Whirling Dervish Lodge
Divan Edebiyatı Müzesi
Galip Dede Caddesi 15, Tünel
Tel: (212) 245 41 41
Open everyday except Tuesday, from 09.30 to 17.30
Entrance fee for the museum 2.00 TL, for "sema" show, which is on Sundays at 15:00, 25.00 TL.
There is a Mevlevi dervish lodge at the top of the slope leading down to Galata Tower at Beyoğlu. It is located at Galip Dede Caddesi. This cobblestone street takes its name from Seyh Galip Dede, who was the head of the Galata dervish lodge during the reign of Sultan Selim III, (1789-1808) himself a Mevlevi. It is a street known for its various shops selling musical instruments and a stone arch leading into a courtyard full of trees in which this historic building stands hidden from the hubbub outside.
Galata Mevlevihanesi was the first Mevlevi dervish lodge established in Istanbul, although the building we see today dates from much later. The original building was constructed in 1491 on a hunting estate but was frequently rebuilt due to recurring fires. Today, the only structure in its original state is a fountain built in the courtyard in 1649.
The lodge was restored at length during the time of Seyh Galip. The most important 19th century Mevlevi Seyh Kudrettullah Dede was responsible for the lodge's present appearance; the public fountain, library and the tomb in the façade of the lodge overlooking Galip Dede Caddesi were all constructed during his 53-year chairmanship. Destroyed by fire in 1824, the lodge was reconstructed under the decree of Sultan Mahmut II, whereas it was his daughter Adile Sultan who donated an ablution fountain with a massive cistern to the lodge.
Today the building hosts Divan Literature Museum and a collection of musical instruments. Mevlevi ceremonies known as "sema" are performed for visitors on the last Sunday of each month.
The lodge was closed down along with those of all the mystic Islamic orders in 1925, on the grounds that they were sources of reactionary movements against the modernization reforms commenced in the new Turkish Republic founded by Atatürk in 1923.
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