Because of its historical buildings and over one million pieces of historical artifacts, Istanbul Archaeological Museums continue to maintain its importance both in Turkey and in the world. The Museums, which are accompanied by both local and foreign tourists from all over the world every year are located within the borders of Istanbul. T.R. In order to get to the Archeology Museums that is dependent on the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Turkey you must follow the Osman Hamdi Bey Ascent that opens to the Topkapı Palace from the right of the Gülhane Park. The most important reason why Istanbul Archeology Museums are referred to in plural form is because it is made up of three units: Old Eastern Works Museum, Enameled Kiosk Museum and the Istanbul Archaeological Museums.
Between 1887-1888, the Archeology Museum, housing over a thousand important artifacts was built by the famous architect Alexandre Vallaury at the request of Osman Hamdi Bey, a museum curator, painter and archaeologist. The museum met a need to display important artifacts such as the unearthed Royal Necropolis of Sydon, a site considered one of the most significant archaeological discoveries of that era. The main purpose of the museum was the need to display important artifacts such as the Sarcophagies of Alexander the Great and King Tabnit. The museum was opened to visitors about four years after the date of construction. The opening date of the museum, June 13th 1891, is still celebrated as Museum Day.
In 1903 the left wing and in 1907 the right wing was added to the Archeology Museum. Thus, the main museum building at present day was completed. But later, new exhibition halls were needed in the southeast part of the museum building, the museum annex, also known as the “Additional Building” was constructed between 1969 and 1983. Istanbul Archeology Museums, besides its importance as the “first Turkish museum”, it also has a specialty of being among 8-10 buildings in the world that were constructed with the purpose of being a museum. For this reason it has an important place in the world. Archeology Museums, which preserves its place and importance in the world with works reflecting different cultures of different ethnic groups, is also referred to as living history. In 1993, Istanbul Archeology Museum was selected the museum of the year and received the European Council Museum Award.
Old Eastern Works Museum
The Old Eastern Works Museum, which was built by the request of Osman Hamdi Bey in 1883 as Sanayi-i Nefise Mektebi Alisi (Fine Arts School) was used as a school for a long time. Because the Academy was moved to Çağaloğlu, on the order of Halil Edhem Bey, this school was converted into a museum between 1917-1919. The reason for its transformation into a museum was to display to the public the old cultural documents which were considered important in the Near East countries. In the Museum; Mesopotamian, Arabic, Anatolian and Egyptian works of art are displayed. While the Egyptian and Arabian artifacts exhibited in the museum belong to pre-Islamic period, the Mesopotamian and Anatolian artifacts belong ancient Greek period.
Since the date of construction, many exhibitions and restorations have been carried out in the museum and modern exhibition methods were used. The works were organized in a historical classification and the cultures were rearranged per different historical development stages. The new exhibition method has been open for visitors since September 8th 2000.
Enameled Kiosk Museum
There is not much information about the Enameled Kiosk, which is known to have been built inside Sarayburnu and Topkapı fortifications in 1472. The structure built with the influence of the Seljuk’s is the only example of Ottoman civil architecture in Istanbul. Enameled Kiosk, was turned into a museum under the name of the Imperial Museum as of 1880. The reason for the conversion of the Kiosk to a museum was the need for a special space for displaying archaeological and Islamic artifacts. In 1939, the building was transferred to the Topkapı Palace Museum and the artifacts within were distributed to different museums. Thus, the Enameled Kiosk Museum lost its function as a museum.
It was opened to public in 1953 once again with the name of Fatih Museum due to the the 500th anniversary of conquest of Istanbul. The building which was later used as a museum, was used to display works of Turkish Islam and Ottoman ceramics. As of 1981, the Enameled Kiosk Museum was transferred to the Istanbul Archaeological Museums and the ceramic artifacts of the Seljuk - Ottoman era were displayed in this museum. The building which had various restoration processes was completed and opened to visitors in 2005.
Museum Hours of Operation and Fees
T.R. You can enter the Istanbul Archaeological Museums, affiliated to the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, with the advantage of daylight saving time from 09:00 am to 19:00 pm between April and October. During winter time, you can visit the museum between 09.00 and 17.00 o'clock from November to March. The museums are open every day of the week including holidays. You will need to pay 20 TL entrance fee. Just remember that on the first day of religious holidays the museum is closed until 13.00 o’clock.
Entrance to Museums with Müzekart
If you are already a Müzekart holder you will be able to enter the Istanbul Archeology Museums twice in one year. If you do not possess a card, and wish to visit museums other than the Istanbul Archeology Museum you should apply for one as early as possible. You can use your card within the borders of Turkey for free of charge or a discount for a whole year for unlimited use in many museums and ruins. In order to apply for a Museum Pass please visit the sales points with a picture ID.
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