Photography Trek to Santralistanbul, Turkey

This sculpture sits outside the entrance to the Santralistanbul museum

Santralistanbul Museum is in Eyup, is right at the top of the Golden Horn; but easy to get to, as there are free buses running from various stops in the city. We boarded our bus just by the ferry terminus in Kabatas, along with a host of students from Bilgi University.

Much of the old machinery is still there, on display in the museum

"Santral" is the Turkish word for "power plant", and the Santralistanbul Museum is on the site of the old coal-fired power-generating  Silahtaraga Power Station. This was the first power station to be built during the Ottoman Empire, and was in use between 1914 to 1983.

Fascinating glimpses into the past of this old power station

The old control room remains as it was when the plant was closed

The plant lay derelict for 20 years after it was closed down for economic reasons, but was saved from destruction when it was declared a 'cultural and natural object of Istanbul', giving it special protection.

There are interactive activities to show how electrical currents work

Lights receding into infinity

The museum, which houses much of the original machinery, was officially opened in September 2007. It was originally part of a complex that included  an amphitheater, concert halls, a public library, an art gallery, and residences for visiting artists. Unfortunately Santralistanbul has recently been mired in controversy. Bilgi University rented the grounds surrounding the museum as part of their campus. And, although their contract stipulates that the energy museum, and the contemporary art museum should be allowed to remain on the site, the university has sold the art collection (without reference to the original artists), and converted the art gallery into student classrooms. Read the article, Controversy at Santralistanbul for full details, also this article in  Today's Zaman.

Santralistanbul is on the Bilgi University campus, so we took the
opportunity to look at the architectural students' exhibition - fascinating!


  1. Hi Mum, your blog is looking awesome as ever. Before I dropped in to have a look I thought you were in Central (Santral) Istanbul.

  2. Thank you, my darling Janie. I thought that meant central too when I first saw it!


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