Istanbul Nautical Museum in Beşiktaş

If you decide to go to Beşiktaş, do not neglect to visit the “Nautical Museum” where precious masterpieces and documents of the Turkish Marine history are exhibited.

The foundation of the Nautical Museum was laid by the Marine Minister, Bozcaadalı Hüseyin Hüsnü Pasha in 1897. First artistic works exhibited in the museum that was established under the name of “Nautical Museum and Library” in the Taşkızak Shipyard were articles obtained from persons and organizations engaged in marine. Artistic works displaced for several times in the museum were dispatched to Konya during the Second World War and kept indoors.

When it was 1948, it was reopened under the name of “Nautical Museum” in the boat shed of the Dolmabahçe Palace. However, it was moved to the “Cartwright’s Lodge” of the Dolmabahçe Palace. The museum was eventually moved to the former Beşiktaş Tax Office building, it's current location today, in 1960. In 1970, a “Gallery of Rowboats” was constructed in buildings hosting the museum. 

The historical rowboats gallery represents the most interesting section of the museum as it encompasses various marine-related objects. The unique imperial rowboats of the Ottoman could be protected exactly in original form and are exhibited to the visitors in this gallery. The most valuable masterpiece in this gallery is the cruise galley pertaining to Sultan Mehmed the 4th that reigned between 1648 and 1687. The pilothouse of this original galley that is 40 m in length, 5.90 m in width and 140 tons in weight, each oar of which is rowed by three persons (a total of 144 oarsmen) propelled by 24 pairs of oars is the elegant example of the Turkish handworks.

The garden of the museum was also decorated as an outdoor exhibition area. Here, the mosaic reproduction of the Piri Reis’s map as well as the three wall maps demonstrating the boundaries of dominance of the Ottoman Empire, the busts of famous Turkish sailors, other objects not impacted by weather conditions and original mines, torpedoes, naval cannons, old booklets pertaining to marine institutions etc are exhibited. There are currently 3.472 arts of work in the Nautical Museum. In the Historical Naval Archive, around 25 million historical written documents belonging to the Ottoman Admiralty period are hosted.

The museum can be visited on all days of the week between 09.00 and 17.30 except for Monday and Tuesday.

Location: Near the Barbaros Hayrettin Pier, Beşiktaş
Telephone: 0212 327 43 46


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