The naval museum, located in Istanbul’s Beşiktaş district, is one of the most visited places by both foreign and local tourists every year. The Naval Museum is one of the most eminent naval museum in Turkey and in terms of the richness of its collections, it is one of the prominent museums in the World. The museum, which is affiliated to the Naval Forces Command, is the first military museum established in Turkey and the collection of the museum consists of approximately 20.000 objects.
History of the Naval Museum
In 1897, Naval Museum was established under the name of “The Museum and Library Administration Office” with the request of Minister of Navy Hasan Hüsnü Pasha. The building, which was not organized in the beginning, was opened as a museum warehouse. Cemal Pasha, who was brought to the Minister of Naval Affairs in 1914, has renewed the museum and appointed Naval Lieutenant Painter Ali Sami Boyar as the director. With Ali Sami Boyar appointed, the museum was reorganized scientifically. After arranging the museum, Boyar made a significant contribution to the development of museum by establishing “Ship Model Workshop and Moulage Model Workshop".
During World War II, all the pieces in the museum were sent to Anatolia to protect the works. In 1946 after the war, it was decided to move the museum and artifacts back to Istanbul. Dolmabahçe Mosque Complex was selected as the most suitable place for the museum considering the conditions of the time and after two years of work, it was reopened in September 27, 1948 with the contributions of the new museum director Haluk Sehsuvaroglu. The naval museum was moved next to the tomb of the Turkish Admiral Captain-Derya Barbaros Hayrettin Pasha in Beşiktaş Pier Square approximately 13 years later.
Naval Museum Building Features
The museum, which has a three-story main exhibition building, covers an area of about 1500 m². There are 17 rooms, 4 main galleries on display, and the names of the wind directions are given to the rooms. The naval museum exhibits sailors’ clothing, manuscripts, ship models, starboards, maps, imperial caique’s, gailots, charts, paintings, tughra's, cruise instruments, armors, ship head figures and weapons. At the entrance to the museum there are educational playgrounds for the small age group and souvenir shops.
Sections of the Naval Museum
The naval museum consists of 4 different parts and a collection of works. In the first part there are historical gailot's, in the second part imperial caique's, in the third part are Atatürk boats and in the fourth part are the infantry boats. After seeing these works, you can see the works of Istanbul Yalı and you can read the heartbreaking story of Ertugrul Frigate returning from Japan. With a view of the Bosporus and Beşiktaş Pier, the Museum of Maritime is spread over a very large area, so you need at least 2 hours in order to be able to examine each piece in its entire length.
Atatürk chamber, naval martyr hall, ship name plates, weapons hall, old ships' head figures, decorative wooden carvings, Crimean War room and Mahmudiye galleon rooms are on the ground floor of the first section of the main museum of the naval museum. On the upper floor are the First World War room, Naval Academy room, ship models, clothes room, Fatih Sultan Mehmed room, Turgut Reis room and Captain Derya Khidr Hayrettin Pasha room.
In the second part of the museum, the imperial caique’s such as; imperial caique belonging to Sultan IV. Mehmed, Sultan's harem boats, infantry boats, multipurpose boats, imperial armors, sultans throne and chair, Piri Reis's South American map and historical ship models.
The third part of the naval museum is used as an open air museum. In this area; tombstones from XVI, XVII, XVIII and XIX era, bombs, water bombs, inscriptions, cartridges, various stone and metal artifacts, various ship parts and tughra’s are exhibited.
Operating Hours of the Naval Museum
With its 3742 works and collection of over 15,000 books, the Istanbul Naval Museum, which is referred to as live history, is visited by thousands of people every year. The museum is open everyday from 9:00 to 17:00 hours but Mondays, New Year's Day and the first day of religious holidays The hours vary from 10.00 to 18.00 in the summer only. The naval museum is 7 TL for adults and free for students.
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