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5 Most Famous Museums in Istanbul to Visit

Istanbul is one of the biggest cities in Turkey and the world. It is also the capital of history in turkey as it witnessed a lot of cultures and Empires in its history, beginning with the Roman Empire and ending with the Ottoman Empire. All those empires left their incredible history and fascinating culture and nowadays, tourists come from all over the world to visit Istanbul and be amazed by this glorious history. Here are the 5 Most Famous Museums in Istanbul to Visit:

Istanbul Archaeological Museums

Istanbul Archaeological Museums - Istanbul Museams

Istanbul Archaeological Museum is one of the largest museums in the world. It contains over 1 million works of Greek, Roman, and Byzantine artifacts. Moreover, the museum consists of 3 major sections: The Archaeology Museum, The Museum of Ancient Orient, and The Tiled Kiosk Museum. The foundation of the archeological museum back in the region of Mehmet the Conqueror, when they opened a museum in 1869 with the name of Müze-i Hümayun (Imperial Museum) that contains the artifacts collected from the Hagia Irene Church. The oldest building in the museum complex is the Tiled Kiosk Museum which was built during the reign of Mehmet the conqueror. The Museum of Ancient Orient was first established as the first academy of fine arts in the Ottoman Empire; it was converted into a museum later. The architect of the building is Alexander Vallaury, who will later build the Istanbul Archaeological Museums Classic building.

Istanbul Archaeological Museum is on the European side of Istanbul within the Fatih district in the Sultanahmet neighborhood adjacent to Topkapi palace, and Gulhane park.

Chora Mosque (Kariye Camii)

Chora Mosque (Kariye Camii)

Chora Museum is one of the most beautiful museums in Istanbul. Moreover, it is in the Edirnekapi District on the European side of Istanbul.

The Museum was first a Byzantine church; then, it was converted into a mosque in 1511 by Atik Ali Pasha, the grand vizier of Bayezid II. then it was established as a museum in 1948.

The Chora Museum is decorated from the inside with its 14th-century-made frescoes and mosaics. In addition, there are mosaics about the life of Jesus Christ and in the inner narthex about the life of the Virgin Mary.

Pera Museum

Pera Museam

Pera Museum locates in the Beyoglu district in Istanbul near Taksim square. The founders took the historic building of the former Bristol Hotel, which was designed by architect Achille Manoussos and built-in 1893, then they opened the museum by focusing on Orientalism in 19th-century art. The museum has many collections in it:

  • Orientalist Painting Collection houses various famous paintings from European and Ottoman artists, like The Tortoise Trainer by the well-known artist Osman Hamdi Bey.
  • The Anatolian Weights and Measures Collection consists of 10,000 pieces of measuring instruments used for measuring weight, length, and volume in every field from prehistoric times to the Anatolian era.
  • Kutahya Tiles and Ceramics Collection consists of over 800 pieces that date back to the 1980s representing Tiles and Ceramics pieces from various periods, especially the 18th – 20th centuries.

Milli Saraylar Resim Museum

Milli Saraylar Resim Museum

The painting Museum locates in the Besiktas district on the European side of Istanbul, close to the Bosphorus next to Dolmabahce Palace. The Museum was originally Dolmabahce Palace Crown Prince’s office. Then it was opened as the National Palaces Painting Museum in 2014 after the restoration works.

The Museum consists of 553 artifacts that reflect the painting taste of the late Ottoman palace. It contains the National Palaces Painting Collection, the Topkapi Palace Museum Collection, and the Yildiz Palace collection which is dated to a period between the 16th century and the 20th century.

The most famous work in the museum is Prince Halim’s Gazelle Hunt: Greyhound Share in the Gatah Desert, located in Said Halim Pasha Mansion by Félix-Auguste Clément. The largest Orientalist painting in Turkey.

Istanbul Rahmi M. Koc Museum

İstanbul Rahmi M. Koc Museum - Istanbul Museums

Rahmi M. Koc Museum locates in Beyoglu District in the Haskoy neighborhood at the shores of the Golden Horn. The Museum covers 27,000 square meters in the Haskoy neighborhood and is divided into (3) main sections: the Open-Air Exhibition Area, the Historical Haskoy Shipyard, and the Mustafa V. Koc Building. When visitors go to the museum, they feel they are in a time machine where they can see the history of the development of transportation, industry, and communication. You can see many objects such as submarines, ferries, ships, and airplanes. The museum contains many sections such as Ataturk Collection, Scientific Tools, Railway Transportation, Marines, Fenerbahce Ferry Boat, Aviation, Communication Tools, Road Transport, Engineering, Models and Toys, and Living History.