About the Museum
The Divan Edebiyati Muzesi was the first Mawlawi House in İstanbul, built by Divane (Semai) Mehmed (Chalabi) Dede and Sheikh of Afyon Mawlawi House, on a land at Galata ridge which was owned by Iskender Pasha during the reign of Bayezid II.
The building was swayed by the big earthquake in İstanbul (1509) otherwise known as "little doomsday"; repaired and renovated and eventually became a complex of buildings after new sections were added. The first known reparation was the Construction Work in the Mawlawi House by the Fiduciary of the Kitchen Ismail Ağa. The oldest property that has survived today is Hasan Agha Fountain which is dated to 1649. The Mawlawi house was destroyed in the big fire at Tophane (1765) and repaired in the same year by Yenişehirli Osman Efendi who was designated as the buildings' fiduciary by Sultan Mustafa III. The Mawlawi house was renovated by reparations which were financed by Sultan Selim III. The function as Mawlawi House was ceased due to The law no 677 and dd. 13 December 1925.
Upon closure of the dervish lodges, hospices and shrines and on abolition and banning of the shrine offices and particular titles, the buildings were converted into a school by the Arbitrament from Istanbul Principal Council on Galata Mawlawi House's. Between 2005-2009, The Sema House was restorated under the control of the Provincial Department for Foundations. Halet Said Efendi (Kudretullah Dede) Tomb and Sheikh Ghalib (Ismail Ankaravi) Tombs were restored and The Museum started to receive visitors by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism and with the contributions of İstanbul 2010 European Cultural Capital Agency.