University opens doors to tourists

University opens doors to tourists

ISTANBUL- Anatolia News Agency
University opens doors to tourists

The entrance door, buildings and manison of the university has been restored.

Tourists will be able to stroll through Istanbul University’s Beyazıt Campus and see its historical entrance doors, fire tower, large sculptures and mansions starting in May following a restoration project.

The restoration work at the university has already been finished, according to information from the university gathered by Anatolia news agency.

“The buildings, mansions and the entrance have been restored,” Istanbul University Rector Yusuf Söylet said, adding that coordinating the project for the buildings’ renewal, including the electricity facilities and infrastructure, was a hard task. The restoration project was conducted by the Provincial Administration, he added.

The university contains the “Old Palace” and old army offices that served the Ottoman Empire. The building first belonged to the Turkish army, who gave it to Istanbul University after the forces were relocated to Ankara. Visitors to the university campus may enter from the rector building and rest in the garden. Rooms will be open and tourists will have the chance to visit Beyazıt Tower, also known as the Fire Tower. 

Istanbul’s nature displayed

The campus also contains many flora and fauna characteristic of Istanbul. There are a number of rare trees and plants in the garden of the university such as Uludağ firs, Spanish firs, white-flowered horse chestnut trees, maple trees and acers. Along with the rich species of plants, the campus is also home to many bird species.

The campus boasts 42 different bird species, including 21 local and 21 migratory birds. The migratory birds, including green parrots, nightingales, flycatchers, starlings and different types of warblers, all choose to stay at rector building.

History of the university

The main campus with its landmark gate used to be the Ottoman War Ministry. Roman and Byzantine ruins are still visible on the grounds.

Beyazıt Tower, also named Seraskier Tower, from the name of the Ottoman War Ministry, is an 85-meter-tall watchtower. It is located in the courtyard of the university’s main campus on Beyazıt Square (known as the Forum Tauri in the Roman period), on top of one of the “seven hills” where Constantine the Great built the city, following the model of Rome.

A madrasah was established in the 15th century after the Ottoman conquest of Constantinople. An institution of higher education named the Darülfünun-i Osmani (“House of Sciences”) was created in 1863, but suppressed in 1871. The Imperial University (Darülfünun-i Sultani) started in 1874 to give lectures in law in French, but was closed in 1881. 

The Imperial University, now known as Darülfünun-i Şahane, was re-established in 1900, with the departments of theology, arts, mathematics, science and philology. In 1924, the faculties of law, medicine, arts and sciences were established at Istanbul University (Istanbul Darülfünunu), when the university took the title it uses today. Islamic theology was added in 1925, but discontinued in 1933. 
The university has 17 faculties on five campuses, the main campus being on Beyazıt Square in Istanbul. It has a teaching staff of 2,000 professors and associates and 4,000 assistants and other staff. More than 60,000 undergraduate and 8,000 postgraduate students take courses offered by the school every year.

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