Panorama 1453 History Museum

The Panorama 1453 History Museum was opened to the public by the Istanbul City Council on the 21st January 2009 at the Topkapi Culture Park.

It is a known fact that the conquest of Istanbul, which was a legend written with the blood of the immortal heroes, is also the product of outstanding engineering.  Fatih Sultan Mehmed, who has ushered a new age and ended another in the history of the world, had conquered the most firmest city with the securest walls, with the most modern army of his time.

As a result of the old Topkapi Bus Terminal being converted into the Topkapi Culture Park, the area, where the Turkish soldiers combatted and effusively stormed the breaches, is where Fatih had set up his state tent during the conquest of Istanbul. Panorama 1453 is now offering its visitors to relive the experience of the morning of the 29th of May 1453, the day of Istanbul’s conquest, together with three dimensional images and to the accompaniment of the Ottoman military marching music (Mahtar).
Standing underneath the domed sky, which completes the whole panorama, there is a surprise of about ten seconds waiting for its audience. The most important feature of the Museum, which has been established on 3000 squaremetres and is the only complete panorama museum in the world, is how it allows its visitors to find themselves surrounded by a 360 degree view in which the scene of the conquest is illustrated. Together with its sound effects and the Mahtar, the Museum provides its visitors a feeling as though they are one of the soldiers who has joined the conquest or an observer, historian, journalist, historiographer watching the conquest at that moment. Complete panoramas mean that the display is panoramic from every aspect. Although this area is indoors, the atmosphere which is created with its sound effects, the takbeer chants of the soldiers, the sounds of clopping, the cannonballs exploding at the city walls and together with the clankings of swords, an atmosphere of a war is offered. The audience stands in the centre of a 360 degree platform, which has been set up in the middle of the room, and experiences the atmosphere that he is in the midst of the illustration which surrounds him. The fundamental feature of the illustration is its ability to evoke the sense of a 3D effect. 650 squaremetres of the illustration is 3D and in an area of 14 squaremetres, there has been actual cannonballs, gun carriages, powder barrel imitations inserted. This has allowed the space between the illustration and the platform to become integrated. On the other hand, the 2D illustration area, which covers a 2350 squaremetres area, begins right behind the 3D space. The figures that are apart of this humongous depiction in which there are around ten thousand figures, begin in a normal human form, and together to the minutest details shrink towards the horizon.

There are only around 30 panoramic museums in the world which are established with the purpose of generally animating the most important events in history and are done with oil-painting techniques of the 1800s. Some of these museums are horizontal while some are vertical. However, the illustration at the Istanbul Panorama 1453 History Museum is different from all the other existent museums in the world as it is both vertical and horizontal. It is for this reason that the sky is uninterrupted in the form of a dome and covers the top part of the illustration.

In the artwork at Panorama 1453 History Museum, as the illustration is continuous, the individual who observes the art cannot comprehend the actual dimensions of the work with their own optic habits. The moment the audience takes a step on top of the platform, they experience a shock which lasts for about ten seconds. This shock is due to the fact that they are surprised at being unable to find references to comprehend the actuality and dimensions of the illustration and the points of where it all begins and ends. This museum allows one the feeling that although they have stepped indoors, they experience it as though they have stepped outside into a three dimensional location.

The other technical information of the Museum is as follows: the external dome dimension is 40 metres, the inner dimension is 38 metres, the distance to all areas from the centre of the platform is 14 metres, the height between the dome and the floor is 20 metres and the dimension of the platform is 38 metres.

Furthermore, the corridors and empty spaces of the Museum also exhibit other illustrations, writings and documents in relation to the conquest and Fatih Sultan Mehmed. The performances carried out since the childhood years of Fatih Sultan Mehmed and which continued until the end of the conquest, has been placed in a chronological order before the platform and after the platform. The drawings belonging to Fatih when he was 3 and 4 years old, his endeavours on the Sultan’s signature (Tughra), his notebook consisting of his couplets and drawings in various languages, the cannon mouldings, which are one of the most important symbols of the conquest, and other information and documents in relation to all of the preparations of the Bogazkesen Fortress, the letters sent to Fatih from Aksemsettin, who had raised and was Fatih Sultan Mehmed’s guide, are presented to the visitors on these panels.

The panels in the museum, which visually display how Istanbul was built with great tolerance, how it turned into a capital which reflected its cosmopolitan structure while spreading its Empire throughout three continents, the planning and development and it being a centre of science, can be viewed.

The museum, which has been completed with the great efforts of 8 artists, is open to the public everyday of the week with the intention to witness this epic and for those who want to relive the conquest again. The museum also offers audio services.

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Address: Merkez Efendi Mahallesi Topkapı Kültür Parkı Zeytinburnu/İSTANBUL Tel: 0212 415 14 53 pbx E-Mail:

Our museum is open to visitors every day between 08.00-18.00 hours.


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