Venture into Ottoman Vaults
SALT Galata, set in a restored 19th-century bank headquarters, has become a popular haunt for university students researching their latest assignment and cultural enthusiasts chasing art and photographic exhibitions. What attracts tourism to this ornate “Oriental meets neoclassical” building are the vaults of the former Imperial Ottoman Bank that now house the Ottoman Bank Museum. Founded in 1856, the Imperial Ottoman Bank functioned here from 1863 to 1924 when Istanbul was the capital of the Ottoman Empire. Today you can venture deep into the basement and wind your way through the labyrinth of corridors, rooms, and vaults to find displays representative of the Ottoman Empire’s 19th- and 20th-century economy. Bank notes, customer ledgers of Istanbul’s elite, and information about the Ottoman economy are all on show here for free. There are also views of the Gold Horn, as well as a chic research library, archives, a bookshop, a café, a rooftop restaurant, and exhibition spaces. Take a walking detour between Galata Tower and Karaköy Tram Station to find it, and combine the detour with a photo of the Kamondo steps, less than 70 feet away. The program of current events and exhibitions can be found on their website.
By Leeann Murphy, AFAR Local Expert
Arap Cami Mahallesi, Bankalar Cd. No:11, 34420 Beyoğlu/İstanbul, Turkey
+90 212 334 22 00
Sun 12pm - 6pm
Tue - Sat 10am - 7pm