Historic Podesta Palace for sale for $7 million
“The new buyer must be someone who knows the real value of this building; must have an interest in culture, art and history. This is a world heritage,” said the owner of the palace, Nizam Hışım.
Art Historian Hayri Fehmi Yılmaz said, “It is a very special structure that connects Turkey and Italy. If it is restored, it will probably be a great gift to our city.”
The Podesta Palace, which was built in 1314 as the palace of Montani de Marinis, the ruler of the Genoese in Galata, was rebuilt in 1316 when it burned down in 1315. The façade of the building, which was partially rebuilt using the old building’s materials, was cut by five meters in the 19th century due to zoning activities.
The palace, which lost its magnificent façade, was purchased 15 years ago by the President of Beyoğlu Beautification and Protection Association, Nizam Hışim. Parts of this palace, which is one of the important structures in Istanbul and features the architecture of the 14th and 19th centuries, became the target of thieves over time.
Hışım decided to sell the palace, whose Genoese coat of arms was stolen, for 7 million dollars. The four-story palace with 220 square meters of floor space is now waiting for its new buyer.
Hışım emphasized that the Podesta Palace is one of the two rare buildings not only in Istanbul but also in the world. “Unfortunately, I am selling it because of our understanding of protection. We have been in court for 10 years and that’s why I am fed up and selling it. The price is 7 million dollars. I don’t want to sell it. The purchase of such buildings, the construction of a culture and art center or the construction of a museum and a workshop will contribute greatly to the development of Beyoğlu,” he said.
$2 million for restoration
Stating that parts of the building were stolen over time, Hışım said, “The building was burned by thinners. The handrails inside were stolen. Finally, they stole the very valuable Genoese coat of arms. Although we cannot make them in their original form, we will be able to replicate them, since we are making surveys and restitutions. The Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality sponsor and build the exteriors of very beautiful buildings in Istanbul. It is possible to buy this place and build an Istanbul Museum. Currently, $2 million has been spent to preserve its originality and restore it to its original form.”
Stating that the new buyer of the Podesta Palace, which was put up for sale for 7 million dollars, should know its value, Hışım said, “The new buyer should know the real value of this building; should be interested in culture, art, history. He must love Istanbul. This is a world heritage site.”
Speaking about the Podesta Palace, Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University, Art History Department Lecturer Hayri Fehmi Yılmaz said, “This building is one of the important examples of civil architecture, residential architecture and palace architecture in Istanbul.”
“From the 13th century onwards, Galata became a Genoa colony and its ruler’s palace was called the Palace of Podesta in that colony. A palace was built at the end of the 13th century, but we know that this palace burned down in 1315. It was renewed in 1316. They probably built this new building using part of the old building. In the Ottoman period, it was used as a center where the affairs of the Genoese community were managed. Then this masonry building turned into an inn. When the Ottoman Empire developed rapidly in the 19th century, while it was trying to build wider streets in the city, Galata also fell victim to one of the development activities. The palace’s front was cut by five meters. Unfortunately, it has lost its old magnificent façade, but it is still very important for our city.”
Yılmaz said, “The main part of today’s building, which is the rear part, belongs to the 14th century. The front façade is from the 19th century and was built in the 1870s. It is a very special structure that connects Turkey and Italy. Since it is an inn, it is a private property, but it would be very enjoyable if it could turn into a museum.”