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Thursday, 27 September 2007

Top Ten Sights in Istanbul – No. 9: İstanbul Arkeoloji Müzeleri

The Istanbul Archaeological Museums (İstanbul Arkeoloji Müzeleri) is a must visit place if you are interested to see the artifacts from the ancient Roman period, the Byzantine period, the Ottoman period, and even the prehistoric period. The plural is not a misspelling but an indication of the multiple museums in the same compound. One ticket is all you need to visit all the museums, so it is quite purse-friendly and well worth the Yeni Türk Lirasi (New Turkish Lira) spent.

The main museum building has two wings with 4 floors of exhibition area.

There is an outdoor café at the courtyard exhibition area selling light snacks and drinks. I was there for the whole day exploring all the exhibits, therefore had a light lunch with cookies and coffee here.

The outdoor café where I had lunch.

Visitors can enjoy looking at the outdoor exhibits in the courtyard.

The ground floor of the main building's right wing houses the collections of marble statues from the Roman and Byzantine periods.

A Roman marble statue without the head.

A head without the body. How will it look like if it's place on the body of the previous statue?

A panel carving with colouring.

Shaking hands has been around for ages, but most people nowadays have forgotten the true meaning behind it.

Marble statue of a lady without the head.

Even the fruit basket is so elaborately carved.

The models in the ancient time had already set certain standards for modern modeling today.

The first floor of the main building houses the collections from the prehistoric era and some marble statues of the Byzantine period.

An interesting spiral staircase linking the floors.

A clay jar from the prehistoric period.

Even the prehistoric people knew about adding value to the artifact by decorating it.

Leaving the prehistoric period, I came to an area with exhibition of mosaics. These mosaics are mostly from the Byzantine period.

A marble staircase linking the floors of exhibition area.

A mosaic floor for the houses in the Byzantine period.

Bits and pieces of a mosaic floor.

At the ground floor of the left wing, a lot of huge sarcophaguses are exhibited. Among others, the prominent Alexander Sarcophagus believed to be built for King Abdalonymos of Sidon.

Carvings on the Alexander Sarcophagus depicting the war between Alexander the Great and the Persians.

A replica of the carvings with colours.

Carvings on another sarcophagus depicting the scene of vineyard workers harvesting the grapes.

Right opposite the main museum building is the Çinili Pavilion with exhibits of the Islamic arts.

The symmetrical Çinili Pavilion building.

An Iznik ceramic plate.

Hexagonal Iznik tiles.

If you would like to read more of my travelogues on Istanbul, here are the links:-

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