The oldest preserved Mevlevihane in Istanbul, the Mevlevi Dervish Lodge, is located on Galip Dede Street, named after Sheikh Galip, the head of the Galata dervish lodge. The lodge sits at the top of a slope leading down to the Galata Tower in Beyoglu. It was built by Ottoman governor Iskender Pasha in 1491, during the reign of Sultan Bayezid II, on the site of his hunting lodge.

The first Mevlevi dervish lodge built in Istanbul, this fascinating structure covers an area of approximately 6,800 square meters. Once used as a location for dervishes, it has been converted into a structure that provides education about Mevleviyeh. It attracts visitors not only with unique pieces reflecting the Ottoman period and Mevleviyeh, such as beewax sculptures, lighting, and charming panels, but also with a guide support with sound and video.

The Mevlevi Dervish Lodge, also known as the Divan Edebiyati Muzesi (Divan Literature Museum), is a priceless building that reflects the understanding of Mevlana, the famous Anatolian mystic, about sophism and the sema (whirling) ceremony. It is now well known for the whirling ceremony, which symbolizes a mystical journey of man’s spiritual ascent through mind and love to reach “Perfection.” Whirling towards the truth, one’s growth through love deserts the ego, discovers the truth and reaches “Perfection.”

In addition to its historical and cultural significance, the building has also undergone damage and repairs over time.

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The Mevlevi Lodge Dervish Hall, also known as the Divan Literature Museum, was affected by the Istanbul Earthquake of 1509, also known as the Little Doomsday. Over the centuries, it was renovated and turned into a large social complex.

The first restoration was organized by Matbah Ismail Aga between 1649 and 1650. The building was damaged in a fire known as The Big Tophane Fire in 1765, and was repaired by the architect Osman Efendi of Yenisehir at the request of Ottoman Sultan Mustafa III between 1717 and 1774. Additionally, thanks to the contributions of Sheikh Galip and Ottoman Sultan Selim III (1761-1807), the building underwent significant renovations.

In the 19th century, during the reigns of Sultan Mahmud II and Sultan Abdulmecid, the restoration of the building was completed.

The Divan Literature Museum, also known as the Mevlevi Lodge Dervish Hall, is composed of several different parts, each of which highlights the significance of this valuable museum.

  1. SEMAHANE ENTRY: Located on Galipdede Street, the entrance section of this wooden structure features an inscription belonging to Sultan Abdulmecid. Reflecting one of the best examples of the Baroque style in the 18th century, the structure is octagon-planned. Turkish musical instruments and other works related to the culture of the whirling dervishes (Mevlevi) are exhibited here. On the upper level, there are sofas for poets and various manuscripts belonging to Mevlevi artists such as Sheikh Galip, Ismail Ankaravi, EsrarDede, FasihDede, and the great poet Leyla Hanım. Additionally, the rooms of Sheikhs and the HunkarMahfeli (Sultan’s gathering place) can be found here.
  2. DERVISH ROOMS: Located on the ground floor of the museum, these rooms feature religious items such as keskülüfukara, mutteka, nefir, and tacıserif, as well as Mevlevi clothing.
  3. MAHFILLER (Gathering-Places): Found on the upper floor, this part of the museum faces three sides. The exhibition includes works by the famous artist Mustafa Düzgünman, marbling art, calligraphy, Hilye-I Serif Panels, ÇelebiMahfili, Sultan Mahfili, and musical instruments. The EcnebilerMahfili, a place for holding Sema ceremonies, can also be found here.
  4. LIBRARY: Built by Halet Said Efendi, this structure is located on the upper floor of the Muvakkithane. The library, which includes 3455 books, is a fascinating attraction for visitors.
  5. GRAVEYARD/MAUSOLEUM: The graveyard houses many graves belonging to dervishes, famous poets like famed composer Vardakoska Seyyid Ahmed Aga, Nayi Osman Dede, and Tepedenli Ali Pasha. Notably, the explorer of the first printing press, Ibrahim Müteferrika, is also buried here.


The Galata Mevlevi Lodge Museum is a must-see attraction for anyone interested in the history and culture of Istanbul. With its rich history and intricate architecture, the museum offers a glimpse into the past and provides visitors with an understanding of the Mevlevi tradition.

One of the most striking features of the museum is the Semahane entry, which features an inscription belonging to Sultan Abdulmecid and reflects one of the best examples of Baroque style in the 18th century. Visitors can also see Turkish musical instruments and other artifacts related to the Mevlevi culture on display.

The Dervish Rooms, located on the ground floor, offer an insight into the religious practices of the Mevlevi order. The Mahfiller, or gathering places, on the upper floor showcase works by famous artists, marbling art, calligraphy, and musical instruments. The EcnebilerMahfili, a place for holding Sema ceremonies, can also be found here.

At Tour Maker Turkey, we are dedicated to providing our clients with the best possible travel experience. We offer a wide range of tours that include the Galata Mevlevi Lodge Museum, and we would be happy to help you plan your visit to this fascinating attraction. Contact us today to learn more about our tours and to book your trip to Istanbul.