Grand Post Office, Turkey’s largest post office, is in the Sirkeci district. The construction of the building started in 1905 and took 4 years. Located in the heart of the city, on the historical peninsula, the building is a great part of the cultural history of the country. This magnificent public building designed by architect Vedat Tek is a symbol of Ottoman modernization.
The building is located on Büyük Postane Street in Sirkeci district. It is close to the Spice Bazaar and New Mosque. As Abdulhamid II wanted the structure to be strong, he ordered that the floor of the building be made of iron beams, although it was costly. It is one of the first works of the first national architecture movement. The building, which became the ‘’New Post Office’’ and later the “Grand Post Office” in the 1930s, today serves as the Istanbul European Side PTT Chief Directorate. It also houses a museum that sheds light on the communication and telecommunications history of the country. Thİs museum inside the post office building was opened on May 6, 2000.
The postman uniforms of the Ottoman-Constitutional and Republic period, the room of the telegraph officer Manastırlı Hamdi Bey, telegraph devices, the stamp sketches of the Ottoman period, offset printing, envelopes, and stamps that came into circulation after the 1950s, and 600-line telephone exchange are on display in the museum. Besides, in the museum, you can see seals and stamps used in the post of the last period of the Ottoman Empire, camel and horseback postal bags, pictures of the ministers and general managers, and old maps showing the postal and telegraph routes.
The building, consisting of five floors and having a rectangular plan, draws attention to the stone workmanship at the entrance. In most of the building, chipped stones, brought from Hereke, especially on the facades, marble on the floors and stairs, and local tiles were used in the decorations. The post office, which has the most advanced construction technology of its time, was built on an area of 3,200 square meters. The entrance of the post office is elevated with steps, and the two corners of the front facade are raised and covered with a dome. Chipped stone and marble were used on the facade of the building, where 16th-century Ottoman architecture is predominant in its decorations. Its main entrance opens to a very large hall. The ceiling of the building, which rises to the roof, is mainly covered with orange and blue colored glass.
In addition to the monumental stairs on the front facade, the most striking aspect of the building is the two towers, one for the sultan and the other for the Minister of Post and Telegraph. At the top of the towers, a dome with metal pavilions, flag posts, and lanterns in the Western-style was built.
Directly opposite the Grand Sirkeci Hotel, this magnificent building is one of the must-see places in Istanbul’s historical center.