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Museums to visit in Turkey

Ankara Anatolian Civilizations Museum - Turkey

Ankara Anatolian Civilizations Museum is one of the most important museums in Turkey. It is made up of two buildings, Caravansary and Bedesten which were built around 1464 - 1471. Its valuable collection encompasses the story of all the various civilizations established in Asia Minor.

Ankara Anatolian Civilizations Museum houses artifacts from the Hittites, Urartians, Assyrian Colonies, Phrygians, Greeks and Romans. The exhibits are displayed chronologically beginning with a collection of stone utensils for daily use dating from the Paleolithic period and semi-precious jewels from the 6th millennium.

 
Topkapi Palace Museum - istanbul - Turkey

Following the conquest of Istanbul, between 1459 and 1465, Mehmet II built the Topkapi Palace as his principal residence and seat of government. The site is like a separate town with its own fortifications. Inside, among courtyards, gardens, pools and fountains there are both public and private buildings, chambers, kiosks and pavilions.
Some of the collections housed at the museum include Ceramics, Glass, Silverware, Imperial Costumes, Arms and Armor, Miniatures and Manuscripts and Clocks. The famous Treasury contains one of the the richest collections of treasures in the world.

Many gold and silver objects are displayed, most are embellished with precious stones. Don't miss the 86-carat spoonmakers diamond and the Kanjar, 14 inch emerald encrusted dagger. The famous movie Topkapi starring Melina Mercouri and Peter Ustinov was filmed in here in 1964.

 
Hatay Antakya Mosaic Museum Turkey

Antakya (Antioch ad Orontes) is the city where the culture and traditions of Mesopotamia and Arabia met those of the Greek and Romans. It was a long-standing rival of Alexandria.

St. Paul and St. Peter both preached and wrote here. Antakya is the place where the followers of Christ were for the first time ever, named as Christians.

Antakya Mosaic Museum houses one of the richest collections of late Roman and Byzantine mosaics. Some of the highlights are Narcissus by a stream, Drunken Dionysus and Orpheus charming beasts with his Lyre.

 
Istanbul Archaeology Museum - Turkey

Istanbul Archaeology Museum was founded at the end of the 19th century. It houses a great collection of Greek, Roman, Byzantine artifacts. Some of the highlights of the museum are the Alexander Sarcophagus, Sarcophagus of Mourning Women, Lycian Sarcophagus and a beautiful 1st century statue of Ephebos of Tralles.

The museum also houses "The Gezer Calendar" the oldest Hebrew inscription known to experts which was discovered near Jerusalem. It was written on a tablet of limestone and is believed to be an agricultural calendar.

 
Konya Mevlana Museum - Whirling Dervishes - Turkey

Konya (Iconuim) is renowned for Mevlana Celaleddin Rumi. Mevlana, born in Balhk Afghanistan in 1207, is one of the greatest Islamic sufists and the founder of the Mevlevi Sufi Order. His religion was based on good,
charity, humanity, love and union with God.

For Mevlana, poetry, music and dance were indispensable for the perfection of the soul. Mevlana's greatest work, Mesnevi is a
collection of 25,000 poems.

The Mevlana Museum houses his tomb, a collection of precious manuscripts, antique carpets, musical instruments and garments. It also includes the dervishes lodges.

 
Ephesus Archaeology Museum - Turkey

Ephesus is one of the best-preserved ancient cities of the world. The Ephesus museum is close to the ancient ruins and is one of the
best regional museums of Turkey.

It houses a fine collection of artifacts and objects found during excavations over last 140 years. Some of the highlights are two marvelous cult statues of Artemis or Diana, fine frescos of Socrates and a colossal head from a statue of the Emperor Domitian.

In the Ephesus Museum courtyard, don't miss the Roman sundial which came from the commercial agora of Ephesus and a fine sarcophagus decorated with representations of the Muses.

 
Antalya Archaeology Museum - Turkey

Antalya Archaeology Museum was awarded "Museum of the Year" in 1988 at a meeting in Delphi by the Council of Europe. It houses a wide-ranging collection of exhibits, from fossils dating back to Stone and Bronze ages to articles from the Helenistic-Roman-Byzantine periods.

Some of the highlights of the museum are fine statues of Roman Emperors; Trajan, Hadrian and Septimus Severus and sarcophagi depicting the 12 labors of Hercules.

Antalya Archaeology Museum also houses some of St. Nicholas's relics. He was the bishop of Myra, about 50 km west of Antalya. In addition, it contains a fine collection of mosaics, frescoes and Byzantine icons.


 
Ancient city of Aspendus - Antalya - Turkey

Aspendus is located in the ancient region of Pamphylia. According to some experts the earliest settlers of the city were the Hittites.
The name Aspendus is of Anatolian origin. The Greek colonies arrived here around 13th C BC and took over an existing settlement. Alexander the Great claimed the city from the Persians and during the Roman period it was an important port city.
The city was founded on a hilltop and spread down to the plains. Aspendus has one of the best preserved and largest Roman theaters in Turkey. It was built in the 2nd C AD. The city's aqueducts are also well preserved and worth a visit.

 
Istanbul Museum of Turkish and Islamic Art - Turkey

Istanbul Museum of Turkish and Islamic Art is housed in the palace built by Suleyman the Magnificent. It was the largest of the private palaces built under the Ottomans and is a very good example of Ottoman architecture.

The museum has a very rich collection of carpets, Korans from all over the Islamic world and beautiful works of calligraphy featuring imperial decrees and signatures.

There are also collections of glassware, earthenware and utility objects in the Museum in Istanbul. The ethnographic section has interesting exhibits of Nomadic Lifestyle as well as 19th century Istanbul.

Bodrum Underwater Archaeology Museum - Turkey

Bodrum Underwater Archaeology Museum is situated in St. Peter's Castle which was built around at 15th C by the Knights of St. John of Rhodes.
The castle houses interesting artifacts from Prehistoric, Carian, Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine, Medieval and Turkish periods.

The Bodrum Museum of Underwater Archaeology houses a collection of artifacts from the wrecks of a number of ships.

One ship lost off Cape Gelidonya near Finike c 1200 C BC, was a Syrian trader bringing a cargo of Ingots from Cyprus. Another lost near Uluburun, Kas in the 13-14 C BC was carrying a cargo of gold medallions, ostrich eggs, a gold cup, copper and tin ingots. The artifacts were recovered by Turkish and American archaeologists .

 
 
 
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