Results 1-5of 5 Reviews
by Liam Hetherington
Manchester, United Kingdom
October 27, 2009
From journal Holy of Holies
July 24, 2008
by Suha Sendogan
February 14, 2006
From journal Archaeological Museum of Bursa
July 29, 2003
There is a small snack bar just outside the museum, where you can eat seated amongst ancient stone monuments.
From journal Istanbul in June
April 14, 2002
This award-winning museum has been undergoing renovation throughout the past decade, winning the Council of Europe’s Museum Award in 1993. The carefully chosen pieces are displayed with great artistic sensitivity, particularly in the largest building, with the placement, lighting, and curator notes enhancing the museum-goer’s experience. Within the boundaries of modern Turkey and the former Ottoman Empire are archaeological sites from many of the world’s great cultures, including Thracian, Bithynian, Byzantine, Egyptian, Hittite, and Mesopotamian. It’s worth remembering, for example, that the site of ancient Troy is actually located in modern Turkey rather than Greece. This happy circumstance places Turkish archaeologists in a unique position to explore the past.
The first building, the Museum of the Ancient Orient, features an impressive display of antiquities from the Egyptian, Mesopotamian, and Hittite cultures. One of the standouts is a large glazed brick frieze of lions and bulls set against a blue background from Babylon’s Ishtar Gate. Less impressive looking, but of great historical importance, is the Treaty of Kadesh, a tablet dating from 1269 BC that contains the world’s first peace treaty.
The building adjacent to the Museum of the Ancient Orient houses a collection of Turkish tiles and ceramics, with some lovely examples of Iznik tiles. The pride of the collection is the gorgeous blue tiled mihrab from the city of Karaman in southeast Turkey.
The largest building, a long neoclassical affair with four tall columns set along the entrance, houses the Archaeology Museum. Upon entering the museum, the visitor is greeted by an appealingly grotesque statue of Bes, an Egyptian dwarf god believed to guard against evil spirits. From the entrance, the visitor makes a choice to go right, left, or up. If pressed for time, go left to view the magnificent marble tombs brought from Sidon by Osman Hamdi Bey, a 19th century Renaissance man who was most responsible for the museum’s development.
The museum is at its best when it first opens at 9:30 a.m., when there are few visitors and the noisy groups of schoolchildren who plague many of Istanbul’s museums have not yet made their appearance. The entrance fee is approximately $3. The museum is open until 4:30 and is closed on Mondays.
From journal Istanbul Idyll