Archeology Museum, Istanbul
This is one of the highlights of my visit to Istanbul, spending the whole afternoon here exploring the wondrous treasures exhibited in its various halls. You shouldn't miss this one for three reasons:
1) It's the country in a nutshell. As it's virtually impossible for regular travellers to visit every Turkish archeological site, the museum offers visitors a sample of what the country has to offer in terms of archeological treasures, from the prehistoric times to the Ottoman period. I really enjoyed the galleries of statues housing the classical sculptures that could rival those found in Italy and Greece.
Turkiye's Islamic traditions and roots are also well-represented in a separate building, which is a special treat for lovers of Islamic art. The pre-historic artifacts, also housed in a separate building, are also worth visiting.
2) It's a great place to interact with locals. The museum's relaxed environment, unlike those of the hurried pace in bazaars and in Istiklal, gives you a chance to chat with locals, and get to know more of the culture. In my case, I found myself learning a lot about Turkish football from art students who are just as keen to interact with the tourists and practice their English. Thanks to them (the students), now I know a lot more about Galatasaray, Besiktas, and Fenerbahce. The only hitch though, was I made the mistake of revealing that my favorite team was Galatasaray to a group of Fenerbahce die-hards!
3) It's a great place to recharge batteries. Tucked downhill from tourist-magnet Topkapi Palace, it's shaded parks, relaxed ambiance and less crowded halls give visitors a chance to take things on a more leisurely pace. The tea garden outside the museum is a great place to sit down, recharge your batteries and scribble your thoughts on your travel diary.
Istanbul is home to one of the best Archaeological museums that I have visited so far. It is certainly the best such museum in Turkey and a must see for anyone with any interest in archaeology. All the more remarkable and frustrating is that only about half of the museum was open during my visit. The museum actually occupies three buildings and the mezzaine level of the main building was closed for renovations when I visited.
The Istanbul Archaeological Museum, in the main building, holds over one million artefacts of all kinds. The highlight for many will be the large collection of sarcophagi that date from as early as the 4th century B.C. This collection is located on the Ground floor just to the left of the main entrance. The star attraction is the Alexander Sarcophagus which is remarkable for stunning carvings on the exterior detailing the battles and the life of Alexander the Great. Of note this is not actually Alexander's sarcophagus. It was named so because of the brilliant reliefs. There are many other superb artifacts in this building which are well displayed and labeled in English. All the more pleasing is that they are exhibited in chronological order. Even with my own personal interest in archaeology, I can admit that such museums can become mindnumbing after awhile however the exhibits here alway held by attention.
Also interesting is the Museum of the Ancient Orient. This building sits across the compound from the main building. It features artefacts from the pre-Islamic Middle East. Interesting enough, I found more Turkish tourists in this museum.
The Istanbul Archaeology Museum has a charming outdoor cafe across from the main building where you can sit amongst Greco-Roman jars and sculptures.
The museum is open from 9am to 5pm from Tuesday to Sunday. It costs 1 million Lira to visit.
In a big building in Gülhane Park is Istanbul Archaeology Museum. On the groundfloor there is a collection of Greek and Roman statues. There are also finds and big sarcophagi from the royal necropolis in Sidon (Lebanon). Don't miss the Alexander sarcophagi with detailed carvings on the sides.
On the upper floor there are a lot of pottery from Troj, dating from different periods.
The Tiled Pavilion and the museum of the Ancient Orient are situated around the same courtyard and are also included in the price.
Entrance fee is 5 000 000 TL.
The Archeology Museum is a place not to be missed while in Istanbul! It can be reached by walking down the slope from Topkapi Palace.
This complex is divided in three buildings, the Museum of Oriental Antiquities, the Archaeological Museum and the Tiled Pavillion. It houses one of the world's richest collections of classical artifacts and pre-classical treasures.
There are sixty-thousand archaeological treasures, seven-hundred-sixty thousand coins and medallions, and seventy-five thousand clay tablets in these three museums. ''Antique Age Sculpture'' examples are exhibited in the halls to the right of the entrance.
Unique examples of sculpture from the Archaic age until the end of Roman era . A place worth a visit!
