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7. Panoramic Castle of Tepeli Istanbul, Bulgur Palace


7. Panoramic Castle of Tepeli Istanbul, Bulgur Palace

Bulgur Palace, which has been watching the city from the seventh hill of Istanbul for more than 100 years with its castle-like architecture, is coming to become a brand new cultural center for Istanbulites in the Historical Peninsula.

Modern Restoration Suitable for Historical Texture

Bulgur Palace, a very valuable building in terms of Istanbul’s memory, had been abandoned to its fate for years. The building, which was designed by Italian Architect Giulio Mongeri by Bolulu Habib Bey in 1912, has been silently watching the city from above since then.

Bulgur Palace, restored to its original state; It awaits its visitors with temporary exhibitions, libraries, workshops and event areas. ©️ Photo: Sahra Gülal

Regarding Bulgur Palas, it was purchased by IMM’s affiliate companies (KİPTAŞ, İGDAŞ, İstanbul İmar AŞ, İSTAÇ and İSTON) in 2021, while it was private property, and was restored by the IMM Heritage teams affiliated with the IMM Cultural Heritage Department to be opened to public use. It opened to visitors in February 2024.

You can access my reels video about Bulgur Palas on my Instagram account @fotokusagi. Don’t forget to follow for more. (:

You can have a pleasant time in the work areas of Bulgur Palas. ©️ Photo: Sahra Gülal

Panoramic Silhouette of Istanbul

Bulgur Palas stands out with its observation deck with a panoramic view of the other 6 hills of Istanbul. ©️ Photo: Sahra Gülal

Bulgur Palas is located on Kocamustafapaşa Hill in Fatih Aksaray; It was put into service as a new generation living center with its library for 135 people, exhibition hall, areas allocated for the use of student clubs, restaurant, multi-purpose event areas and observation terrace overlooking Sarayburnu, Çemberlitaş, Süleymaniye, Fatih, Yavuz Selim and Edirnekapı views.

The New Address of the Best Temporary Exhibitions, Bulgur Palas’s First Move in the Name of Culture and Art, “Magnum is in Istanbul” Exhibition

‘Magnum in Istanbul’, the 77th anniversary exhibition of Magnum Photos, one of the world’s most respected photography agencies, consists of more than 200 photographs of 70 artists. ©️ Photo: Sahra Gülal

You can visit this temporary exhibition at Bulgur Palas, which currently hosts the “Magnum in Istanbul” exhibition celebrating the 77th anniversary of Magnum Photos, one of the most respected photography agencies in the world, free of charge until August 31.

Food and Shopping

After visiting Bulgur Palace, you can take a delicious snack break at Beltur cafe. I really liked the cherry red cake. The prices of the freshly served products are also very affordable.

You can also buy Istanbul-themed products, handicrafts and souvenirs from the Istanbul Bookstore located in the front garden. I bought the Weeping Column Mug from Karaca’s İst Collection series.

You can take impressive photos in every corner of Bulgur Palace, which is designed with modern touches. ©️ Photo: Sahra Gülal

Visitor Information and Entrance Fee

  • Address: Aksaray, Kargı Çk. No: 5, 34096 Fatih, Istanbul.
  • Visiting hours: It can be visited every day between 10.00-19.00, except Monday. The library is open until 22.00 every day.
  • Entrance is free.

At the entrance, you are required to register through the “Istanbul is Yours” application. Visitors who register are offered 1 free coffee at the IBB Culture Cafe.


It is possible to reach Kocamustafapaşa by public transportation from all over Istanbul. You can easily reach the palace, which is within walking distance, by using the nearest metro and tram stops. It is also stated that IMM will continue its work to make this area more accessible. The current archeology study area in Yenikapı is aimed to be transformed into a museum in the future.

History and Architecture of Bulgur Palace

Bulgur Palace is a symbol frequently seen in old Istanbul photographs, with its impressive castle-like architecture, important location and over a century of history. This eye-catching building was designed by Giulio Mongeri, one of the leading Italian architects of the period, in 1912 by Habib Bey, who played an important role in the organization of the Committee of Union and Progress and was elected as the Bolu deputy.

II. With the economic transformations after the Constitutional Monarchy, during the period when the needs of the army had to be met through local channels, Habib Bey, with the privileges he obtained thanks to his connections with the society, undertook the task of transporting products such as grain, wheat, barley and bulgur from Anatolia to Istanbul and the front, and with the wealth he earned from these works, he became known as the “Bulghur King”. He earned the nickname.

History and architecture of Bulgur Palace. ©️ Photo: Sahra Gülal

This mansion, built by Habib Bey and called “Bulgur Palace” by the local people, has a magnificent architecture. Mehmet Habib Bey had to transfer the building to the Ottoman Bank in 1926 after he could not pay the expenses of the mansion and the loans he received from the Ottoman Bank. This building, which was subsequently used as the Ottoman Archives for many years, continued to attract attention with its historical texture.

Bulgur Palace, designed by Italian architect Giulio Mongeri, bears the characteristic features of the First National Architecture movement. The effects of this period, which spanned between 1908 and 1930 and is also called National Architecture, National Architectural Renaissance and Neo-Classical Style, can be seen in the building. This large masonry building, located in a courtyard surrounded by high walls in the Fatih district, is a building where some of the materials such as stones and bricks used in its construction were brought from abroad. The unplastered brick walls and the plaster found only in the tower section emphasize the original architecture of the building. Bulgur Palace, which reflects the architectural concept of the period with its steel beamed voltatile ceilings, basement, three normal floors, attic and a tower, is one of the important cultural heritages of Istanbul with its historical and aesthetic value.


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