Beyazıt State Library


Occupying the former imaret (soup kitchen) and kervansaray (caravanserai) of the Beyazıt Mosque's külliye, this library has recently been the subject of a splendid 'minimal intervention' restoration and extension by local architectural firm Tabanlıoğlu Partnership. The multidomed building dates from 1884 and houses a notable rare-book collection and magnificent reading room with wooden cabinets housing old-fashioned card catalogues.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Istanbul attractions

1. Beyazıt Mosque

0.05 MILES

The second imperial mosque built in İstanbul (after the Fatih Camii), Beyazıt Camii was constructed between 1501 and 1506 by order of Beyazıt II, son of…

2. Beyazıt Square


In Byzantine times, this square was called the Forum of Theodosius. Today it's home to street vendors, students from the adjoining İstanbul University and…

3. Grand Bazaar

0.12 MILES

The colourful and chaotic Grand Bazaar is the heart of İstanbul's Old City and has been so for centuries. Starting as a small vaulted bedesten (warehouse)…

4. Beyazıt Tower

0.13 MILES

Closed to the public, this 85m-tall tower sits on top of one of the seven hills on which Constantine the Great built the city, following the model of Rome…

5. Divan Yolu Caddesi

0.22 MILES

Dating from Roman times, the Old City's major boulevard is home to Ottoman mosques, cemeteries, medreses (seminaries) and türbes (tombs), as well as shops…

6. Büyük Valide Han

0.23 MILES

Commissioned by Murat IV's mother, Kösem Valide Sultan, this massive han (caravanserai) was built in 1651 and originally housed up to 3000 travellers and…

7. Nuruosmaniye Mosque

0.24 MILES

Facing one of the major gateways into the Grand Bazaar, this large mosque complex was built in Ottoman baroque style between 1748 and 1755. Construction…

8. Turkish Hamam Culture Museum

0.24 MILES

Constructed by order of the mother of Selim I and one of the wives of Beyazıt II, this now-decommissioned early-16th-century hamam is one of the largest…