It's a shame that it took me so many years to visit Archeology Museum in Istanbul. Having visited Topkapi Palace, Hagia Sophia and Basilica Cistern numerous times, I always missed out this great museum. Finally I had the chance to visit and enjoy it. The Archeology Museum has a large collection of Turkish, Hellenistic and Roman artifacts. It houses over one million objects that represent almost all of the eras and civilizations in world history. The Istanbul Archeology Museum consists of three seperate sections: Archeological Museum (main building), Museum of the Ancient Orient (the building on the left from the entrance) and the Museum of Islamic Art (Tiled Kiosk). The ornate Alexander Sarcophagus, once believed to be prepared for Alexander the Great, is among the most famous pieces of ancient art in the museum. You can easily spend 3-4 hours here. It is open from 9 am to 5 pm everyday except Mondays. Admission fee is 10 TL.
The Archaeological Museum (Arkeoloji Muzesi in Turkish) is one of the two main archaeological museums in Turkey (the other is in Ankara). The Istanbul museum is spread out over three buildings adjacent to the Topkapi Palace. Don't skip the two smaller buildings (Museum of the Ancient Orient and the Cinili Pavillion) to save time, they contain some of the museum's best exhibits.
The Museum of the Ancient Orient contains exhibits from the Hittites, Assyrians, Babylonians, and other ancient middle-eastern civilizations. Highlights from that building include the Treaty of Kadesh (the oldest surviving written peace treaty) and decorative tiles from Babylon's Ishtar Gate.
The Cinili Pavillion is a beatiful little building whose rooms are decorated with ceramic tiles. The pavillion houses part of the museum's tile and ceramic collection. A highlight is a tile mihrab (decorative wall niche that indicates the direction of Mecca) from a mosque in Karaman.
The main building features hundreds of artifacts from the ongoing excavations at Troy, an outstanding sarcophogus collection (the highlight of which is the Alexander sarcohagus from Sidon, Lebanon), and the museum's collections of Byzantine art. There is also a small children's museum and an exhibition of artifacts from ongoing excavations at construction sites in Istanbul.
[photos to come]
Right by the Topkapi Palace are a series of three museums. Entrance to all three is 5YTL (as of Dec 2005).
We went on a snowy day and warmed up in a tiny tea room when all the friendly curators and security guards were taking their break.
The glazed lions and other animals inside the Museum of the Ancient Orient, come from the Ishtar Gate at Bablylon and date from the C6th BCE; there are exhibits of clay tablets bearing the early Law Code of Hammurabi and many other panels and inscriptions. Partiularly of interest to us, were teh displays of Hittite artifacts, because so little from this culture is in museums elsewhere.
The Archaeology Museum has a dramtic statue to greet you at the entrance: a roman sculpture of the god Bes towers over you as you approach. The museum contains a great deal of classical sculpture and sarcophagi.
The Tiled Kiosk is the last of the three museums: a delightful building, and contains beutiful examples of faience work: including a wonderful peacock fountain and a (15th mihrab.
This sounds like it might be a bit dull and nerdy, but not at all. I loved it and so did my 11 year old.
The quality and antiquity of the stuff just has to impress you!
It takes about half a day to get around it. It's right beside the Blue Mosque, Ayia Sofia & Topkapi so you can take in a couple of things in that day.
The cafe takes some beating as well - you are outside, surrounded by the artifacts they can't squeeze inside. Stuff which other museums would die for, just lying around in the yard...
The Istanbul Archaeology Museum consists of three museums.
Archaeological Museum (main building),
Museum of the Ancient Orient and the
Museum of Islamic Art (Tiled Kiosk).
It is situated near Gülhane Park and Topkapý Palace.
The construction of the main building was started by Osman Hamdi Bey in 1881, attaining its present neo-Greek form in 1908.
The four storeys of the new building are arranged as exhibition saloons. There is an inscription “Istanbul for Ages” on the first floor of the building, “Anatolia and Troia for Ages” on the second floor and “Surrounding Cultures of Anatolia: Cyprus, Syria-Palestine” on the top floor.
You can watch my 3 min 58 sec HQ Video Istanbul Archaeological Museum part I out of my Youtube channel with the music by Par – E Parvaz – traditional.
You can watch my 4 min 01 sec HQ Video Istanbul Archaeological Museum part II out of my Youtube channel with the music by Yadestan - traditional.
