Arts & Life
Top 20 museums in Turkey
Top 20 museums in Turkey
As a historic home to great civilizations like the Roman and Ottoman empires, Turkey has some of the world’s best museums. Click through for our top 20...
Zeugma Mosaic Museum - Located in Gaziantep, this museum hosts a great number of mosaics and other important works of the antique city of Zeugma and its surroundings. It is the biggest mosaic museum in the world and covers an area of 30,000 square meters. Visitors have seen many precious pieces after it underwent a restoration process. This original place is considered one of the most significant museums in terms of its technological and architectural complex. Photo: izzet keribar / Alamy Stock Photo
Consisting of three main divisions, the Istanbul Archeology Museum, Museum of Oriental Antiques and Tiled Pavilion Museum welcome their visitors in the Fatih district. The archeology museum opened on March 13, 1891. The Oriental Antique side was turned into a museum between the years 1917-1919 in order to display Near East art pieces. The Tiled Pavilion, on the other hand, was built under the Seljuk Empire. It is a special example of Ottoman civilian architecture in Istanbul. This photo by Hercules Milas (Alamy Stock Photo) shows the Alexander the Great Sarcophagus from the Necropolis of Sidon.
Şanlıurfa Museum opened to visitors in 1969. Having a rich historical and cultural background, the Şanlıurfa region embodies many old settlement areas and hill towns. In the museum, aside from works obtained by the diggings in Harran, other cultural properties found in hill towns and settlements located in that region are exhibited. Photo: izzet keribar / Alamy Stock Photo
Underground city of Derinkuyu - Aside from fairy chimneys, which have survived century-old journeys in Cappadocia, there are 36 underground cities that are like the deep roots of a giant tree. The underground city of Derinkuyu is the biggest one of all. Although there is no particular information on the date, it is thought the settlement was established during the Proto-Hittite period in 3000 B.C. and was frequently used in Byzantine times. The emergence of the Turks dates back to after the Battle of Malazgirt in 1071. Photo: Marina Pissarova / Alamy Stock Photo
Ephesus Museum - The glamorous town’s rich museum can be the best description for the ancient city of Ephesus and the museum. With its visitor capacity and cultural activities, this museum is considered among one of the most important museums. The most attractive pieces in Ephesus includes the temple of Artemis made of marble, its statues of Artemis, Priapus, an Egyptian priest and varieties of mythological gods, including Eros with a dolphin and rabbit, the bust of Eros and the bust of Socrates. In a separate section in the museum, starting from the antique eras as well as the Ottomans, gold, silver and bronze coins and jewelry are exhibited. - Photo: Zoonar GmbH / Alamy Stock Photo
It is surely beyond doubt the Hagia Sophia Museum is a universal masterpiece. It had previously been the biggest Byzantine church built in Istanbul but in 1935 it started to officially serve as a museum. Being built in the same place three times, the Hagia Sophia is the oldest and fastest built cathedral in the world. With the conquest in 1453, the structure was renovated as a mosque and continued its existence as a holy place as a result of insertions of Ottoman architectural components. Photo: funkyfood London - Paul Williams / Alamy Stock Photo
Mevlana (Rumi) Museum “Come, come, whoever you are” said Mevlana, who is known as Rumi in the West. His philosophy on knowing himself and divine love had influenced communities all around the world and its influence continues today as well. Now, the Mevlana Dervish Convent is open as a museum. It is located in the Konya province. It was previously the rose garden of the Seljuk Empire but Sultan Alaeddin Keykubad gave this place as a gift to Mevlana’s father Sultânü’l-Ulemâ Bâhaeddin Veled. Photo: funkyfood London - Paul Williams / Alamy Stock Photo
Baksı Museum - Baksı Museum is an art museum located in a village named Bayraktar, which is 45 kilometers away from Bayburt.With its exhibition halls, store museum, atéliers, conference hall, library and guesthouse, the museum is on a property of 68 acres. Even though Baksı Museum is mostly known by its contemporary art collections, it also contains a considerable amount of classic art. Photo: Westend61 GmbH / Alamy Stock Photo
Antalya Archeology Museum - The opening of the Antalya Archeology Museum took place in 1922. The museum has an area of 30,000 square meters and includes a garden, 14 exhibition halls and open air galleries in which many statues and different artworks are placed. Continuously having witnessed the history of human civilization, the Antalya province is one of the richest historical corners in Anatolia. The museums are responsible for a wide range of three cultural antique regions: Lykia, Pamphylia and Psidia. Photo: David Kilpatrick / Alamy Stock Photo
Sumela Monastery - From the outside, it looks like a reclusive hill. The Sumela Monastery is a Greek Orthodox monastery thought to be built by two priests coming from Athens named Barnabas and Sophronios during the period of Byzantine Emperor Theodosius I (375-395 A.D.). Sumela had been maintained as a “monastery” until 1923. Its structure is formed by a main stone church, a couple of chapels, a kitchen, student rooms, a guest room, a library and a holy spring revered by Eastern Orthodox Christians. Photo: Hercules Milas / Alamy Stock Photo
Çorum Museum - Here, archeology and ethnography are side by side. The Çorum Museum opened its doors on Oct. 13, 1968. Its core area has been formed by findings from fields in Alacahöyük, Boğazköy, Ortaköy, Eskiyapar, Pazarlı, Kuşsaray and Alişar Höyük. In addition, some ethnographic pieces can be found in the museum as well. The collection is comprised of the Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine, Hittite, Phrygian, Chalcolithic and Old Bronze periods. This photo by Mike P Shepherd (Alamy Stock Photo) shows the burial of a king from Alacahöyük site.
