The Istanbul Archaeology Museum is the first institution of its kind in Istanbul and Turkey, and is considered one of the ten most prestigious and well-maintained museums in the world. It is the perfect place to explore the culture and history of the region, as it houses artifacts from the Archaic Era to the Roman Era, the Byzantine Empire, and the Ottoman Empire. This incredible museum is made up of two separate buildings. Exploring the corridors of the Archaeology Museum is highly recommended for anyone looking to gain a better understanding of this unique culture.
I) THE FIRST BUILDING (OLD BUILDING)
The building of the Istanbul Archaeological Museums was first started in 1881 by Osman Hamdi Bey and was completed with additions in 1902 and 1908. Alexander Vallaury was the architect, and the exterior was inspired by the İskender Tomb and Crying Women tombs, making it a beautiful example of Neoclassical construction in Istanbul. The upper floor of the two-storey building contains pots, small stone works, pans, small terracotta statues, the Treasure Department, and around 800,000 Ottoman coins, seals, decorations, medals, and Non-Muslim and Muslim Coin Cabinets in which coin moulds were kept. There is also a Library with around 70,000 books.
On the bottom floor of the structure, famous tombs such as the Crying Women Tomb, İskender Tomb, Satrap Tomb, Lykia Tomb, and Tabnit Tomb, which are located in the Sayda king graveyard, are on display. Additionally, ancient-period statuary originating from important ancient cities and regions is also exhibited. Visitors can observe the chronological development of statues and relics from the Archaic Period to the Byzantine Period with outstanding samples.
II) ADDITIONAL BUILDING (NEW BUILDING)
Attached to the southeast of the main building, the additional building consists of six flats. Storage areas are located in the two flats on the ground floor. The four flats of the building are organised as exhibition halls. The inscription “Istanbul for Ages,” “Anatolia and Troia for Ages” can be seen on the main floor, and “Surrounding Cultures of Anatolia: Cyprus, Syria-Palestine” is located on the top floor. The Infant Museum and architectural works show on the first floor of the additional building and the Thrakia-Bithynia and Byzantium exhibit hall, which opened in August 1998, can be found on the “Surrounding Cultures of Istanbul” floor.
The museum was awarded the European Council Museum Award in 1991, marking its 100th anniversary. It had undergone a significant rearrangement of the lower floor halls and an exhibition had been added in an additional building.
OLD EASTERN WORKS MUSEUM
The Old Eastern Works Museum, built by Osman Hamdi Bey in 1883 as Sanayi-i Nefise (Fine Arts School), was regulated as a museum in 1917-1919 and 1932-1935, and was closed to visitors in 1963. It was reopened in 1974 with a new layout, featuring exhibits of Anatolian, Mesopotamian, Egyptian and Arabic works of art on the upper floor of its two-storeys.
Among its unique items are the Statue of Naramsin, the king of Akad, the Kadeş Agreement and the Zincirli statue. Additionally, it houses a Tablet Archive containing 75,000 documents written in cuneiform.
ENAMELED KIOSK MUSEUM
Built in 1472 by order of Fatih Sultan Mehmet, the kiosk is one of the oldest surviving structures of Ottoman architecture in Istanbul. Previously known as Müze-i Hümayun (Empire Museum) between 1875-1891, it was opened to the public in 1953 as the Fatih Museum, where Turkish and Islamic works of art were displayed. In time, the museum was relocated to the Istanbul Archaeology Museums.
The entrance part of the kiosk is one storey, while the back part is two storeys. There is a marble porch with 14 columns at the entrance, and the entrance yard is decorated with mosaic enamels. The kiosk comprises six rooms and a central hall, and houses approximately 2000 works of art and artifacts from the Seljuk and Ottoman periods.
Visiting these incredible museums is an absolute must for anyone visiting Istanbul. These museums are the perfect way to explore the culture and history of Istanbul, and to gain a better understanding of this unique place. Tour Maker Turkey offers multiple tours of these museums, allowing visitors to discover the rich heritage and culture of Istanbul. Our experienced guides will provide you with a comprehensive tour and insight into the significance of the artifacts, providing you with an unforgettable experience.
We offer small group tours and private tours, allowing you to explore the Istanbul Archaeological Museum and its adjacent buildings in comfort and at your own pace. With our tours, you will have the opportunity to visit both the old and new buildings, and explore the various artifacts and works of art that are on display. Our tours also include the Old Eastern Works Museum and the Enameled Kiosk Museum, so you can take in the full history of Istanbul. If you are looking for an unforgettable experience in Istanbul, then look no further than Tour Maker Turkey. Our tours offer the perfect way to explore the city’s rich culture and history, while also providing you with a unique insight into the significance of the various artifacts and works of art.
Call us today to learn more about our tour packages and to book your unforgettable experience in Istanbul.