Museum of Classical Divan Literature – Galata Mevlevi Lodge
The Galata Mevlevi Lodge (mevlevihane) or as it is also known the Kulekapı Mevlevi Lodge which is now serving as a museum, is one of the institutions which reflect the culture of the era in the best possible way. The Mevlevi Lodges which for centuries combined scholarship with music, had a great influence on the Turkish culture. A great number of those people who came together in a Mevlevi Lodge environment were educated in various areas of fine arts and their names were remembered for a long time as far as science and scholarship was concerned. The Mevlevi Lodge which is located at the top of the steep street going down to Yüksekkaldırım is the oldest Mevlevi Lodge of İstanbul. It was built in 1491, on the hunting grounds of İskender Pasha who was a governor – general during the times of Sultan Bayezid. Its first master was Mehmet Mehmed Sema-i Çelebi. The building was struck by fire during the reign of Sultan Mustafa III. (1766) but was replaced by the existing Mevlevi Lodge by the same Sultan. In later years, the building underwent repairs during the reigns of Sultans Selim III, Mahmud II and Abdüllmecid. The institution which carried out its activities until 1925 was once more restored between the years 1967 – 1972. The Mevlevi Lodge which was built as a complex contained rooms and spaces for pray chanting, dervish cells, the quarters of the master (şeyh), special prayer (namaz) area for the Sultan, the section for the female members, library, fountain for the public, clock room, kitchen, mausoleums and an enclosed graveyard.
Semahane(Ritual Prayer Hall)On the enterence door of this wood structured section there is the restoration statement of Sultan Abdülmecid dated 1853. The building has an octagonal plan and a good sample of the baroque style of the 18th century. In this section Turkish musical instruments and works related to the Mevlevi culture are exhibited. In the upper section which is divided with wooden grills, the poems (divan) of the Classical Ottoman poets and manuscripts belonging to Şeyh Galib, İsmail Ankaravi, Esrar and Fasih Dedes and the poetess Leyla Hanım who were trained and educated at the Mevlevi Lodge are kept in chronological order. The quarters of the master (şeyh) and the special praying area for the Sultan are upstairs. Dervish CellsIt is constructed with stone and consists of rooms in a row.
Şeyh Galib Mausoleum; It was built by Halet Said Efendi at the beginning of the 19th century. It has a square plan. Mehmed Ruhi, Hüseyin, İsa Selim, Şarih-, İsmail Ankaravi who first annotated the Mesnevi and Şeyh Galib Efendi are buried here.
Halet Said Efendi Mausoleum; It was built at the same time as the other mausoleum. Has a square plan. Inside, Şeyh Kudretullah, Ataullah Efendi, Halet Said Efendi and Emine Esma Hanım who is the wife of Ubeydullah Efendi are burried.
Fountain and the Clock RoomThey are located to the right of the entrance. The masonary structure was built in early 19th century.
LibraryIt was built by Halet Said Efendi. It is on the top floor of the special prayer place and contains 3455 volumes.
Those who functioned as masters (şeyh) at the Mevlevi Lodge, their spouses, the “kudum” and “ney” playing musicians and poets who had “divans” (volume of collected poems) are burried here. The graves of Humbaracı Ahmed Pasha, İbrahim Müteeferrika who set up the first printing press in Turkey, the composer Vardakosta Seyyid Ahmet Ağa, Nayi Osman Dede, and the family members of Tepedelenli Ali Pasha are also here. The tomb stones are significant for their inscriptions and decorations.
Address: Galipdede Caddesi, No:15, TünelOperating days and hours: Closed Mondays / 09.30-17.00
Copyright Notice: Rebuplic of Turkey Ministry of Culture and Tourism
Photograph © Suat Öneren (Ritual Prayer Hall). http://www.fotokritik.com
Photograph © H. Turay Yüksel (Dervishes). http://www.fotokritik.com/