All About Turkey

Florence Nightingale and the FN Museum

Florence NightingaleIn the October of 1854 when war was declared against Russia Miss Nightingale with 38 nurses traveled to Istanbul to organize a nursing unit to care for the wounded from the Crimean battle front.

On arrival she found 2,300 wounded already installed in the Selimiye Military Barracks at Uskudar (Scudari). Within weeks the numbers rose to 10,000 wounded Turkish, French and British soldiers. She saw the over crowding of the wards, corridor and even the towers. She believed that the bad sanitary arrangements (common to all hospitals at that time) plus the overcrowding were responsive for the frightening mortality rate.

During her two years at Uskudar she organized a new type of war hospital, laying the foundations of modern nursing case.

To this day she is known as "The lady of the lamp", this phrase was coined by the wounded men who looked forward to her nightly visits as she made her way through the maze of corridors and wards, lighting her way with a candle lamp.

At the end of the Crimean war the Barracks reverted to the purpose it was built for. An impressive building built in 1800 can easily be seen from the European shore, situated at the entrance of the Bosphorus on the Anatolian side.

The Florence Nightingale Museum

The museum is opened in memory of the English nurse Florence Nightingale who came to Istanbul in 1854 to tend the Turkish and allied soldiers of the Crimean War. The hospital was at the Selimiye Barracks and now the room in the northwest tower has been turned into a museum.

The exhibits include Florence Nightingale's personal belongings, photographs, certificates, medallions and the bracelet that Sultan Abdulmecid presented to her.

Florence Nightingale Müzesi
Selimiye Kislasi, Usküdar
(216) 343 73 10
Open only on Saturday


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