Caferağa Medresesi


This lovely little building tucked away in the shadow of Aya Sofya was designed by Ottoman architect Mimar Sinan on the orders of Cafer Ağa, Süleyman the Magnificent's chief black eunuch. Built in 1560 as a school, it now houses a cultural organisation that teaches and promotes traditional Turkish handicrafts. The courtyard is home to the unassuming Caferağa Medresesi Çay Bahçesi where it's possible to enjoy a glass of tea or simple meal.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Sultanahmet attractions

1. Soğukçeşme Sokak

0.06 MILES

Running between the Topkapı Palace walls and Aya Sofya, this picturesque cobbled street is named after the Soğuk Çeşme (Cold Fountain) at its southern end…

2. Aya İrini

0.09 MILES

Commissioned by Justinian in the 540s, this Byzantine church is almost exactly as old as its near neighbour, Aya Sofya. Used as an arsenal for centuries,…

4. Hagia Sophia Grand Mosque


Right in the heart of İstanbul’s historic center, this sacred Byzantine building remains an important symbol of power.

5. Basilica Cistern

0.11 MILES

This subterranean structure was commissioned by Emperor Justinian and built in 532. The largest surviving Byzantine cistern in İstanbul, it was…

6. Carpet Museum

0.12 MILES

Housed in an imaret (soup kitchen) added to the Aya Sofya complex in the 18th century, this museum is entered through a spectacular baroque gate and gives…

7. İstanbul Archaeology Museums

0.13 MILES

The city's foremost archaeological museum is housed in three buildings close to Topkapı Palace. There are many highlights, but the sarcophagi from the…

8. Aya Sofya Tombs

0.13 MILES

Part of the Aya Sofya complex but entered via Babıhümayun Caddesi, these tombs are the final resting places of five 16th- and 17th-century sultans –…