Istanbul Archaeological Museum Entrance

Normal ticket value: €5

Free with Istanbul E-pass

Istanbul E-pass includes an Istanbul Archaeological Museum entrance ticket. Simply scan your QR code at the entrance and get in.

Istanbul Archeology Museums, Turkey's first museum, has over a million artifacts from civilizations that flourished across the country, from the Caucasus to Anatolia, and Mesopotamia to Arabia.

History of Archaeological Museum in Istanbul

The Imperial Museum, which houses the archaeological objects acquired from the neighboring Hagia Irene Church, was established in 1869. The Museum then moved to the main building (the Archaeology Museum), which was built by the renowned architect Alexander Vallaury, and took on its current form with the construction of the auxiliary units between 1903 and 1907.

This was overseen by Osman Hamdi Bey, the Imperial Museum's manager and a well-known painter whose "Tortoise Trainer" picture is currently on display at the Pera Museum.

Alexandre Vallaury also planned the Museum of the Ancient Orient structure, completed in 1883 by Osman Hamdi Bey.

In 1472, Fatih Sultan Mehmed ordered the Tiled Pavilion to be built. It is the only building in Istanbul with Seljuks-style architecture.

Who was responsible for the construction of the Istanbul Archaeology Museum?

The Archaeological Museum is one of the few structures explicitly built as a museum in the world which is one of Istanbul's most magnificent and spectacular examples of neo-classical architecture. The pediment says 'Asar- Atika Museum' (Museum of Ancient Works) in the Ottoman language. Sultan II. Aldulhamid wrote on the tughra. To showcase great masterpieces like Iskender Tomb, Lycia Tomb, and Tabnit Tomb, Crying Women Tomb, dropped in Istanbul from the Sidon King Necropolis excavation done by Osman Hamdi Bey during 1887 and 1888, a new museum structure was required.

Architect of Istanbul Archaeology Museum

Alexandre Vallaury, a French architect, was in charge of the Archaeological Museum's design. Between 1897 and 1901, Vallaury constructed a beautiful Neo-Classical structure.

With the structures, he created on the Historical Peninsula and the Bosphorus coasts, Alexandre Vallaury contributed to Istanbul's architecture. This gifted architect also designed the Pera Palas Hotel and the Ahmet Afif Pasha Mansion on the Bosphorus.

Istanbul Archaeology Museum Collection

The Istanbul Archaeology Museums hold a massive collection of approximately one million artifacts from perse civilizations, including Assyrian, Hittite, Egypt, Greek, Roman, Byzantine, and Turkish civilizations, which significantly impacted history.

The Istanbul Archaeology Museums are also among the top ten museums globally and the first in Turkey in terms of design, establishment, and usage as a museum structure.

The courtyard and gardens at the Istanbul Archaeology Museums are quite calm and lovely. The architecture and structures of the museums are equally stunning.

The Museum of the Ancient Orient (Eski Sark Eserler Muzesi), the Archaeology Museum (Arkeoloji Muzesi), and the Tiled Pavilion (Cinili Kosk) are the three primary components of the complex. These museums hold museum director, artist, and archaeologist Osman Hamdi Bey's late-nineteenth-century palace collections. The complex is easily accessible by going down the hill from Topkapi's First Court or up from Gulhane Park's main gate.

Museum of the Ancient Orient

When you enter the museum complex, the first building on the left is the Museum of the Ancient Orient. The 1883 structure displays artifacts from the pre-Islamic Arab world, Mesopotamia (now Iraq), Egyptian, and Anatolia (mainly the Hittite empires). Don't forget to see:

  • A Hittite replica of the historic Agreement of Kadesh (1269) between the Egyptian and Hittite empires.
  • The old Babylonian Ishtar gate, going back to Nebuchadnezzar II's reign.
  • The glazed brick panels show various animals.

Archaeology Museum

This massive neoclassical structure, which was under reconstruction when we visited, is on the opposite end of the column-filled courtyard from the Museum of the Ancient Orient. It has an extensive collection of classical statues and sarcophagi and displays Istanbul's ancient, Byzantium, and Turkish history.

Sarcophagi from locations such as the Imperial Necropolis of Sidon, excavated by Osman Hamdi Bey in 1887, are among the Museum's most valuable possessions. The Mourning Women Sarcophaguses are not to be missed.

The Museum's northern wing includes an extensive collection of anthropoid sarcophagi from Sidon and sarcophagi from Syria, Thessalonica, Lebanon, and Ephesus (Efes). The stelae and caskets, from about AD 140 and 270, are shown in three rooms. The Samara Sarcophagus from Konya (3rd century AD.) stands out among the sarcophagi with its interconnecting horses' legs and laughing cherubs. The final chamber in this segment features Roman floor mosaics and ancient Anatolian architecture.

Tiled Pavilion

This beautiful pavilion, built-in 1472 under the command of Mehmet the Conqueror, is the final of the complex's museum structures. After the previous portico burnt down in 1737, Sultan Abdul Hamit I (1774–89) built a new one with 14 marble columns during his reign (1774–89).

From the end of the middle ages until the start of the twentieth century, Seljuk, Anatolian, and Ottoman tiles and ceramics were on exhibit. In addition, the collection contains Iznik tiles from the mid-14th to mid-1700s centuries, when the city was known for producing the world's best-colored tiles. The magnificent mihrab from the Ibrahim Bey Imaret in Karaman, erected in 1432, is visible as soon as you approach the center chamber.

Istanbul Archaeology Museum Entrance Fee

As of 2021, the entry price for the Istanbul Archaeology Museum is 75 Turkish Liras. For children under the age of eight, admission is free. 

The Final Word

The Istanbul Archaeological Museums are a prestigious collection of museums that are pided into three sections. The Tiled Kiosk Museum, the Archaeological Museum, and the Museum of Ancient Oriental Works, the Istanbul Archaeological Museum, Turkey's most important museum, houses several million artifacts from many civilizations transported from the imperial regions.

Istanbul Archaeological Museum Hours of Operation

Istanbul Archaeological Museum is open everyday between 09:00 - 18:30
Last entrance is at 17:30

Istanbul Archaeological Museum Location

Istanbul Archaeological Museum is located in Gulhane Park, behind the Topkapi Palace Museum

Alemdar Caddesi,
Osman Hamdi Bey Yokusu,
Gulhane Park, Sultanahmet

 

Important Notes:

  • Simply scan your QR code at the entrance and get in.
  • Istanbul Archaeological Museum is huge, your visit can take up to 3 hours. Average 90 minutes.
  • Photo ID will be asked from child Istanbul E-pass holders.
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