Madrasa of Gevherhan Sultan

Deniz Feneri Centre of Education and Culture in the Madrasa of Gevherhan Sultan


The Madrasa of Gevherhan Sultan is a historical place situated on the section of structure surrounded by Nakşi and Küçük Mühendis Streets on the Cerrahpaşa Main Street, Aksaray, Fatih, Istanbul. In 1568, it was built by Gevherhan Sultan, the daughter of Selim II and Nurbanu Sultan, and the wife of Grand Admiral Piale Pasha (1515- 1578). Located just across Cerrah Mehmet Pasha Mosque, the building is considered to be a part of the social complex. The architect of the complex is unknown. According to its foundation certificate, there are 15 madrasa cells and a masjid in the structure. The cells lined around the porched, square courtyard are also square in shape. The classroom, which is again a square, remains opposite the entrance on the main street. There is a well on a corner of the courtyard.


In 1792, there was a total of 14 enrolled students in the Madrasa of Gevherhan Sultan, while this number rose to 27 in 1869. Continuing as a regular place of education until the beginning of the 20th century, its inspection report dated 1914 indicates 20 enrolments. Used as a kitchen for the army during World War I, the structure was restored and assigned to the Institute of the History of Medicine in the 1970s, and it subsequently served as the Research Centre of the History of Medicine, and the Archive of Süheyl Ünver under Cerrahpaşa School of Medicine, Istanbul University.


Having been assigned to our association in 2004, the madrasa was used as a free of charge guesthouse for those needers who visited the hospitals around it, their relatives, and hospital attendants. The guesthouse, which served 3600 people from 81 provinces of Turkey and from 19 different countries of the world (44,000 accommodations), continued to be used for this purpose until 2015.


It was taken over by the Ministry of Culture for restoration in 2015, and reassigned to our association in the beginning of 2018. Its rooms were redesigned, air conditioning systems were repaired and maintained, toilets were modernised, aesthetic furniture items complementing the space were placed in each room, and a big library was built. Thus, the madrasa was opened again in such a way as to serve its original goal. The Gevherhan Madrasa, which contains the Genç İyilik (young goodness) unit of the Deniz Feneri Association as well as DEYAM (Deniz Feneri Centre of Poverty Research) library, will be a “living” space where art and culture activities are performed.




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