Topkapı Palace Museum - The simply magnificent Topkapı Palace Museum should be visited in order to understand the Ottoman Empire’s administrative structure, palace life and witness this empire’s possessed wealth. In the museum, apart from the Ottoman’s governing buildings and harem in which the emperor’s family lived in; treasure, holy relics, weapon collection, portraits of sultans, kitchens and porcelain divisions are some of the important sections open for visits. Photo: dave stamboulis / Alamy Stock Photo
Underwater Archeology Museum - Containing sizably unique underwater treasures, the Underwater Archeology Museum is located in Muğla’s Bodrum district. The museum was built by the Knights of St. Jean in the historic Bodrum Castle. Along with its interesting building, the underwater museum fascinates visitors with its incredible collection. The museum was presented a Certificate of Special Commendation from the European Museum Forum in 1995. Photo: EVREN KALINBACAK / Alamy Stock Photo
Hatay Archeology Museum - It has the second biggest mosaic collection in the world. Located in Antioch on Republic Avenue and near the Asi River, the Hatay Archeology Museum welcomes i̇ts guests with a vast amount of elaborated and peerless colored mosaic collection. By the size, number and quality of exhibited mosaics, it is declared the second richest mosaic collection of the world. As well as mosaics, with its coin collection, it is the third biggest museum in the whole world. In the museum, pieces from the Hittite, Roman, Hellenistic and Byzantine periods and findings from the Harbiye (military college), Antioch, Atçana, Seleucia Pieria and Alexandretta can be viewed. Photo: Koraysa / Alamy Stock Photo
Ethnographic Museum - Hundreds of years of Anatolian heritage lies in this museum. Located in Ankara, the Ethnographic Museum opened in 1930. It hosts numerous Turkish artwork dating back to the Seljuk period. Photo: Chris Hellier / Alamy Stock Photo
Amasya Museum - The museum opened in 1980 after being restored and reordered and all pieces were aligned chronologically. With its 24,000 piece collection containing coins, sealing materials, manuscripts, mummies and archaeological and ethnographic items from 11 different civilizations, the Amasya Museum continues to serve the culture and tourism of our country as the biggest and richest museum of that area. Photo: Odyssey-Images / Alamy Stock Photo
Pera Museum & Istanbul Modern: These two museums, which are both in Istanbul's Beyoğlu district, are best places in Turkey to follow modern arts. The Pera Museum opened on June 8, 2005. From the time of its establishment to event performances, it has become one of Turkey’s most qualified, pioneer and beloved museums. Photo: Westend61 GmbH / Alamy Stock Photo
Anatolian Civilizations Museum - Today, with its idiocratic collection, the Anatolian Civilizations Museum remains one of the most special and leading museums in the world. Anatolian archeology, starting from the Paleolithic era until today are being exhibited chronologically in two historical Ottoman buildings. The restoration process started in 1938 and finished in 1968. Photo: EVREN KALINBACAK / Alamy Stock Photo
Atatürk and the War of Independence Museum is located in a columned area of 3,000 square meters under the Hall of Honor (Şeref Salonu) where the mausoleum of Atatürk is located. It opened to the public as a museum in 2002. This museum consists of four sections. In the first part, there are Atatürk’s personal belongings and in the second part, there are panoramas of the naval attack and ground invasion of the Dardanelles. In the third segment, there are panoramas of the Battle of Sakarya and the Battle of Dumlupınar. In the last section, there is a vaulted corridor in which there are photos from Atatürk’s revolutions along with their explanations. Photo: Araya Gerabun / Alamy Stock Photo
The Bursa City Museum opened on Feb. 14, 2004. Before, the building was not used as a museum. It has three floors in total. The first gallery on the base floor is called the “City of Civilizations: Bursa.” This gallery has a chronological exposition starting from the first civilizations around Bursa to the Ottoman period and following the years of the Turkish War of Independence. The second gallery is on “Contemporary Bursa.” This collection narrates phases of changes in the reconstruction of Bursa from the Republic period until today. Photo: Hemis / Alamy Stock Photo
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