Friday, June 3, 2011


Istanbul's first urban scale power plant of the Ottoman empire, was built in the early 1900's and supplied all of Istanbul's electricity between 1914 and 1952.  It continued providing electricity until 1983.  In 2004, the facilities of the dormant power plant were given to santralistanbul, which is a center for art education and exhibitions.  The location is at the inland tip of the Golden Horn, the largest inlet off the Bosphorus.  I took the Golden Horn ferry to the last stop and walked the rest of the way.  This 'short' walk, took over an hour and I was eager to cross the pretty blue bridge over a small river, only to find that the bridge carries pipes and no foot traffic.
I did find another bridge and entered through a gate to Bilge University, which has one of its campuses located in the same area.  After the long walk, I was so happy to see a Starbucks, to get rehydrated with an iced decaf coffee.

Some of the power plant buildings have been left in place and others removed and replaced with modern buildings.
The exhibit I went to see was the work of 20 modern Turkish artists from the 20th century.  As santralistanbul has a very large exhibit area, there were quite a few pieces from each artist - about 400 art pieces all together.  No pictures allowed inside, though...
The old power plant engine house has been left in tact and turned into the Museum of Energy.  The equipment is huge and around the equipment are lots of fun hands-on exhibits about electricity and energy.  I did try several of the exhibits.  No school groups today, so I was able to have the run of the place by myself.

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