Exploring the Istanbul Archaeology Museums
April 17, 2013 MuseumChick
After discovering some unexpected and colorful street art in the narrow streets of the Eminönü and Sultanahmet area, I decided to visit the Istanbul Archaeology Museums in the late afternoon. Trying to squeeze in their large collection, housed in the three buildings that complete the complex, without being late to meet my husband for dinner, was going to be a challenge. The Istanbul Archaeology Museums is made up of three distinctly different buildings; the Archaeological Museum Main Building, the Museum of the Ancient Orient and the Museum of Islamic Art in the Tiled Kios with a courtyard and cafe in the center.
These are some of the museums highlights and my personal favorites.
The facade of the main building (above) was inspired by the Alexander Sarcophagus (below). It is one of the prominent structures built in the neoclassical style in Istanbul. The Alexander Sarcophagus was found at the Necropolis of Sidon and has now found a home in the Istanbul Archaeology Museum’s main building.
Through the upstairs windows of the main building, I could see the Museum of Islamic Art in the Tiled Kios with the winter sunset highlighting the sky in bright blues and light pinks.
Coming through the entrance, the first piece you see is this tile mihrab from the Karamanolu Ibrahim Bey Imaret (public kitchen) built in 1432. It was made using a colorful glazing technique, which was popular in the early Ottoman era.
This oil painting is of Osman Hamdi Bey standing next to the fountain of youth (titled ”Fountain of Youth” from 1904) and is placed to the niche next to the actual fountain, housed in the museum. The series of pictures below are of the colorful and gold gilded sides that decorate it.
The Museum of the Ancient Orient houses pre-Islamic artifacts, including tiled pieces from the Gate of Ishtar (below). And since I’m a hopeless romantic, my favorite piece was the terra cotta artifact of “The Oldest Love Poem” from 2029 B.C. (below).
I would have stopped at this modern and relaxing cafe for some Turkish coffee if I wasn’t already late, as usual, to meet my husband.
©2013 Danee Sarman All rights reserved