Over a million artifacts from different civilizations transported from the imperial territories are housed in the Istanbul Archaeological Museum, which was the first daily museum in the Ottoman Empire and Turkey’s history. 


What Will You Find In The Museum?

The desire to gather historical artifacts goes back to the time of Mehmet the Conqueror, but the founding of the Istanbul Archaeological Museums as Müze-i Hümayun in 1869 marks the official beginning of museums (Imperial Museum). The Müze-i Humayun, which contains the archaeological works collected in the Hagia Irene Church, is the home of the Istanbul Archaeological Museum. Because Hagia Irene proved inadequate, the Tiled Kiosk, built during the time of Mehmet the Conqueror, was converted into a museum. The Tiled Kiosk was restored and reopened in 1880, and is currently maintained by the Istanbul Archaeological Museum

In 1881, the appointment of Osman Hamdi Bey (Biography) as museum director was a watershed moment in Turkish museology. Between 1887 and 18888, Osman Hamdi Bey excavated in Mount Nemrud, Myrina, Kyme, other Alolia Necropolises, and Lagina Hekate Temple, and as a result of his excavations in Sayda (Sidon), he entered the necropolis of King Sidon and returned to Istanbul with several sarcophagi, including Alexander the Great’s famous sarcophagi. 

The earliest building in the Istanbul Archaeological Museum complex is the Tiled Kiosk (1472 CE). The Tiled Kiosk Museum, which now houses specimens of Turkish tiles and pottery, is one of the earliest examples of Ottoman civic architecture

Close History Of Istanbul Archaeological Museum

The Istanbul Archaeological Museums are among the top ten museums in the world that were established specifically to serve as museums. In 1883, Osman Hamdi Bey established the Sanayi-i Nefise college, or Academy of Fine Arts, which today houses the Museum of Ancient Oriental Works. The building was designed by Alexander Vallaury, who would subsequently construct the Istanbul Archaeological Museum Classic complex. 

The Archaeological Museum is one of the few museums constructed during that historical period in the globe. It is one of Istanbul’s most beautiful and majestic neo-classical structures. On the pediments of the museum’s entrance door, the inscription “Asar- Atika Müzesi” is inscribed in Ottoman Turkish (Museum of Antiquities). The tughra on the inscription represents Sultan Abdulhamid II. 

The Tomb of Iskender (Alexander Sarcophagus), Tomb of “Crying Women” (Sarcophagus of the Mourning Women), Lycia Tomb, and Tabnit Tomb, all of which were brought to Istanbul from the Sidon King Necropolis excavations conducted by Osman Hamdi Bey between 1887 and 1888, necessitated the construction of a new museum. The Istanbul Archeological Museum’s Classical Building, built by famous architect Alexandre Vallaury, was opened on June 13th, 1891, immediately across from The Tiled Kiosk. 

Location Of Istanbul Archaeology Museum

The complex is located in Sultanahmet neighborhood, Fatih district’s ancient peninsula, on the Osman Hamdi Bey hill, which links Gülhane Park and the Topkapi Palace Museum. Walking down the slope from Topkapi Palace‘s first court or up the hill from Gulhane Park‘s main gate provides easy access to the Istanbul Archeology Museum complex (Rose Park). 

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