Five Historical Museums You Must See in Istanbul

Maybe you live in Istanbul, and maybe you came from another city. Or perhaps you are planning an excellent city tour for a guest visiting Istanbul for the first time. With its historical and cultural beauties, Istanbul is a unique city where these historical masterpieces deserve to be discovered over and over again. Now put on light clothes and comfortable shoes in this hot weather and get ready to visit the five must-see museums in Istanbul!

Basilica Cistern

There is a particular reason why the Basilica Cistern is at the top of this list. It had been under renovation for a long time, which opened its doors again in July, and the renovated Basilica Cistern is a must-see.

The Cistern, built by the Byzantine Emperor Justinian I (527-565), is known as the “Sunken Palace” among the people due to an array of beautiful marble columns rising from the water, appearing as countless. Since there was a basilica in the place where the Cistern is located, it is also known as the Basilica Cistern.

Covering a rectangular area of ​​140 meters by 70 meters, the cathedral-size cistern covers a total area of ​​9,800 square meters. The cistern has a water storage capacity of approximately 100 thousand tons and has 336 columns with a height of 9 meters. Among the symbols of the historical cistern is the column engraved with tear-like symbols, popularly known as the “weeping column” or the “tear column”, which according to ancient texts, pays tribute to the hundreds of people who died during the construction. Another symbol is the two “Medusa Heads”, considered masterpieces of Roman sculpture art.

Topkapi Palace Museum

Topkapı Palace Museum, one of the highly important symbols of the historical peninsula, is among the most significant works left behind by the Ottoman Empire. The palace, located on the Historical Peninsula between the Marmara Sea, the Bosphorus and the Golden Horn, was built between 1460-1478 at Fatih Sultan Mehmet’s request. This majestic building is a magnificent historical landmark where important milestones can be seen from the Ottoman Empire to the present day.

Istanbul Archeology Museum

The Istanbul Archeology Museum, which is among the largest museums in the world, has an entirely different place among the museums of Istanbul. Apart from the main building, this unique museum, which also hosts the Museum of Ancient Oriental Works and the Tiled Kiosk Museum, is a visual lesson for archaeology. You should definitely include the museum in the Gülhane district in your tour program.

Turkish and Islamic Arts Museum

We continue our museum tour in the historical peninsula with the Turkish and Islamic Arts Museum in Sultanahmet. This museum, which has one of the best carpet collections in the world, exhibits manuscripts, glass objects and rare works of art. Get ready for a beautiful museum tour to examine Turkish and Islamic history.

Panorama 1453

Although our last suggestion is a little different from the others, it is a great choice to tell children about history and make them love it. Panorama 1453, one of Istanbul’s newest museums and historical buildings, makes its visitors relive the city’s conquest. The museum, located within the borders of Topkapı Culture Park, is a must-see.

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