Where is the istanbul military museum? Are museums in Istanbul free?
Hagia Irene Church, which is located in the first courtyard of Topkapı Palace, was used as an armory at one time. This place served in that way from the conquest of Istanbul until the time of Sultan Ahmet III. In 1726, by the order of Sultan Ahmet III, it was reorganized as a place where people can visit and see the weapons. Later on, in 1846, it was turned into museum in modern sense, and during this process of transformation into a museum, Damat Fethi Ahmet Pasha, an Ottoman politician and arsenal marshal, strived greatly.
Upon the break out of the World War II, the weaponry collection in Hagia Irene transferred to Niğde and taken under protection. After the end of the war, the collection was brought back to Istanbul and placed into Maçka Armory in 1949. After 1959, it is re-opened to visits in the Gymnasium of Harbiye Mektebi. By the increase in the size of the collection in time, the building became insufficient and the whole Old Harbiye building was restored and opened as a museum in 1966.
The collection of 5,000 pieces of weapon and munitions chosen from among approximately 50,000 pieces were used in the Ottoman army between 15th and 20th centuries. This collection, which is exhibited according to the subjects, kinds and periods of its weaponry, is one of the most important military collections of the world.
You can enjoy listening to the Mehter concerts during the open days of the military museum between 15.00 and 16.00. The museum can be visited each day of the week except Mondays and Tuesdays between 09.00 and 17.00.