Istanbul Archeological Museums is one of the most underrated museums in Turkey and Istanbul city which is actually a combination of three museums: Archeological Museum, Ancient Oriental Artifacts Works Museum, and Tiled Kiosk Museum. Istanbul Archeological Museums is the oldest museum in Istanbul city that showcases more than one million artifacts from various cultures and civilizations.
History of Istanbul Archeological Museums
Mehmet the conqueror collected a number of historical artifacts from Ottoman empire times and then in the year 1869 a museum was built to showcase this collection under the leadership of Osman Hemdi Bey. This museum was called the “Imperial Museum” and was located in the Hagia Irene Church as it didn’t have a building for itself.
Osman Hemdi Bey was an archeologist and a painter who took responsibility to operate the Imperial museum from the beginning of 1887. Istanbul Archeological museums’ building was designed by the famous architect, Osman Hemdi who then after took the responsibility of the leadership of that museum.
As the years passed by the other two museums of Istanbul archeological museums were built. Tiled kiosk museum was inaugurated in the year 1881 and later on, the museum of ancient oriental works started its work in 1883.
The architecture of Istanbul Archeological Museums
Istanbul archeological museums is a two-floor museum that was built by Osman Hemdi Bey and then reconstructed for the first time in the year 1908. The building has a traditional design that takes you back to Ottoman Empire’s time. The main building belongs to the Archeological museum which was the Imperial museum before the merge of the three museums.
Istanbul archeological museums’ main building’s architecture is inspired by Roman and Greek styles. Some parts of this museum date back to 1472. Just the building of Istanbul Archeological museums is considered a historic site and worth visiting. Now get the over one million artifacts that are showcased in this museum and add to that.
Istanbul archeological museums is one of the most fascinating Museum of Istanbul is one of the most fascinating museums in this city that will inform you all about the history and culture of this country.
Istanbul Archeological Museums – Archeological Museum
As we mentioned earlier, the archeological museum of Istanbul archeological museums is the oldest building of this museum complex and all the other buildings were constructed around this museum. Despite the valuable collection of ancient artifacts that are showcased in this museum, the architecture of this museum is very unique that is considered a whole attraction for itself. A lot of visitors fall in love with the architect of this museum more than they will be amazed by its artifacts.
Over one million artifacts are showcased in archeological museum of Istanbul archeological museums. Most of these artifacts belong to prehistoric times and in Egypt and Mesopotamia. There is a great collection of inscriptions written in the cuneiform script or other ancient languages, ancient statues, ancient columns, etc. in this museum.
Istanbul Archeological Museums – Ancient Oriental Artifacts Works
You can find the world’s oldest love poem and the oldest peace treaty in the world in the Ancient oriental artifacts museum of Istanbul archeological museums. You will see this part of the museum on the left of you as you enter the museum complex. Most of the showcased artifacts in this part belong to the pre-Islamic times before the expanse of Ottoman empire.
This is one of the largest areas in the museum where some of its most precious artifacts are exhibited.
Istanbul Archeological Museums – Tiled Kiosk Museum
The last building in Istanbul archeological museum’s buildings is a pavilion that was built in 1472 by the order of Mehmet the conqueror. There’s a great collection of tiles and ceramics from Ottoman, Seljuk, and Anatolian civilizations on display. Some of these pieces belong to the 12 century and some of the most recent ones are from the late 20th century.
Iznik tiles which were once the most precious and special tiles in the world are on display in this part of the museum. This part of the museum is smaller than the other two museums of Istanbul archeological museums.
Istanbul Archeological Museum’s most valuable artifacts
We mentioned the oldest love poem and treaty in the world earlier. Some other precious items that are worth visiting in Istanbul archeological museums are the Alexander sarcophagus which is an ancient coffin that is covered with scenes from Alexander the great and one of the largest sarcophaguses that you see in this museum. This amazing item belongs to the 400 BC and you can find it in the archeology museum of Istanbul archeology museums.
Another fascinating artifact is the Istanbul through the ages exhibition. This magnificent collection of artifacts showcased in archeology museum part of Istanbul archeology museums is showing an overview of the history of Istanbul city. As you walk into this gallery and visit its items you will get a glance at Turkey and Istanbul’s expanse throughout centuries.
Accessibility and timings of Istanbul Archeological Museums
In order to get to the Istanbul archeological museums, you just have to go to the Sultanahmet neighborhood and then the Eminonu region of Istanbul city.
The easier way to get to this museum complex is to take a tram to Gulhane station. There’s a short walk from the station to the museum.
- Address: Cankurtaran, 34122 Fatih/İstanbul, Turkey.
- Timings: Every day from 9 am to 7 pm.
Nearby attractions to Istanbul Archeological Museums
Istanbul archeological museums is located within Gulhane park which is one of Istanbul’s most charming attractions. Topkapi Palace, Basilica Cistern, and the Blue Mosque (AKA the Sultan Ahmed Mosque) are some of the close attractions to Istanbul archeological museums. You can plan to visit these places on the same day that you are visiting this museum.
Final words about Istanbul Archeological Museums
Istanbul Archeological Museums is the oldest museum in Istanbul city. Millions of artifacts and items are showcased in this museum from Assyrian, Byzantine, Hittite, Greek, Roman, Ottoman, and Egyptian civilizations. Make sure you visit this striking museum on your trip to Istanbul to get an overview of the rich history and culture of this wonderful city.