Archeology Museum, Istanbul
If you are a local of a big city, touristic things become an "off the beaten path". A resident walks in Sultanahmet every day for years and does not even think to visit Hagia Sophia for example. I was quite lucky because I had a chance to visit important palaces and museums when I was a child. But a museum offers many informations to a person when he/she is older.
After we had visited an photograph exhibition in Darphane-i Amire, we decided to visit "Arkeoloji Muzesi". I knew that it is big, exciting and old but I did not expect this much. We strolled in it breathless.
This huge museum has three different buildings. One of them contains tiles. You can see the historical development of tile art in Turkish culture. The building has also historical importance. It is called Tiled Pavillion and decorated with wonderful tiles.
Other small building is The Museum of The Ancient Orient. It is at the entrance of Archeological Museum. The artifacts brought here from Egypt and Middle East.
The god Bes welcomes you at the entrance of he main building. This museum has a great collection of artifacts from Middle East, Anatolia, Cyprus and even from Istanbul itself.
In my opinion, to visit Archeological Museum is a must. I tried to finish it twice but I haven't reach the end, yet. I will tell you more about this incredible museum.
Archeology Museum is founded by Osman Hamdi Bey. He was also an important painter and a person I wanted to write about in VT several times and with several locations. When I'd saw the Museum I realized that I have to do it as soon as possible.
The Archeology Museum is a must see. Actually it's a complex of three museums - main building, the Museum of Ancient Orient and Kiosk. The collection of this museum is outstanding -you can find the sarcophagus of Alexander the Great, sarcophagus of the Crying women, monumental Lycian tomb, treasures from Troya and many other things. The museum is also famous for its rich chronological collection of locally found artifacts.
The Museum was built in the 19th century by the initiative of the prominent Turkish archeaologist Osman Hamdi-bey.
Don't miss the oriental Kiosk - the mansion was originally built by Mehmet the Conqueror as a hunting pavilion. It's a really beautiful building with turquoise ceramic tiles.
Cats are another attraction of this museum. They are everywhere and it seems that they are eagerly waiting for caress.
Entrance fee is 10 Liras
Two visits were not enough to do justice to this museum, although in retrospect there were things I devoted too much time to. It's not simply the size of the museum: rather its the range of history covered, and the attendant risk of cultural indigestion.
I'm currently fascinated by the Byzantine empire, which is not very well served here. The problem isn't simply the tragically small amount that has survived (that's what happens if you make stuff from gold.....gets melted down). Its the fact that they separate all the culturally Byzantine stuff from Anatolia dating from between the fatal battle of Manzikert in the eleventh century and the final death-blow in 1453 from the stuff found in Byzantium itself. Which means that things that belong next to eachother are galleries apart. Effectively you have to follow the same timeline twice.
The gallery devoted to the many layers of Troy are splendid, and there is a great deal of interesting chunks of classical statuary amongst which the so-called Alexander Tomb is the star: it notably retains some of the paint finish which the Greeks applied to their statuary. None of it should be the natural stone as we tend to think of it.
Istanbul archeology museum is one of the most interesting my visited museums, as here much of famous ancient things are housed. Museum consists of three parts – Archeology museum, the museum of Ancient Orient and Tiled pavilion.
Museum is in quite nice neoclassical building, looking Western, but also some buildings that are Oriental one. I could mention a few very famous items I found in museum: Kadesh peace treaty (the first peace treaty in the World), Alexander the Great sarcophagus, and also sarcophagus from the Royal Necropolis of Sidon.
Price for an adult ticket was 10 liras.
Istanbul's Archaeology Museum, built in the late 19th-century under Sultan Abdulhamit II, is a great museum. It's not on the scale of the British Museum and is not comparable to Ankara's Museum of Anatolian Civilizations if one wants to see Anatolian materials, but possesses an extensive collection of ancient artifacts nevertheless. Some of the Greek and Hellenistic pieces are among the finest pieces of deep relief I have ever seen, and it has some Anatolian and other artifacts as well.
Located outside the west side of the Topkapý Palace are the three museums which make up the Archaeological complex. Dating back to 1891, the Main Building houses magnificent artifacts from the many centuries of the various cultures that have made modern-day Turkey home. Sarcophagi, sculptures, special exhibits make this a place where you could easily spend an entire day or more though not on Mondays as the complex is closed.
It was fascinating to see the Lycian tombs removed here from southwestern Turkey - see my tips from Kekova for the tombs in the real world.
I have to say that this huge museum, located in the grounds of the Topkapi Palace, was one of the best archaeological museums I've ever visited. The building was started by Osman Hamdi Bey in 1881, attaining its present neo-Greek form in 1908. It houses over one million objects that represent almost all of the eras and civilizations in world history. Highlights include:
Alexander Sarcophagus, found in the necropolis of Sidon.
Sarcophagus of the Crying Women, also found in Sidon.
Sarcophagi of Tabnit and the Satrap.
The Lycian tomb, a monumental tomb.
Statues from ancient antiquity until the end of the Roman Era, from Aphrodisias, Ephesus and Miletus.
Statue of an Ephebos.
Parts of statues from the Temple of Zeus found at Bergama.
Snake's head from the Serpentine Column erected in the Hippodrome.
Mother-Goddess Cybele and votive stelai.
Busts of Alexander the Great and Zeus.
Fragments from the temple of Athena at Assos.
800.000 Ottoman coins, seals, decorations and medals.
One of the three known tablets of the Treaty of Kadesh.
I took over 70 photos from the museum and could've taken a lot more so I've included a few more tips just to display some of them.
