September 23, 2011

Istanbul’s old Galata Lodge Readies for Opening after a Four-Year Restoration

Galata Mevlevihane, the lodge used by Mevlevi dervishes built in 1491 in Istanbul, the Ottoman capital city, has been restored and is anticipating its official opening.

“We are ready to open the museum,” Galata Mevlevihane Museum Director Yavuz Özdemir said, adding that the museum was expected to open this month. “We are waiting for the order from the Culture and Tourism Ministry.”

Located on Galip Dede Street near İstiklal Avenue, Istanbul’s unique original dervish lodge will open to visitors in the coming days with a new facelift after a four-year restoration process.

“The large garden of the dervish lodge has been restored for use as an area where people can escape the crowds of Beyoğlu,” he said. The Galata Mevlevihane was closed to visitors in 2007 and restored with contributions from the Istanbul 2010 European Capital of Culture Agency.

Speaking to the Anatolia news agency, Özdemir said the Ottoman traveler Evliya Çelebi mentioned in his travel books that the dervish lodge had included nearly 100 rooms.

The lodge was damaged in an earthquake in 1509. It has undergone restoration work since the early 17th century and additional structures turned the site into a social complex, according to a document from the museum’s archive, Özdemir said.

Read more on Hurriyet Daily News: Istanbul’s old Galata Lodge Readies for Opening after a Four-Year Restoration

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