Miniaturk is a wonderful open-air museum that displays tiny versions of Turkey’s most famous attractions and architectural structures. It’s also known as the Miniature Turkey Museum, and it’s a great location to visit if you want to take a fun tour of Turkey. On the extreme end of Golden Horn’s northern shore, the park has an area of 60,000 square meters. The Istanbul Crystal Museum and the Panorama Victory Museum are both located inside the museum.
Miniaturk in Istanbul
Miniatürk was completed by Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality Culture Inc. on May 2nd, 2003, and opened by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, bringing together the rich architectural heritage of the civilizations that ruled and left their marks on this ancient land from the ancient ages to Rome, Byzantine, Seljuk Empire, and Ottoman Empire.
With the slogan “A Little Model of a Big Country” Miniaturk has become a showcase for Turkey.
In all, 135 models were chosen among hundreds of architectural works based on their reputation, including 62 from Istanbul, 60 from Anatolia, and 13 from Ottoman territories outside of Turkey. All of the models are 1/25 scale. Miniaturk isn’t only for Turkish people or Turkish culture. It contains the life experiences of the surrounding terrain, as well as the ideals that define Anatolia. The remnants left by civilizations governed by peace, tolerance, and justice are gathered together in this park, which stretches back three thousand years to the Golden Horn.
The caravanserais, social complexes, madrasas, bridges, stations, piers, castles, city walls, tombs, mosques, churches, synagogues, palaces, mansions, obelisks, monuments, and sculptures on the one hand, and unique natural formations from fairy chimnies to Pamukkale on the other, were chosen by an expert team through meticulous work. Also on exhibit are two of the ancient world’s seven wonders, Artemis Temple and Halicarnassus Mausoleum, both of which were constructed in Anatolia but no longer exist. Everything in Miniaturk is so unique that you feel as if you’re going throughout the nation from east to west, north to south. Of course, it’s not the same as viewing the actual works, but apart from the desire to see the real ones, it’s a pleasure to be able to appreciate these works in this light.
Miniatürk has a total size of 60.000 square meters. Every detail has been carefully designed to ensure visitors have a quality experience while having fun in Miniaturk, including the 15.000 square meters area where the models are located, as well as a parking area for 300 cars, a restaurant, cafeteria, gift shop, exhibition hall, outdoor show area, children’s playground, ferryboat, remote controlled boat, train, tale tree, and a mini stadium with four of the most popular teams.
Miniatürk is a pleasant park as well as a cultural and social responsibility initiative, drawing power and beauty from its 3,000-year-old civilization. In Miniaturk, future generations will learn about their civilization’s ancient origins.
Miniaturk is one of Istanbul’s most popular tourist destinations for both locals and visitors, and it’s an excellent choice for anyone looking for a fantastic and fast tour of Turkey. It is, in a nutshell, Turkey’s Showcase.
What Is The Best Way To Get To Miniaturk?
The Miniaturk is located in the Sutluce area of the Beyoglu district, near the extreme northern end of the Golden Horn shoreline and Taksim. On the other coast, across the Istanbul Dolphinarium. Take the Public Ferry Golden Horn line from Uskudar to Eyup and get out at Sutluce pier. Finally, most visitors find public transportation inconvenient; if this is the case, you should hire a taxi since Miniaturk is located far from the city’s main tourist areas.
Sometimes the best way to grasp the full scope of history one can encounter in a city is to get a bird's eye view of it. Miniaturk, beside all other museums in İstanbul, offers its visitors just that. What is Miniaturk, you ask? Miniaturk is a wonderful museum and park where you'll find faithful and intricate model rendering of all the historic sites in Istanbul and many historic spots from all around Turkey. For instance, seeing the mini models of the fairy chimneys you can normally only encounter at Cappadocia or a model of Pamukkale, the real-live version of which is located in the city of Edirne, is a genuine treat. These mini-renderings afford the visitors of Miniaturk Musuem Istanbul the chance to explore buildings and artefacts from the Roman, Byzantine, Seljuck and Ottoman Periods in one fell swoop. In this way you are presented with both a panaromic and a historic view of Istanbul, as well as of Anatolia. As the museum's motto says, this is "A Small Model of a Big City".
Brief History of Miniaturk
Miniaturk Museum first opened its door to visitors on May 2nd, 2003. Since then, Miniaturk has blossomed into a must see attraction in Istanbul. As Miniaturk is located at the heart of Beyoglu, there are many attractions near Miniaturk that may be of interest to you, such as the Hippodrome of Constantinople, the Chora Church and the Pierre Loti Hilltop. That is if you can get through all the wonderful models you'll find in the museum that give you a taste of what you'll be encountering throughout the city, later on. Seeing the real-live version of Miniaturk's models after enjoying the mini versions is bound to be an intriguing experience. Mini caravanserais, madrasas, bridges, tombes, churches, mosques and more await you at the Miniaturk Park, all rendered as faithfully as humanly possible, down to the smallest of details. Unfortunately, it's not possible to see the real-live versions of some of the models you'll encounter at Miniaturk. This is because these buildings and structures no longer exist. The models of the Artemis Temple and the Halicarnassus Museum are two such examples.
