The Basilica of Hagia Sophia (Holy Wisdom), now called the Ayasofya
Museum, is unquestionably one of the finest buildings of all time. Built
by Constantine the Great and reconstructed by Justinian in the 6th century,
its immense dome rises 55 meters above the ground and its diameter spans
31 meters. Linger here to admire the buildings majestic serenity as well
as the fine Byzantine mosaics. (Open every day except Monday).
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The Archeological Museums are found just inside the first court of
the Topkapi Palace. Included among its treasures of antiquity are the
celebrated Alexander Sarcophagus and the facade of the Temple to Athena
from Assos. The Museum of the Ancient Orient displays artifacts from the
Sumerian, Babylonian, Assyrian, Hatti and Hittite civilizations. (Open
every day except Monday).please do not hasitate, contact us for
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Rumeli Hisari, or European Fortress, was built by Mehmet the
Conqueror in 1452prior to his capture of Istanbul. Complete din only four
months, it is one of the most beautiful works of military architecture in
the world. In the castle is the Open -Air Museum amphitheater that is the
site for some events of the Istanbul Music Festival.(Open every day except
Originally built in the l5th century as a kösk, or pavilion, by
Mehmet the Conqueror, the Çinili Kösk, which houses the Museum of Turkish
Ceramics, contains beautiful l6th- century specimens from Iznik and fine
examples of Seljuk and Ottoman pottery and tiles. (Open every day except
Irene Museum was originally a church. It ranks, in fact, as the first
church built in Istanbul. Constantine commissioned it in the fourth
century and Justinian later had the church restored. The building
reputedly stands on the site of a pre-Christian temple. (Open every day
except Monday, but requires special permission for admission).
The dark stone building that houses the Museum of Turkish and
Islamic Art was built in 1524 by the Grand Vizier to Süleyman the
Magnificent, Ibrahim Pasa, as his residence. It was the grandest private
residence ever built in the Ottoman Empire. Today it holds a superb
collection of ceramics, metalwork, miniatures, calligraphy, textiles, and
woodwork as well as some of the oldest carpets in the world.(Open every
day except Monday).
Across the street from the Ibrahim Pasa residence is the Museum of
Turkish Carpets which contains exquisite antique carpets and kilims
gathered from all over Turkey. (Open every day except Sunday and Monday).
Near Hagia Sophia is the sixth-century Byzantine cistern known as the
Yerebatan Sarnici. Three hundred and thirty-six massive Corinthian columns
support the immense chambers fine brick vaulting.(Open every day except
The Mosaic Museum preserves in situ exceptionally fine fifth and
sixth-century mosaic pavements from the Grand Palace of the Byzantine
emperors. (Open everyday except Tuesday).
The Kariye Museum, the llth-century church of "St. Savior" in the
Chora complex,is, after Hagia Sophia, the most important Byzantine
monument in Istanbul.Unremarkable in its architecture, inside, the walls
are decorated with 4th-century mosaics. Illustrating scenes from the life
of Christ and the Virgin Mary, these brilliantly colored paintings embody
the vigor of Byzantine art. In restored wooden houses in the area
surrounding the church you can enjoy tea and coffee in a relaxed
atmosphere far removed from the citys hectic pace. (Open every day except
The Aviation Museum in Yesilköy traces the development of flight in
Turkey. (Open every day except Monday).
In the Military Museum the great field tents used by the Ottoman
armies on campaigns are on display. Other exhibits include Ottoman weapons
and the accoutrements of war. The Mehter Takimi (Ottoman military band)
can be heard per-forming Ottoman martial music between3:00 and 4:00 p.m. (Open
every day except Monday and Tuesday).
Atatürks former residence in Sisli now serves as the Atatürk Museum
and displays his personal effects. (Open every day except Saturday and
The grand imperial caiques used by the sultans to cross the
Bosphoius are among the many many other interesting exhibits of Ottoman
naval history that can be seen at the Naval Museum located in the Besiktas
district. (Open every day except Monday and Thursday).
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Also in Besiktas is the Museum of Fine Arts that houses Turkish
paintings and sculptures from the end of the l9th century to the present.
(Open every day except Monday and Tuesday).
The City Museum, located within the gar-dens of the Yildiz Palace,
preserves and documents the history of Istanbul since the Ottoman conquest.
(Open every day except Thursday). Also within the gardens are the Yildiz
Palace Theatre and the Museum of Historical Stage Costumes, with its
richly decorated scenery and stage , and its exquisite costumes. (Open
every day except Tuesday).
The Rahmi Koç Industry Museum, in the suburb of Hasköy on the coast
of the Golden Horn, was an Ottoman-period building, formerly called
Lengerhane, for iron and steel works. Today it houses exhibits on
industrial development. (Open every day except Monday).
Up the Bosphorus in the picturesque suburb of Büyükdere, the
collections of the Sadberk Hanim Museum fill two charming l9th-century
wooden villas. A private museum which originally . displayed only Turkish
decorative arts, it has recently been expanded for a new collection of
archeological finds. (Open every day except Wednesday).
For something different try the Caricature and Cartoon Museum in
Fatih on Atatürk Boulevard under the Bozdogan Aqueductin the l6th century
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