Five unique ceilings in Istanbul

• İstanbul’un sıra dışı tavanlara sahip yapıları

Self-help books advise you to slow down and seize the moment.

We have one thing to add: Don’t forget to look up.

Several buildings in Istanbul have extraordinary ceilings that are worth your attention.

We listed five ceilings, each with its own unique style.


Pera Palace

Pera Palas tavan

We can’t get enough of staring at Kubbeli Saloon’s high-domed ceiling. Before restoration, the hotel’s historical domes created a natural airflow. Now they are covered by a glass roof, which enables sunlight to reach the lobby lounge. With its six original glass domes and Oriental style influences, Kubbeli Saloon Tea Lounge will make you feel like an aristocrat living in 1900s Istanbul.

Istanbul Modern

istanbul modern müzesi tavan

Head downstairs to see False Ceiling, an installation by British artist Richard Wentworth. First exhibited at 4th International Istanbul Biennale in 1995, the artwork is composed of hundreds of books suspended from the ceiling by steel wires. Wentworth describes his work as ‘cultural meteorology,’ as books are different in languages and genres. All are at the same level, which makes this artwork the favorite selfie spot among visitors.

Kılıç Ali Paşa Hamam

The beautiful inside of historic Kilic Ali Pasa Hamam

Among the last works by Ottoman architect Mimar Sinan, Kılıç Ali Paşa has one of the largest hammam domes in Istanbul. The stunning dome, 14 meters in diameter and 17 meters in height, covers the lounge area called camegah. Relax here before and after the hammam session, light beams will shine on you while you’re sipping a glass of sherbet. During your session, lie down on the navel stone and see if you can count all the stars on the ceiling.

Chora Museum

Chora Museum ceiling

No wonder why Chora Museum is internationally-recognized, thanks to its breathtaking mosaics and frescoes. You will be mesmerized by great works of late Byzantine art on the ceilings and domes. Two domes of the inner narthex display Jesus and Mary surrounded by their ancestors. One of the most famous frescoes can be seen in the parecclesion: the Resurrection (Anastasis) depicts Christ breaking the gates of hell and pulling Adam and Eve out of their tombs.

Şakirin Mosque

Şakirin Mosque ceiling

Can Islamic architecture be merged with modern design? Sure, Şakirin Mosque proves that. Although not super beautiful, this mosque ceiling is definitely an interesting example of contemporary Islamic architecture. The giant chandelier hanging from the 130-feet diameter dome reflects the synthesis of tradition and modernism. It is embellished with glass-blown raindrops and has 99 names of Allah written on.

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