Yesterday, I was at home sipping my coffee while reading the papers when I came across a short description of the Seljuks Exhibition in The Museum of Turkish and Islamic Art in Sultanahmet and couldn’t remember when was the last time I was in that part of the city! What a shame I thought and decided to go there to check on what’s going on in the old city.
Beautiful summer day, with thousands of tourists walking in the shade of still green chestnut trees, reminded me of my old days when I used to guide large groups visiting the wonders of Istanbul.
The recently restored museum, welcomed me with nicely decorated exhibition halls and extraordinary objects gathered from different museums and collections all over the country. The 227 objects collected under A Magnificent Empire, A Gorgeous Heritage title, put emphasis on daily life, secular and religious institutes, architecture and decorative arts of this mighty empire whose power dominated a large geography expanding from Middle East and Anatolia to Iran and further into Central Asia between 11th and 13th centuries.
I loved the light projections on the floor showing the patterns of Seljuk carpets and the golden domes crowning the showcases filled with carefully selected objects. I sat for some time to watch the meticulously prepared audio-visual presenting architectural wonders of the great Seljuk geography. On the second floor the show went on with other audio-visual presentations, depicting love stories, war scenes and other interesting details about heroes which reminded us of the human part of the whole history.
We don’t talk about Seljuks as much as we do about the Ottomans but I am sure that this exhibition will give us a new perspective about this great empire and soon we will be following the footsteps of this legendary culture in the caravanserais, the Great Mosques, palaces and mausoleums around Anatolia and further.
PS: The exhibition remains open until November 17th, 2015.