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After the conquest of İstanbul. a cannon molding area was founded at the old settling area of Galata district in front of the east gate of the walls. Not long after the founding this eastern gate was given the name ‘Porta delle Bombarde’. Most probably to prevent the Levantines from spreading by the coast side of Galata this cannonball foundry was placed there. It is thought that there used to be a foundry and a port for the boats. Evliya Çelebi, the legendary Turkish traveler, says Fatih Sultan Mehmed [1451-1481] built a cannonball foundry in the area full of trees and Sultan II Bayezıd [1481-1512] added new rooms and enlarged it.


Evliya Çelebi further reported that Kanuni Sultan Süleyman [1520-1566] demolished those buildings and created a whole new cannonball foundry there. It was placed just 100 steps away from the sea surrounded by twenty eight meter long walls covered by a fishbone shaped roof. Just next to the foundry by the seaside artillery men rooms were built in the times of Fatih Sultan Mehmed, Sultan II.Bayezıd and Kanuni Sultan Süleyman. In the image collection from 1537 by Matrakcı Nasuh a tall building with a roof of lead and the Tophane building with three lighthouses can be seen at the walls of Galata.


During these times two mosques named “Arabacılar Karhanesi Mescidi” and “Tophane Ocağı Mescidi” were built in the Tophane district. Throughout the ages those buildings were rebuilt several times. The “Arabacılar Karhanesi Mescidi” was renovated during the reign of Sultan III. Selim and rebuilted during the reign of Sultan II. Mahmud and was called “Cami-I Meşta-yı Gerdunekeşan”. Unfortunately this mosque burned down in 1822. A selatin mosque was built on the same spot. It is the first Selatin mosque in Istanbul and you can still see it there today. “Tophane Ocağı Mescidi” was rebuilt several times after lots of fires and in 1956 it was demolished and a road was built there.


After the fire in 1720-1721 most of the wooden buildings were destroyed and a huge water eistern was built. The head of the construction was Topçubaşı İbrahim Ağa. In the very same year a pavilion was built in Tophane for the sultan’s visit. In 1745-1746, during the period of Sultan I Mahmud [1730-1754] all buildings were rebuilt in Tophane according to the project of Mustafa Ağa, architect and head of the artiilery.


The Tophane facilities have been changed rapidly and expanded during the reign of Mustafa III. For example a French doctor Olivier said there existed beatiful amphithiater sahaped barracks. During the Firuzağa fire on the 24th of February 1823 those barracks were hugely damaged. Sultan II. Mahmud also built a stone steam machine house and some depose store houses by the seaside. After 1843 the Tophane facilities began to use carriages for cannon balls and rifles. In 1847 a huge carpenter house was built during the Sultan Abdülmecids period. In 1863 the Topçubaşı building burnt down and turned into a place that connected the Topçu School and the Tophane Müşirliği.
Most probably in the same year British architect William James Smith came to Istanbul to build the British Embassy Building. This building was a 10 to 22 meters stone building with two stores. The main front of the building is the old square front by the sea.


After the ıst World War this facility lost its importance and was being used for other needs. For a while it had been used as an installation atelier for important cars. After 1956 the Tophane Müşirliği building had been demolished due to enlargement of the main avenue. Today we only have a foundry with five domes and another building withone dome on the east side. The sea section of Tophane buildings also replaced by port facilities and storage houses.


After 1956 the Tophane Building became a store house despite of the intentions to make it a military museum. In 1972 they tried to restore it with spending a huge amount of money but the restoration could not be completed. In 1992 the building was given to the Mimar Sinan University and is being used for the artistic events from time on time.