Istanbul’s Archaeology Museum is one of the great museums of the world. Located in the city’s lively Sultanahmet neighborhood, close to the Blue Mosque and Topkapi Palace. After depart with your guide from your hotel, you will proceed to the exquisite museum buildings.
This superb museum showcases archaeological and artistic treasures from the Topkapı collections. Housed in three buildings, its exhibits include ancient artefacts, classical statuary and an exhibition tracing Istanbul’s history. There are many highlights, but the sarcophagi from the Royal Necropolis of Sidon are particularly striking.
The complex has three main parts: the Museum of the Ancient Orient , the Archaeology Museum and the Tiled Pavilion. These museums house the palace collections formed during the late 19th century by museum director, artist and archaeologist Osman Hamdi Bey.
Named Museum of the Year by the European Council in 1993, highlights include the Sarcophagus of Alexander The Great and the world’s first peace agreement, etched on a terracotta tablet.
You will see magnificent exhibitions of Troia and Anatolian cultures and discover extraordinary works of art from Mesopotamia. Learn about the cultures of Sumeria, Akkad, Babylonia and Hittite on a tremendous trip through history.
Wander through the original neo-classical building that dates from 1902. Here you will see pieces from the Archaic, Classical, Hellenistic and Roman eras. Discover coin cabinets containing around 800,000 items from the Ottoman Empire.
Open: Daily from 09.00 – 17.00, no entrance after 16.00
Closed: Monday, and until 12.00 on the first day of religious holidays
The tour continues to the historic Galata neighborhood. This section begins at the Galata Old Harbor area. Historical records show that a settlement has existed on the northern shore of the Golden Horn since the time of Christ.
Galata is one of the oldest neighborhoods of Istanbul located at the north of the Golden Horn, towards Taksim Square. Galata was surrounded by walls constructed by the Genoese until the 19th century. These walls started at Azapkapi near the Golden Horn. The Galata Tower was the northernmost observation tower and the walls were going down to Tophane neighborhood from this point.
Its original name was “Sykai” (fig field) during the Byzantine period. It was also called “Peran en Sykais” in Greek, which means “fig field of the other side”. Its name “Pera” which was used by the Levantines came from this origin. The origin of Galata was either “galaktos” (milk) in Greek or “calata” (stairway) in Italian.
Galata is on the European side of Istanbul both geographically and culturally. It was established as a western, Latin and Catholic colony right next to ancient Constantinople, capital of the Eastern Orthodox Byzantine Empire. Its governments changed hands between Venetians and Genoese, but it always remained Latin and Catholic. This did not change after the conquest of Istanbul. However, Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror made this a residential area for Greeks and Jews. Even though this made Galata a non-Latin place, it was still a non-Muslim area next to the capital of Islam.
Galata was always different. It did not even share the same faith with other districts of Istanbul. While Istanbul was in poverty and political chaos during the Balkan War, Galata was experiencing its golden age. The spoils of World War I flowed to Galata. Beyoglu was revived by the arrival of White Russians who escaped from the October Revolution of Russia. Its entertainment life was always good. This place was the primary entertainment center for the foreign forces while Istanbul was under occupation. But after the war, during the first years of the Republic, the gorgeous Pera of Levantines slowly declined.
In the late 80’s and 90’s Galata district and Beyoglu became an important cultural center again for the local people of Istanbul and foreigners. There are beautiful old houses and buildings, cafes, all kinds of restaurants, local markets and colorful atmosphere. Today, Galata is known mostly as the district of Jews and foreigners who live in Istanbul.
Open: Daily from 09.00 – 19.00
Closed: No closing days
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