Directorate of Istanbul Archeology Museums that is dependent on the
General Directorate of Monuments and Museums of the Ministry of Culture
of the Republic of Turkey is on the Osman Hamdi Bey Ascent that opens to
the Topkapı Palace Museum from the right of the Gülhane Park Entry which
is in the Sultanahmet district.
Istanbul Archeology Museums consist of three museums. Those are
Archeology Museum, Old Eastern Works Museum and Enameled Kiosk Museum.
Istanbul Archeology Museums, which were established as Müze-i Humayun
(Empire Museum) by the famous artist and museum director Osman Hamdi Bey
at the end of the 19th century, were opened to public on June 13, 1891.
Besides its importance as the first Turkish museum, it has an
importance and specialty being one of the museum buildings that are
constructed as a Museum in the World. Today, it still protects its
outstanding place in the Worlds biggest museums with its works more
than a million belonging to various cultures.
In the museum collections, there are rich and very important works of
art belonging to various civilizations from the regions from Balkans to
Africa, from Anatolia and Mesopotamia to Arab Peninsula and Afghanistan
that were in the borders of the Ottoman Empire.
The Archeology Museum consists of two separate buildings.
I) MAIN BUILDING (OLD BUILDING)
Its construction was started in 1881 by Osman Hamdi Bey and with the
additions in 1902 and 1908 it gained its latest form. Its architect is
Alexander Vallaury. The outer face of the building was made by inspiring
from the İskender Tomb and Crying Women tombs. It is a beautiful example
of neoclassical buildings in Istanbul.
On the upper floor of the two-flat building there are small stone works,
pots and pans, small terracotta statues, the Treasure Department and
approximately 800.000 Ottoman coins, seals, decorations, medals and
Non-Muslim and Muslim Coin Cabinets, in which coin moulds were kept, and
a Library with approximately 70.000 books.
On the bottom floor saloons of the building, famous tombs are displayed
such as İskender Tomb, Crying Women Tomb, Satrap Tomb, Lykia Tomb,
Tabnit Tomb that are in the Sayda king graveyard.
On the bottom floor, besides the display of tombs, there is Old Age
Statuary display in which statues and relieves from important antic
cities and regions take place. In this display, the development of the
art of statuary from Archaic Period to the Byzantium Period is displayed
in chronological order with outstanding examples.
II) ADDITIONAL BUILDING (NEW BUILDING)
The additional building attached to the southeast of the main building
is of 6 stories. There
depots in the two stories under the ground floor.
The four stories of the building are arranged as exhibition saloons.
There is Istanbul for Ages on the first floor of the building,
Anatolia and Troia for Ages on the second floor and Surrounding
Cultures of Anatolia: Cyprus, Syria-Palestine on the top floor. There
is Infant Museum and architectural works display on the first floor of
the additional building. The Thrakia-Bithynia and Byzantium display
saloon, which was opened in August 1998, can be visited on the floor
under the first floor with the name of Surrounding Cultures of
The museum has received the European Council Museum Award in 1991, which
is its 100. establishment anniversary, with the new arrangement made in
the lower floor saloons and the Additional Building display.
OLD EASTERN WORKS MUSEUM
The building, which was made by Osman Hamdi bey in 1883 as Sanayi-i
Nefise (Fine Arts School), was organized as a museum with the works made
between 1917-1919 and 1932-1935. The building, which was closed to visit
in 1963, was opened to visit again in 1974 with a new display by
changing the inner parts.
On the upper floor of the two-flat building, Anatolian, Mesopotamian,
Egyptian and Arabic works of art are displayed. Statue of Naramsin, the
king of Akad, the Kadeş Agreement and Zincirli statue are the unique
works of art in the museum.
Moreover, in this museum there is a Tablet Archive in which 75.000
documents with cuneiform writings are kept.
ENAMELED KIOSK MUSEUM
The kiosk that has been made by Fatih Sultan Mehmet in 1472 is one of
the oldest examples of Ottoman civil architecture in Istanbul. It has
been used as Müze-i Hümayun (Empire Museum) between 1875-1891. It was
opened to public in 1953 with the name of Fatih Museum where Turkish and
Islamic works of art were displayed and it was transferred to Istanbul
Archeology Museums due to its site.
The entrance façade of the kiosk is single-flat and the back façade is
of two-stories. There is a marble porch of 14 columns in the entrance.
The entrance exedra is decorated with mosaic enamels. Various chinaware
and ceramics from the Seljuk and Ottoman period are displayed in the
Kiosk that forms from 6 rooms and a middle saloon. There are
approximately 2000 works of art in the museum and its depots
(Open every day except