Sunday, July 23, 2017


Cibali, Fatih - İstanbul - Turkey

GPS : 41°01'30.9"N 28°57'32.5"E / 41.025250, 28.959041

Rezan Has Museum photo rezanhas_museum151.jpg


The Rezan Has Museum is a private museum in Istanbul, Turkey dedicated to culture and arts. Rezan Has, spouse of the wealthy Turkish businessman Kadir Has, founded the museum in May 2007. The museum, situated in a historical building, is located in Cibali neighborhood of Fatih district on the southern shore of the Golden Horn. It is open to public every day between 9–18 local time.

The museum possesses actually no collections, however, provides space for exhibitions within the Kadir Has University's building, a European Union Prize for Cultural Heritage winning redevelopment from the historical "Cibali Tabacco Factory".

The museum consists of a cistern dating back to 11th century, called "Karanlık çeşme" (literally: "The Dark Fountain"), which is one of the few Byzantian structures outside of the Walls of Constantinople along Golden Horn. Another important part of the museum is a hamam ruin from the 17th century of the Ottoman era, which is situated at the top of the cistern.

The Golden Horn is being transformed into a “port museum”, nevertheless the Southern part should also be balanced through intensive activities similar to that of the Northern part. In this sense, the “Rezan Has Museum for Golden Horn Cultures” that will be established and located inside the Kadir Has University is a very important initiative and will fill a very important gap within the framework of such an important strategic geography.

This private museum is located inside the Kadir Has University in the Golden Horn, inside an old building which also contains some relics of a Byzantine cistern and Ottoman hamam. The museum displays paintings and documents belonging to important persons who draw the Golden Horn in the past centuries, objects from Anatolia, and so on.
Rezan Has Museum is not based on an existing collection. At present, the structure of the museum represents its main collection. Rezan Has Museum is comprised of two sections. Our wide collection of archeological artifacts from Neolithic Period to Seljuk Empire is exhibited on the museum floor while tematic and original exhibitions, including exhibitions on especially the Turkish Painting Art, are located in our multi-purpose exhibiton hall.

The museum is established at the Cibali Tobacco Processing and Cigarette Factory which was converted into the Kadir Has University. A Byzantine cistern called The Dark Fountain "Karanlık Çeşme" is located at the museum site which itself is individually an exhibition item. This cistern is one of the few Byzantine constructions along the Golden Horn apart from the city walls. Another important site of the Rezan Has Museum is the ruins of a “hammam” located in the museum which dates back to the Ottoman era.

Hosting genuine exhibitions and cultural activities since 2007 in the frame of its vigorous museum studies, Rezan Has Museum has become a museum site connecting the past to the future with its Ottoman hammam structure dated back to 17th century and Byzantine cistern to 11th century. The Museum enriched its collection by acquiring documents and objects  belonging to Cibali Tobacco and Cigarette Factory in 2009 along with its collection of archeological artifacts with nearly a history of 9,000 years.

It is known that the main building of the Kadir Has University, which represents the rich historical heritage of the city of Istanbul, consists of four layers. At the bottom layer there is a Byzantium cistern dating back to the 11th century and on top of it, ruins of a historical hammam belonging to the Ottoman Empire dating back to the 17th is found. The Cibali Tobacco Factory established in the 1880’s is located right on top of this foundation.

European Nostra 2003 Award
European Cultural and Natural Heritage Union Europa Nostra is an independent establishment working to protect the world’s culture heritage. The main building of the Kadir Has University converted from Cibali Tobacco and Cigarette Factory won the 2003 Europe Nostra Award, the European Union Prize for Cultural Heritage as the best preserved building for protecting and keeping our historical and cultural heritage alive.

Byzantine Seferikos Cistern
The cisterns, water reservoirs made of stone, were structures which played an important role in meeting water requirements of Istanbul in Byzantine period. The Byzantine period cistern taking place in our museum and dated back to late 11th century is comprised of 48 arches, 15 pillars and 20 columns. This structure having a square-like rectangular plan was built directly to accumulate water. It was brought to light during excavations in 1944 by Istanbul Archaeological Museums and it is situated inside the Rezan Has Musuem Golden Horn Cultures.

After losing its function as a cistern, it was first used as the tobacco warehouse of Cibali Tobacco and Cigarette Factory and then as a supply warehouse and a shelter by the workers of the tobacco factory during the 2nd World War.

Ottoman Hammam
The cistern which was used as a hammam in the 17th century, after conquer of Istanbul, also witnessed the historical events of that period. The part of the cistern which is used as a hammam was discovered as a result of excavation studies. The marble platform and steam channels of the hammam structure, on the other hand, are still in good condition.

Tobacco Factory  
Cibali region has started to develop after the conquest of Istanbul by Mehmet the Conqueror in 1453. There were two factors combining Cibali region with the identity of Istanbul. First of them was fires, although it seems a little strange, as there were many fires in this region while the second was the tobacco factory and tobacco warehouse carrying the same name as the region. There were fires happening frequently as mentioned since Cibali was a trade center and there were many flammable materials used in shipbuilding works at that location.

Fires in the interior and surrounding regions of city walls at Haliç were becoming very serious threats especially during winds from the northeast direction since there were a lot of wooden houses in that region at that time. Many disasters of fire have been called “Cibali fires”. Cibali Tobacco Factory which was established in 1884 was a very important institution changing the region both in economical and social aspects. Starting its activities at the beginning of 1900s, the large factory building was being used both for tobacco processing and cigarette manufacturing purposes.

Such a big factory has been established in the region for a couple reasons. Tobacco customs were around this region and many of the workers making up the workforce in the factory were living in the said region. The factory has been acquired by state authorities as of 1 March 1925 after a 45 year’s period of French operations.

We may have a good idea of that time if we look at the photographs taken in 1900s telling about the life at the factory. There were a total of 2162 employees working in the factory, 1500 female and 662 male workers. Tekel Cibali Tobacco Factory was in fact a small city with its own police station, social service personnel, hospitals, social facilities, grocery stores, schools, a fire station, trade unions and restaurants.


WEB SITE : Rezan Has Museum

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Phone : +90 212 533 6532 / +90 212 534 1034

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