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Pera Museum

From The Marmara Pera
1 Min
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In 2005, the Bristol Hotel underwent a remarkable transformation and emerged as the Pera Museum, a prestigious establishment showcasing an extensive art collection with a primary emphasis on 19th-century Orientalist works. Beyond its impressive art holdings, Pera Museum also places special importance on exhibiting captivating artifacts and ceramics, providing an ideal opportunity for visitors to delve into the enchanting realms of the Ottoman Empire and the rich Turkish cultural heritage. 

One of its most renowned permanent exhibits is "The Tortoise Trainer" (1906), created by the esteemed Ottoman archaeologist and artist Osman Hamdi Bey. Alongside this masterpiece, the Pera Museum houses a diverse range of notable Ottoman artworks. Hamdi Bey himself gained recognition for establishing the collection at the Istanbul Archaeology Museums and for bringing the renowned Alexander Sarcophagus to Istanbul. The museum also boasts an impressive collection of Anatolian artifacts, exquisite tiles, and ceramics. It frequently collaborates with esteemed art institutions worldwide, such as the Tate Britain and the Victoria and Albert Museum, to host captivating temporary exhibitions. The halls of the Pera Museum have been graced by esteemed artists like Picasso, Warhol, de Chirico, Rembrandt, Goya, and many others. 

The Pera Museum is a must-visit destination in Istanbul, offering a rich collection of Ottoman art that cannot be experienced elsewhere. Regardless of the presence of foreign artists, the museum's focus on Ottoman art provides a unique and authentic artistic journey. Moreover, its collection boasts a historical depth, with an extensive array of Anatolian artifacts that further enrich the experience. Immerse yourself in the cultural heritage of Istanbul by exploring the Pera Museum and delving into the captivating world of Ottoman art. 


History of the Pera Museum 

The Pera Museum, established by the Suna and İnan Kıraç Foundation, finds its home within the walls of the historic Bristol Hotel. Originally constructed in 1893, the building holds a significant place in history. However, the hotel itself has since relocated to a new location near Taksim Square. In its prime, the Bristol Hotel welcomed numerous distinguished international guests and was renowned for its luxurious offerings. Over time, however, the hotel lost its allure and became outdated by the close of the 20th century. 

The Pera Museum building features a Neoclassical facade, while its interior tastefully maintains the elegance of its original design, with a primary focus on showcasing art. Renovated between 2003 and 2005, the museum stands today as an iconic cultural institution, solidifying its position as one of the city's most prominent and cherished landmarks. 

The Pera Museum Collections 

The Pera Museum proudly houses an impressive range of artworks in its permanent collections. Alongside the iconic "The Tortoise Trainer," these collections include other notable creations by Hamdi Bey. The museum's permanent collections consist of Orientalist Paintings, showcasing art from and about the Ottomans; Anatolian Weights and Measures, featuring over 10,000 artifacts spanning from prehistoric times to the 20th century; and Kütahya Tiles and Ceramics, highlighting exceptional craftsmanship dating back to the 18th century. 

The temporary exhibitions at the Pera Museum are consistently captivating. Previous showcases have included "And Now the Good News," which delved into the relationship between art and mass media, featuring the Annette and Peter Nobel Collection. Another notable exhibition was "From Istanbul to Byzantium: Paths to Rediscovery," shedding light on emerging Byzantine studies. As mentioned earlier, the museum occasionally presents works by renowned international artists, often in collaboration with other esteemed institutions. These diverse and thought-provoking temporary exhibits add an extra layer of excitement to the Pera Museum's artistic offerings. 

From modern art to mixed media, prehistoric artifacts to Ottoman treasures, all kinds of collections are on display at the Pera Museum. 

How to Visit Pera Museum 

The Pera Museum welcomes visitors from Tuesday to Saturday, operating from 10:00am to 7:00pm. On Fridays, it offers extended hours until 10:00pm, allowing for a leisurely exploration of its exhibits. On Sundays, the museum opens its doors from 12:00pm to 6:00pm, providing an opportunity to enjoy a cultural experience during the afternoon. 

 Inside the museum, visitors can also enjoy an Art Deco-inspired café and a theater for film and documentary screenings. For more information about the museum, please visit the provided link. 

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