Galata Mevlevi Monastery

Since 1491

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The Museum of Court Literature (Divan Edebiyatı Müzesi), in the Mevlevi Monastery, is one of only a handful of functioning tekkes (dervish lodges) remaining in İstanbul. It’s a slightly run-down compound and is really only worth visiting if you’re here to see the sema ceremony, and/or you feel like catching respite from the hubbub of Beyoğlu in the pleasant, shady gardens.

As you approach the tekke, notice the graveyard on the left and its stones with graceful Ottoman inscriptions. The shapes atop the stones reflect the headgear of the deceased, each hat denoting a different religious rank. The tomb of Galip Dede, the 17th century Sufi poet who gave his name to the street, lies here.

 Inside the semahane (ceremonial hall), the central area is for the whirling sema (ceremony), while the galleries above were for visitors. Separate areas were set aside for the orchestra and for female visitors (behind the lattices). These days, the upstairs is only for the musicians who play during the ceremony. In the display cases surrounding the central area there are exhibits of Mevlevi calligraphy, writing and musical instruments.

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Şahkulu, Galip Dede Cd. No:15, 34420 Beyoğlu/İstanbul

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