Important Tips Before Visiting
Visiting Miniaturk is exceedingly easy, thanks to the bus services that will take you directly to the museum, located all throughout the city. What's more the Miniaturk entrance fee is only 15TL per person. Unfortunately you cannot purchase your tickets online yet. But you can easily get as many tickets as you need at the door, by paying in either cash or with your credit card. If you're wondering about the Miniaturk opening hours, the museum is open every single day, even on national holidays. The opening hours of the 60.000 square meter park, 15.000 square meters of which are devoted to models area, are between 9 am and 7 pm. So, you have plenty of time to walk around, enjoy the models or even grab a bite to eat in the Miniaturk restaurant. As for audio guides; you don't need to get one. Once you've paid for your Miniaturk entrance ticket, you can download the Miniaturk App from iTunes or Google Play and listen to the history of any of the buildings or structures that the models depict. As the app offers you an audio guide in Turkish, English, Spanish, French, German, Japanese, Arabic and Persian, you'll have no trouble discovering the treasures of Turkey to your heart's content.
Let us suppose that you are in Doğubeyazıt and you are visiting Ishak Paşa Palace. But then you decide that you have an urge to see the Ulu Camii in Bursa. What would you do then? In Miniaturk, you only have to walk for a couple of minutes. Stone Houses of Mardin, Sümela Monastery, Mostar Bridge, The Blue Mosque, Izmir Clock Tower, Mevlana Mausoleum, Peribacaları (chimney rocks), Ephesus-Celsus Library, Pamukkale, Temple of Artemis, Altar of Zeus, Dolmabahçe Palace, Topkapı Palace, Anıtkabir (Atatürk Mausoleum), Çanakkale Martyrs’ Monument… These and hundreds more dwellings, bridges, palaces, mosques, sanctuaries, towers built by people who lived and established civilizations in Anatolia; geographically formed areas… Historical and monumental buildings, every one of which is located in a different part of Turkey. The cultural and architectural heritage of Turkey has been brought together in Miniaturk. But not only Turkey is represented. For example, Kubbet-us Sahra and Mescid-i Aksa in Jerusalem, Atatürk’s house in Salonika, Castle of Ecyad in Mecca; they are all here in Miniaturk. When you step into Miniaturk, Mini-Turkey Park, you find yourself surrounded with models of our heritage, which have been prepared with elaborate and painstaking work.
Miniaturk, which opened on May 2, 2003 consists of three main parts established over an area of 60 thousand square meters. The largest is the 15-thousand-square-meter area of models in this Mini-Turkey Park. The other two parts are Miniaturk Panorama Victory Museum and Crystal Istanbul.
Works exhibited at Miniaturk were selected by Prof. Dr. İlber Ortaylı and Associate Prof. Ahmet Haluk Dursun, and reproduced after being scaled down by 1/25, the standard ratio in the world for miniature museums. As all the models are reduced equally, it is possible to compare one building to another. Even the human models have been produced according to this 1/25 proportion. In this way you can make out the actual sizes of the buildings by looking at a small human standing by a model building. The only model exceptional to this proportion in the park is the 43-metre-long Bosphorus Bridge, on which you can walk. The model of the bridge has been built according to a proportion of 1/23, which allows visitors to walk on it easily and safely.The models are prepared so elaborately that one cannot help but admire them. The stone work of Haydarpaşa Station, of the minarets of the Blue Mosque, and of the Taksim Republic Monument are authentically presented.
Behind this exquisite work lie the collective efforts of ten domestic and three foreign workshops. Building surveys of the originals were prepared, and production was immediately started. In addition to the thirteen workshops mentioned, pieces were produced for Miniaturk in Yıldız Technical University, Dokuz Eylül University and other establishments. When we asked Tolga Tartan what material is used to make the models seem so authentic, we were told that the painting technique made them looks as though made from stone. A material called “siba” was used, which is so durable that nothing happens to the models even if they stayed under snow for two weeks. Sometimes fiberglass was used as well, but the main material was siba. When we researched siba, we learned that it was a polyurethane used in model making, resistant to open air conditions and more pliable than wood, and easy to work on.
Works Are Introduced In Six Languages:
While we are walking around the park, we hear a familiar voice aside from the music. It is the voice of the City Theatre actor Mazlum Kiper. There is an audible guide system in front of every model. You show your ticket to the optical reader of the system and that familiar voice tells you, in Turkish or in English, the history of the building and where the original building is. The system is not limited with Turkish and English introductions, but it gives information in six languages including French, German, Arabic and Russian.By the way, the music we hear walking in the park is composed by the famous Turkish composer Fahir Atakoğlu, particulary for Miniaturk.
Çanakkale Cannot Be Passed:
Miniaturk Panorama Victory Museum was opened on December 25, 2003. In the indoor Panorama, there are impressive nonverbal stories of both the Battle of Çanakkale and the War of Independence, supported with sound and light effects. The moment you step into the place, you are greeted by soldiers and cannons positioned around The Çanakkale Strait, and wounded soldiers with nurses taking care of them. As you go forward, the scene changes and you begin to accompany those setting off from villages and carrying ammunition to the battlefield. There is also an Atatürk photographic exhibition, opened in memory of the 80th year of the republic.Glass statuettes of Istanbul can be found in Crystal Istanbul.
The Galata Tower, The Hagia Sophia, St. Antoine Church, The Maiden’s Tower, Çırağan Palace, Süleymaniye Mosque, Istanbul University are all embroidered in crystal blocks, revolving slowly. Crystal Istanbul, the world’s first and only crystal museum, exhibits sixteen artifacts of Istanbul with colored lighting in a darkened exhibition room. It gives Miniaturk different flavour. It is possible to see Rumeli Fortress, Fatih Mosque, Dolmabahçe Clock Tower and Eyüp Sultan Mosque among the works embroidered in glass via laser.
Miniaturk, bringing the 3000 year history of Anatolia and its neighbors to the present day, is a rare opportunity for those who want take a unique Turkey tour in a couple of hours. The price of the tour is 10try for the full fare. The museum is open between 09.00 a.m. and 06.00 p.m. everyday.