The Istanbul Archaeological Museum is actually made up of 3 separately housed collections - The Museum of Ancient Orient, The Museum of Archaeology, and The Çinili Kösk (Tiled Kiosk). The museum, as it is structured now, opened in 1891, to which famed Turkish archaeologist, painter, & intellectual Osman Hamdi Bey is credited. During his tenure as director, he not only made it his duty to make it a world-renowned museum of antiquities, he also fought to keep achaeological finds from being taken out of then Ottoman Empire lands to other countries.
When you 1st walk through the entrance gate, the Museum of Ancient Orient is to your left. Housed here are hundreds of artifacts & exhibits from the ancient civilizations of Mesopotamia, Assyria, Babylonia, and Egypt among others. Amid the towering reliefs & statues, 1 small item of great historical importance is 1 of the tablets of the Kadesh Treaty, the world's 1st known peace-treaty, made between the Hittites & the Egyptians in 1269 B.C.
Across the courtyard you will see the beautiful neo-classical structure of the Museum of Archaeology. On the first level, you can view numerous classical statues & busts, primarily from Greek & Roman civilizations. Also on this level are the amazing marble sarcophagi & tombs brought to the museum in 1887 from the Sidon necropolis in modern-day Lebanon by Osman Hamdi Bey. The upper 3 levels contain countless numbers of artifacts & documents that trace the histories of Istanbul, Anatolia, & the famous site of Troy, among the many displays here.
The 3rd & final museum is the Çinili Kösk. You will find many lovely displays of Turkish ceramics here, including the famous Iznik tiles, as well as some examples of Ottoman calligraphy. The building itself was constructed by Sultan Mehmet II, who conquered Constantinople in 1453. It is a marvelous example of Turkish architecture, & in a very appropriate location!
This museum is often missed by visitors of Istanbul, but with such an immense amount of history here, it definately should not be!
Great place to get away from the crowds of the Topkapi palace and Hagia Sophia.Spread over 3 buildings,Archaeology museum,Old Eastern Works museum and the Enameled Kiosk.The sacophagi are particularly good with the Alexander Sarcophagus being the best.There are said to be over 1 million objects in the museum.
Open daily except Monday 09.00-17.00
The Museum of the Ancient Orient was commissioned by Osman Hamdi Bey in 1883 as a Fine Arts School. Then it was re-organised as a museum and opened in 1935. It was reopened in 1974 after restoration works on the interior.
On the upper floor of the two-storey building, Anatolian, Mesopotamian, Egyptian and Arabic works of art are displayed. Statue of Naramsin, the king of Akad, the Kades Agreement and Zincirli statue are the unique works of art in the museum.
You can watch my 3 min 02 sec HQ Video Istanbul Museum of the Ancient Orient out of my Youtube channel with the music by Baran – E Shadi - traditional.
The Museum has been established in 1891 as Museum of Empire by the Famous painter Osman Hamdi Bey.
Currently the Museum with nearly 1 million piece of Crafts is considered to be one of the worlds most important museums.. Collections do include pieces from Ottoman empire period with parts coming from Afghanistan to Balkans and from Arap Peninsula to Africa..
The Museum consist of two main buildings .. The first and old building, having two floors has the Sarcophages and tombs and the upper floor has the treasury and library..
The second building is the additional building. Having 6 floors but only four floors for exhibition.. The highlights of the second building are sections of "Istanbul for Centuries" and "Anatolia for Centuries".
Archeology Museum is between Gulhane park and Topkapi palace.. You can reach there either climbing the right way through gulhane park or taking the left way down from the entrance of Topkapi palace..
The entrance fee is 5,000,000 TRL (3,5 USD)
The ornate Alexander Sarcophagus, once believed to be prepared for Alexander the Great, is among the most famous pieces of ancient art in the museum.
You can watch my 4 min 46 sec HQ Video Istanbul Museum of the Sarcophagus out of my Youtube channel with the music by Baran – E Shadi – traditional (cont).
The kiosk that has been made by Fatih Sultan Mehmet in 1472 is one of the oldest examples of Ottoman civil architecture in Istanbul. It has been used as Müze-i Hümayun (Empire Museum) in between 1875-1891. It was opened to public in 1953 with the name of Fatih Museum where Turkish and Islamic works of art were displayed and it was transferred to Istanbul Archaeology Museums due to its site.
You can watch my 4 min 30 sec HQ Video Istanbul Museum of Islamic Art Tiled Kiosk out of my Youtube channel with Arabic music – Sahabash - traditional.