Open: 9am-5pm Tue-Sun. Admission: TL10 (which includes the Istanbul Archaeological Museum).
These musea - there are three buildings here with at least five collections - not only have a wonderful collection, it is also very good presented. All texts are in Turkish and English, not too long, but neither too short. Here are some of the best pieces of Mediterranean / Near East artefacts I've ever seen, there are Sumerian exhibits, Hittites and even Egyptian. The so called Alexander Sarcophagus is worth the trip to Istanbul, ***** -
There is a fine collection of Islamic ceramics.
There are two interesting exhibition on Istanbul itself: one is thematic, the other is about the recent finds with the building of the new subway. Both are very informative about the history of the city and a must see for every traveller.
The museum has a (too) small self-service café in the court and the museum shop is also too small for this important museum. Bookshops in town have more and better books and guides.
While most people are trying to elbow their way into Topkapı Palace, few realize what a wonderful gem this museum is.
Surely the imperial jewels are spectacular in the Palace, but this museum has an outstanding collection of Anatolian/Near Eastern, classical Greek artifacts as well as a beautiful kiosk showing off Turkish tiles.
My favorite is the haut relief of the Alexander sarcophagus. I think it's more beautiful than the Elgin marbles!
Covenienttly situated next to the Topkapi palace is Istanbuls Archeology museum which houses an extensive collection of Anatolian, Hellenestic and Roman sculptures as well as artefacts from other territories that the Ottomans conquered during the long reign. There is also a very informative section about the history and development of Istanbul during the byzantine, roman and genovese periods.
Istanbul Archeological Museum, one of the five largest archeological museums of the world. The Istanbul Archeological Museums is composed of the Museum of the Ancient Orient, The Tile Museum (Cinili Kiosk), and the Archeological Museum itself. The building of the Museum of the Ancient Orient was constructed by Academy of Fine Arts in 1883 andhas the most distinguished examples of pre-Asian civilizations brought from Egypt, Anatolia and Mesopotamia. The most interesting work of this part is the lion sculptures from the 14th century BC.
Inaugurated in 1891 in a building designed by the Franco-Turkish architect, Alexandre Vallaury, the Istanbul Archaeology Museum contains one of the most impressive collections of ancient and classical treasures in the world. With the Ottoman Empire then covering much of the eastern Mediterranean and the Near East, the museum was able to secure the swift transfer of countless discoveries made in various areas, many of which are no longer part of modern Turkey. The most important transfer occurred in 1887 upon the discovery of the Royal Necropolis of Sidon, Lebanon, whose countless astonishing sarcophagi are the crown jewel of treasures at the museum. Foremost is the "Alexander Sarcophagus", so named not because it belonged to Alexander the Great, but rather because of the detailed bas-relief carvings on the sarcophagus of him in battle, and another is the "Mourning Women Sarcophagus", which inspired the design of the museum's Neoclassical façade. The museum is composed of three buildings, each focuses on different artefacts; the main Archaeology Museum exhibits mainly Graeco-Roman treasures, the Museum of the Ancient Orient (Eski Şark Eserleri Müzesi) is for Anatolia and pre-Classical Near East, and the exquisite 15th century Tiled Pavilion (Çinili Köşk) suitably displays antique Ottoman and Anatolian tiles along with other Islamic objects.
The Archaeology Museum is located within the first court of Topkapı Palace. For photos, take a look at the travelogue: "Royal Necropolis of Sidon."
This is a small, fascinating museum with some wonderful exhibits.
The highlight, I feel, is probably the collection of sarcophagi discovered in 1887 at Sidon in Lebanon. The "Sarcophagus of the Mourning Women" has wonderful decorative friezes and the remarkable Alexandria Sarcophagus is covered in intricate raised friezes on which some of the original colours can still be seen.
There is a collection of fine Roman statues and in the Museum of the Ancient Orient colourful glazed brick friezes from Babylon.
Opening Hours: 9.00am-4.30pm closed Mondays
The Archeology Museum is certainly worth a visit. It is located adjacent to Topkapi, so is easy to see along with the palace. The collection of Greek sculpture is well-presented and impressive. The museum had a large exhibit of artifacts uncovered at Troy. The tombs of some of the Byzantine emperors placed outside the building are interesting, as well.
The Archaeology Museum in Istanbul is also in the Sultanahmet area. It is an amazing place to visit as Turkey is so rich in archaeological remains from Ancient Greek times. In fact the museum holds so many remains, many things that would be given prime location in any other museum are, or were, outside in the museum grounds as there is simply no room for them inside.
The Archaeology Museum is really three museums located on what used to be part of Topkapı Palace's outer gardens.
Construction of the museum's main building began in 1881 and the museum first opened ten years later in 1891. The architect for this project was Alexander Vallaury who also designed the Pera Palas Hotel. The first curator and founder of the museum was Osman Hamdi Bey. He also commissioned the museum's second building - The Museum of the Ancient Orient in 1883. The museum's third building is actually its oldest. It was originally built as The Tiled Kiosk by Mehmed the Conqueror in 1472 and was once part of Topkapi Palace. In 1953 it became The Museum of Turkish and Islamic Art, and later became part of the Istanbul Archaeology Museum.
In 1991, on its one hundredth birthday, The Archaeology Museum received the European Council Museum Award.
Exhibits in the museum include: The Alexander Sarcophagus - this dates from the fourth century BC and was found in Sidon, Lebanon in 1887. The Sarcophagus of the Crying Women which was also found in Sidon. This is a beautiful museum with many fantastic exhibits and is well worth visiting.