Welcome aboard! Prepare to dive into the depths of Istanbul’s rich maritime history at the Istanbul Naval Museum. This captivating museum offers a mesmerizing journey through time, showcasing the glory of the Ottoman Empire and Turkey’s naval prowess. Discover the intricacies of naval architecture, admire the breathtaking imperial caiques, and uncover a wealth of historical artifacts that have sailed through the ages. Get ready to set sail on an unforgettable adventure!

Thousands of Years of History and Collection

The Turkish Naval Museum (Deniz Müzesi), located right by the ferry dock in Beşiktaş, boasts an impressive collection of ornate gilded imperial caiques used by the Ottoman sultans. Spread across three floors, the museum exhibits around 4,000 pieces, including boats, maps, flags, and various sea-related objects.

The Istanbul Naval Museum comprises several halls, including the Barbaros Hayrettin Paşa exhibition hall on the lower floor, the multi-purpose Suleyman Nutki hall on the upper floor, and the Haluk Sehsuvaroglu hall. The Caka Bey room is designated for temporary exhibitions.

The Second-Largest Ottoman Archive Center in Turkey

The museum is recognized as the second-largest archive center of the Ottoman period in Turkey, housing an extensive collection of manuscripts, maps, photographs, paintings, objects, statues, engravings, and sultans’ signatures. On display are 14 sultans’ ships, mostly dating from the 19th and 20th centuries, as well as four copies of the famous navigation book “Kitab-ı Bahriye” written by Ottoman Admiral Piri Reis between 1511 and 1521.

The Istanbul Naval Museum is also known for possessing the oldest galley (a sailing ship with oars) in the world, dating back to before the beginning of the 17th century, during the reign of Mehmet III.

These elegant caiques, some measuring over 32 meters (104 feet) long and powered by rowers on up to 15 pairs of oars, were used by the sultans to swiftly navigate the Bosphorus. As the sultan’s vessel cruised by, all other watercraft were required to halt.

Connected to the Turkish Republic Navy Command

The Istanbul Naval Museum is one of the most modern museums in Istanbul and is closely connected to the Turkish Republic Navy Command. This connection ensures that the museum’s exhibits are continuously updated, providing visitors with an accurate and up-to-date snapshot of Istanbul’s maritime history.

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Museum History: A Journey Through Time

The Istanbul Naval Museum has a storied past, with its roots tracing back to 1897. Initially established as the Museum and Library Administration, the museum has gone through several relocations and name changes, including a temporary move during World War II for protection purposes. In 1961, the museum found its current home next to the Barbaros Hayrettin Pasha tomb in Beşiktaş Square.

Discover the Istanbul Naval Museum’s Exhibits

Main Exhibition Building

The Main Exhibition Building is the heart of the Istanbul Naval Museum, housing a myriad of fascinating artifacts across various categories, including:

  • Ataturk’s belongings
  • Historical boats (such as imperial caiques, Atatürk boats, and Sultanate boats)
  • Wooden and metal objects (ship models, clocks, weapons, navigational instruments, crests, monograms)
  • Textile weaving works (uniforms, banners, carpets)
  • Stone works (amphoras, lithographs, tombstones)
  • Paper works (manuscripts, charters, edicts)
  • Works of art (oil paintings, watercolors, charcoal paintings, engravings)

Among the most popular exhibits are the Sultan Boats section, which showcases the intricately decorated vessels of the Ottoman Empire, and the Atatürk Room, a tribute to Turkey’s founding father.

Historical Boats Gallery, Cultural Site, and Open Exhibition Areas

In addition to the Main Exhibition Building, the Istanbul Naval Museum also features the Historical Boats Gallery, Cultural Site, and Open Exhibition Areas. These spaces provide unique insights into maritime architecture, shipbuilding techniques, and the historical significance of Istanbul’s naval fleet.

Tips for Visiting the Istanbul Naval Museum (2023)

Naval Museum Opening Hours 2023

The Istanbul Naval Museum is open to visitors every day except Monday. On weekdays, it is open from 09:00-17:00, and on weekends, from 10:00-18:00.

The museum is closed on Mondays, the first day of religious holidays, and January 1st.

Naval Museum Entrance Fee 2023

The Istanbul Naval Museum has various entrance fees depending on age and student status. The entrance fees are as follows:

  • Adult entrance fee: 50 TL
  • 0-18 Age Student Entry Fee: Free
  • 19-25 Years Old Student: 25 TL
  • 26-65 Age Student: 40 TL
  • Photographing Fee: 50 TL
  • Video Shooting Fee: 100 TL.

Planning Your Visit

To fully experience the Istanbul Naval Museum, set aside 1-2 hours for your visit. This will provide ample time to explore the exhibits, marvel at the historical boats, and immerse yourself in Istanbul’s maritime history.

Getting to the Istanbul Naval Museum

The Istanbul Naval Museum is conveniently located on the shore of Beşiktaş, right next to Barbaros Square, and easily accessible via various transportation options. See the location…

By Ferry: You can reach the Beşiktaş Pier using the Üsküdar-Beşiktaş, Kadıköy-Beşiktaş, and Adalar-Beşiktaş boat lines.

By Bus: Several IETT buses, including the 26, 26A, 26B, 27E, 27SE, 28, 28T, 29A, and 29C, pass by the Beşiktaş Meydan stop, which is close to the Maritime Museum.

By Tram and Funicular: If you are coming from Istanbul’s southern or western regions, take the Kabataş – Bağcılar tramway line and get off at the Kabataş stop. From Taksim, you can use the Taksim – Kabataş funicular line to reach Kabataş. From Kabataş, most buses will take you to Beşiktaş Square, which is nearby.

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The Istanbul Naval Museum is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in maritime history and the rich naval heritage of Turkey. With its impressive collection of imperial caiques, manuscripts, maps, photographs, and other naval artifacts, the museum offers a fascinating insight into the Ottoman Empire’s maritime prowess. Conveniently located in Beşiktaş, the museum is easily accessible by various means of transportation. Remember to plan your visit accordingly, as the museum is closed on Mondays, the first day of religious holidays, and January 1st.

Visitor Information

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I get to the Istanbul Naval Museum?

You can reach the museum by using the sea route and IETT municipal buses from various districts in Istanbul.

What are the opening hours of the museum?

The museum is open from 09:00-17:00 on weekdays and 10:00-18:00 on weekends. It is closed on Mondays, the first day of religious holidays, and January 1st.

How much is the entrance fee?

The adult entrance fee is 50 TL, while students aged 0-18 can enter for free. Other fees are applicable depending on age and student status.

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