical remnants are showcased. If you are a history buff and want to know more about this rich history, we have listed the best museums you can visit in Fatih.
Perhaps, one of the most well-known historical structures in Istanbul, Hagia Sophia, is a must-see location in Fatih. Now officially a mosque, Hagia Sophia was originally a cathedral built between 532 and 537. It was turned into a mosque after Constantinople was conquered by the Ottomans.
Containing many historical elements such as the loggia of the empress, lustration urns, imperial gate, and wishing column, as well as various famous mosaics, Hagia Sophia will surely take you on a tour back in history.
Topkapı Palace is a signature structure located in Istanbul. The building of the palace started after the conquer of Constantinople in 1460 by Sultan Mehmed II. It was completed in 1478. During the 15th century, Topkapı Palace was used as the administrative headquarters of the Ottoman Empire.
Nowadays, Topkapı Palace functions as a museum where you can visit this beautiful structure and see many different historical artifacts belonging to the Ottoman Empire. The museum’s rich collection includes jewelry, wood and metal works, weapons, and “Holy Relics” that date back to the early ages of Islamic history.
Istanbul Archeology Museums is a collection of different museums. Consisting of three main sections, the compound contains the Archeology Museum, the Museum of Ancient Orient, and the Tiled Kiosk Museum.
The museum was first established in 1869 by the Ottoman Sultan Abdülaziz. It is usually considered to be the first museum in Turkey. With its rich collection of ancient remains and Ottoman artifacts, Istanbul Archeology Museums offer a unique experience to history lovers.
Established in 1914, the Turkish and Islamic Arts Museum building was previously the palace of Pargalı Ibrahim Pasha. The museum has a rich collection of both Turkish and Islamic arts as well as culture.
The rich museum collection includes Islamic calligraphy, tiles, rugs, and ethnographic displays. The museum also contains a large archive of more than 17.000 manuscripts, 250.000 early Qur’anic fragments, and 3.000 Qur’ans. The museum has unmatched value for those interested in Turkish and Islamic arts.
Basilica Cistern was built during the Byzantine era in the 6th century. It is one of the many cisterns located beneath Istanbul. Medusa column bases located in the cistern are especially quite famous.
Even though the origin of the Medusa heads is unknown, they are thought to belong to the late Roman period and were brought later to the cistern. Even though it is technically not a museum, its rich history and visual beauty are worth seeing if you ever visit Istanbul.