Archaeological Museum (eminönü)
In the Archaeological Museum of Istanbul, presents rare works of art belonging to ancient civilizations in different regions from Balkans to Africa, from Anatolia and Mesopotamia to Arab Peninsula and Afghanistan that were part of the Ottoman Empire. In 1881, six years after the transfer of the Imperial Museum of antiquities and weapons from the Church. Irina in the pavilion was Repaired its Director was a prominent Turkish intellectual, artist and archaeologist Osman Hamdi Bey (1842-1910). The new Director has actively worked to transform the Museum . resembling just a warehouse of antique items of various values. Under his leadership, the archaeological excavations on the territory of the Ottoman Empire enriched the collection of the Museum many priceless masterpieces.
In 1891 under the order of Osman Hamdi Bey in Istanbul the famous architect, educated in Paris, Alexander Valluri (1850-1921) built a new building of the Archaeological Museum . called the Museum of sarcophagi (Asar-ı-Atika). In 1903, in connection with the increase in the number of exhibits were added the North wing, and in 1907 and South. In the design of the façade of this neoclassical building is clearly traced the motifs of the style of the most famous exhibits is the sarcophagus of Alexander and the Wailers. In one hundred years (1991) to meet the needs of a modern Museum . to the South-Eastern facade of the old Archaeological Museum prystailove, six-story building, first two floors are used as storage. The greatest interest among the exhibits on display in the old building of the Archaeological Museum are the marble sarcophagi of Royal (IV BC) from the necropolis of Sidon (Sidon, Lebanon). This is the sarcophagus of Sidon Abdalonymos called sarcophagus of Alexander the great, because the decorative friezes on its two long sides depict the scenes of battle and hunting with the participation of the great commander. And the tomb of STRATO, called the sarcophagus of the mourning women, because of the abundance of the weeping inmates of the harem of the voluptuous lords. There is also a collection of sculpture from the archaic period to the Byzantine Empire. The results of archaeological excavations in the valley of the Meander, Aphrodisias, Ephesus, Miletus and Manisa.
On four floors of the new building of the Archaeological Museum houses thematic exhibitions. The exhibition “Istanbul for centuries” (Çağlar boyu Istanbul) — a kind of chronicle of the archaeological past of the city. Here you can see a mosaic icon of the presentation (approx. 600) from the Church of the virgin (mosque of Kalenderhane ), and a bronze snake’s head from the column on the Racetrack. and the fragments of the chain which blocked the Golden horn from enemy vessels. The exhibition “Anatolia and Troia for ages” (Çağlar boyu Anadolu ve Truva) is dedicated to the history and culture of the Phrygian Kingdom and excavations on site of ancient Troy. Exhibition “Neighboring cultures: Cyprus, Syria, Palestine” and “the Art of Thrace, Bithynia and Byzantium” allow to get acquainted with rare and interesting artifacts and monuments of ancient civilizations. In the new building of the Archaeological Museum is a children’s archaeological Museum for visitors of school age. The Museum is open daily except Monday from 09.30-17.00 (ticket office until 16.00) ticket price 10 TL.