Tekfur Palace Museum: what to see, tickets, visiting tips

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Tekfur Palace has an important place in world art history as a surviving Byzantine Palace. The impressive palace building is located on the land walls of Istanbul and the construction date is still not known. The building, which underwent significant restorations between 1955 and 1970 and in the 2010s, is used as a museum today. The museum showcases the history and culture of Istanbul during the Byzantine period.

Fast Facts about Tekfur Palace

  • The Tekfur Palace was built in the late 12th century during the Byzantine Empire, and served as a residence for the emperor’s family.
  • The palace was later used as a factory for silk production during the Ottoman period.
  • The palace was restored in the early 2000s and opened as a museum in 2009.
  • The museum showcases the history of the palace, including its architecture and its role in the Byzantine and Ottoman empires.
  • Visitors can see the remains of the palace’s decorative mosaics, as well as examples of Byzantine pottery and other artifacts.
  • The museum also features a garden area and a café where visitors can relax and enjoy the views of the surrounding neighborhood.
  • The museum is open to the public every day except Mondays, and admission fees are very affordable.

What to Expect & See?

The palace was originally used as a residence for the Tekfur (governor) of the Blachernae Palace, which was the main imperial palace of the Byzantine Empire. Later on, it was used as a storage area for textiles and then as a soap factory during the Ottoman period. In the early 20th century, the palace was abandoned and left to decay until the Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism decided to restore it and open it as a museum in 2009.

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The museum is divided into three main sections: the first floor displays the history and architecture of the palace, the second floor exhibits the daily life of the Tekfur family, and the third floor showcases the excavations that were carried out during the restoration of the palace.

Visitors can see the remains of the original walls and frescoes that have survived from the Byzantine period, as well as the Ottoman-era chimney and ovens that were used in the soap factory. There are also various artifacts on display, such as ceramics, coins, and jewelry, that provide insight into the daily life and culture of Istanbul during the Byzantine period.

To enhance the visitor experience, the museum also offers guided tours and interactive exhibits. Visitors can also enjoy a panoramic view of the city from the palace’s terrace.

Visiting Information

Tekfur Palace is located in the Fatih district of Istanbul, in the neighborhood of Edirnekapi.

To reach Tekfur Palace, you can use public transportation options such as the bus or metro. The closest metro station is the Edirnekapi station, which is a 10-minute walk from the palace. Alternatively, you can take the bus and get off at the Edirnekapi stop, which is also a 10-minute walk away.

The palace is open to visitors every day except for Mondays and Tuesdays, from 9:00 am to 4:30 pm.

Visitors can explore the palace’s ruins and see the remnants of its walls, arches, and other structures that have survived over time. There are also information boards throughout the palace that provide historical background and context.

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