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Istanbul Archeology Museums

Today, I will bring together the Istanbul Archeology Museums, which have an important place among museums, with you, our esteemed readers. The most important reason for using a plural expression as Istanbul Archeology Museums is; There are three separate museums, namely the Museum of Ancient Oriental Works, the Tiled Kiosk Museum and the Archeology Museum. The pediment above the entrance adds a different atmosphere to its visuality, and on the upper side of this pediment is written ‘Ancient Artifacts Museum’ in Ottoman Turkish. It has a great importance in the development of Turkish museology. It has the title of Turkey’s first museum.

There are artifacts such as the Kadesh Peace Treaty Tablet (between the Hittites and the Egyptians), the Alexander Sarcophagus and ancient statues, which are accepted as the first peace in world history, in the Istanbul Archaeological Museums. There are also important works such as Tabnit Sarcophagus, Cuneiform Documents Archive, Travel Calendar, Siloa Inscription and Visa Mound. The museum is among the largest museums in the world, with more than 1 million artifacts from various cultures. If you want to go on a magical journey through the thousands of years of Anatolian and Mesopotamian geographies, which are considered the Cradle of Civilizations, I would definitely recommend you to add this museum to your trip.

History of Museum

It was built in Neo-Classical style by the famous architect of the time, Alexandre Vallaury, at the request of Osman Hamdi Bey, who was a museum curator, painter and archaeologist between 1887-1888. A museum was needed for the important artifacts brought from the King of Sidon Necropolis Excavation, which is considered the most important and successful discovery of the period. Until the museum was built, the artifacts were collected in the Hagia Eirene Church. The main purpose of establishing a museum is; Among these works are masterpieces such as the Alexander Sarcophagus and Tabnit Sarcophagus. It was opened to visitors as an Imperial museum on 13 June 1891 by the painter and museum director Osman Hamdi Bey. History is celebrated as the day of museums in Turkey. With the addition of left and right wings in 1903 and 1908, today’s Main Museum Building was formed. The works in the exhibition halls in the Main Building are exhibited in chronological order with the emphasis on the ancient center. Among these artifacts are the Crying Women Sarcophagus, Tabnit Tomb and Alexander Sarcophagus among the findings from the Sidon King Necropolis Excavation.

How to get to the Museum

To visit this museum, you must go to Sultanahmet and follow the Osman Hamdi Bey slope stretching from Gulhane Park to Topkapi Palace. The most logical public transport would be the T1 (Eminönü- Kabataş) tram line. If you are planning to visit the museum from the Anatolian side, you should take the ferry from Kadıköy or Üsküdar to Eminönü, take the T1 tram line and get off at the Gülhane stop.

Museum Entrance and Working Hours

Visiting hours of Istanbul Archeology Museum are between 10:00 in the morning and 17:00 in the evening. Archeology Museums are closed on Mondays.

The entrance fee to the Istanbul Archeology Museum is 60 Turkish Liras. Admission is free for students under the age of 18. Since the Istanbul Archaeological Museums are affiliated to the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, a museum card is passed at the entrance.


Enes Sahin

Hello, I am Enes, I write content for Expat Guide Turkey every day. Don't forget to check it out! You can contact me via e-mail

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