Santral İstanbul: Power for Culture

“Santral” is the Turkish word for power plant. From 1911 to 1983, the Silahtarağa Power Station, located at the upper end of the Golden Horn in İstanbul’s oldest industrial area, supplied the city with electric power. It was the Ottoman Empire’s first urban-scale power plant. In 2007, it reopened as an arts and education center, as one of the most exhaustive conversion projects in Turkey and a unique industrial heritage site. 

SantralIstanbul is a multipurpose center. It comprises the Museum of Energy, Turkey’s first industrial archaeology museum, which came about with the conversion of the power plant’s original turbine rooms. The museum consists of two main sections, the Exhibition Gallery and the Energy Game Area, where visitors can produce their own electric energy.

Another attraction is the Modern Art Museum, which is, like the Museum of Energy, free of charge, except for guided tours. It consists of two new buildings constructed upon the remains of two plant buildings, covering 7,000 square meters of floor space. Many international and national exhibitions have been shown here, attracting more than 500,000 visitors since opening. Dining, refreshment, and entertainment venues of award-winning design are also part of the complex, which is run by the Istanbul Bilgi University.

Works of many national artists can currently be seen at the Modern Art Museum. A shuttle bus service is provided free of charge for visitors departing from Kabatas pier, Trump Shopping Mall, and the Dolapdere campus.