The Rami Library opens its doors to visitors as a distinctive establishment that meets cultural, educational and artistic needs with its services. The Library offers visitors of all ages an entirely new library experience through a contemporary library approach and the concept of the “living library”.
Now a focal point for scientific, artistic and cultural life in İstanbul, the Rami Library is a premier resource for those who will shape the world of the future, bringing ancient knowledge together with modern research.
From Rami Farm to Rami Barracks
This expansive land parcel, which today lies within the boundaries of İstanbul’s Eyüpsultan district, was presented by the Sultan to Rami Mehmed Pasha, who served as the grand vizier during the reign of Ottoman Sultan Mustafa II (1695-1703). The parcel, noted in records as Rami Barracks Farm, was first used during the reign of Sultan Mustafa III as an area to provide logistical support for the army mobilized to the Rumeli branch as well as the provision of additional services. It also became the location of Biniş-i Hümayun, which were short trips conducted by the Ottoman sultans, especially in the last centuries, via horse or royal boat.
In 1826, military barracks were built on the land for the Asâkir-i Mansûre-i Muhammediyye army after the dissolution of the Janissary Quarry. Put into use in 1828, the barracks became known as the Rami Barracks. The Rami Barracks served as the headquarters of Sultan Mahmud II during the Ottoman-Russian War of 1828-29. Between 1836 and 1837, engineering school students moved to the Mekteb-i Harbiye, situated within the Barracks compound, and a science centre was established.
Partially destroyed after the First World War, the Rami Barracks retained its function during the Republican period and was used for military purposes until 1971, when the compound was handed over to the civil administration.
Bringing History to Life: The Restoration Process
With a history of more than 250 years, the idea of rebuilding the Rami Barracks as a library was based on activities related to İstanbul’s designation in 2010 as a European Capital of Culture. The Rami Barracks restoration, renovation and reconstruction project, initiated in 2014 through intensive efforts by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the Republic of Türkiye, was conducted in three phases under the supervision of the İstanbul Directorate of Surveying and Monuments and completed in 2023.
The on-site survey preserved the barracks’ original structures, rebuilding damaged areas using natural materials and special techniques. With the greening of the courtyard in the centre of the rectangular barracks, an expansive green space will breathe new life into İstanbul.
The destroyed mosque in the barracks was also repaired and reopened. With an area of 220 decares, an indoor area of 36,000 square meters and a courtyard of 51,000 square meters, the Rami Library is the largest library complex in Türkiye as well as Europe.
The Rami Library, the witness to the past and source of the future, opens its doors to visitors as a distinctive new venue serving as a window into the information society of Türkiye and İstanbul, and responding to the cultural, educational and artistic needs of society. The Rami Library offers visitors of all ages an entirely new library experience with its modern library approach and “living library” concept.