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Galata Mevlevi Monastery

Since 1491
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Galata Mevlevi Monastery: The Sufi Sanctuary of Istanbul

Popular Price
$ 150
Price Range
$ 150
~ 300

MMonday
Closed
TTuesday
09:00 AM - 19:00
WWednesday
09:00 AM - 19:00
FFriday
09:00 AM - 19:00
SSaturday
09:00 AM - 19:00
SSunday
09:00 AM - 19:00

The Galata Mevlevi Monastery, often referred to as the Mevlevi Lodge or Dervish Lodge, is a place of profound spiritual significance in the heart of Istanbul. Located in the district of Beyoğlu, this tranquil sanctuary serves as a reminder of the city’s rich Sufi heritage and the mystical teachings of the Mevlevi Order.

The Mevlevi Order, founded by the 13th-century poet and mystic Rumi, is renowned for its practice of whirling dervishes. This mesmerizing dance is a form of meditation and a path to spiritual transcendence. The Galata Mevlevi Monastery played a central role in preserving and propagating these teachings and practices.

The architecture of the Galata Mevlevi Monastery is a blend of traditional Ottoman design and Sufi symbolism. Its semahane, or prayer hall, is the heart of the complex and features a central platform where the dervishes perform their spiritual dance. The decorative elements in the monastery, such as calligraphy and intricate tilework, are a testament to the aesthetic and spiritual values of the Mevlevi Order.

The Galata Mevlevi Monastery houses a museum that showcases various artifacts and manuscripts related to the Mevlevi Order, as well as musical instruments, clothing, and personal belongings of the whirling dervishes. The museum provides visitors with a deeper understanding of the history and philosophy of the Mevlevi tradition.

One of the most memorable experiences for visitors to the Galata Mevlevi Monastery is witnessing the mesmerizing Sema ceremony, where dervishes whirl in a state of spiritual ecstasy. These performances are often accompanied by traditional Sufi music and are a profound and enlightening experience.

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.

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.

The Galata Mevlevi Monastery is a tranquil oasis amidst the bustling streets of Istanbul, where visitors can contemplate the teachings of Rumi, witness the beauty of Sufi rituals, and delve into the spiritual heritage of the city. It stands as a living testament to the enduring impact of the Mevlevi Order and the importance of spiritual reflection and transcendence in the heart of Istanbul.

 

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

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