Must-See Museums in Istanbul

We all want to make journeys along the time. While some wonder about the future, some of us want to go back to past time. For the future, we need advanced technology and advanced physics knowledge. In fact, We do not know the exact way to be in the future, but there is definitely a way to go past; Museums!

The museums expose the spheres of objects that have cultural or historical values, and societies that lived in ancient times of history, in terms of science and art. At the same time, they aim to enlighten both the present and the future.

Many civilizations live on the land of Turkey. Remains, monuments and documents of these civilizations are exhibited in the museums. For this reason, museums of Istanbul have a great importance in terms of world history.

Topkapi Palace Museum, Istanbul Naval Museum, Tanzimat Museum, Journalist Society Press Museum, Istanbul Archaeological Museum and Hagia Sophia Museum (Sacred Wisdom) are among the foremost museums of the world history.


Topkapi Palace

Istanbul-Topkapi Palace

Fatih Sultan Mehmet ordered to build a palace to use as a place of residence after he conquered Istanbul. Then, Topkapi Palace was built between 1459 and 1465. Actually, it is one of the oldest palaces of the Ottoman Empire. This palace was the home of the sultans of the Ottoman Empire, which turned into a world empire by the conquest of Istanbul, and became the center of government administration.

Topkapi Palace reveals political and social stories that change the world, as well as the richness of the Ottoman Empire. It was transformed into a museum on October 9, 1924, and opened to visitors. Since that day, it continues to serve as one of the most visited museums in the world.


Istanbul Naval Museum

Istanbul-Maritime Museum

Istanbul Naval Museum was established in 1897 as a result of the great efforts of the sailors and officers under the command of Hasan Husnu Pasha of the Navy. With the Second World War, it moved to Anatolia to protect the works. After the war, it was moved to Istanbul again in 1946 and the museum was moved to Dolmabahce Mosque Complex, which is the best place at that time.

Thanks to the diversity of the collections it holds, Istanbul Naval Museum has taken its place among the world’s most prominent museums. This museum, under the auspices of the Naval Forces Command, has 20,000 pieces of various collections. After all, it is the first and biggest maritime museum in Turkey.


Tanzimat Museum

Istanbul-Tanzimat Museum

One of the most important events of Ottoman history is undoubtedly Edict of Tanzimat (The Rescript of Gulhane). Edict of Tanzimat is the first reform step of democratization in Ottoman history. It is also the initial step in the westernization process. For this reason, the museum puts the most notable struggles of Ottoman’s last period on display.

Tanzimat Museum first opened in 1952 at Ihlamur Kasri (Pavilion). Although it moved to various places in the period, in 1983 it was transported to the building inside the Gulhane Park where it was originally released. Apart from the Rescript of Gulhane, various documents and articles of westernization period of Ottomans between 1839-1876 are finely exhibited.


Istanbul Press Media Museum

Istanbul-Press Media Museum

It is one of the famous centers of culture and art in Turkey. In addition, Istanbul Press Media Museum has superior qualities than its counterparts in the world. It includes both press-related devices and works from the press world. For this reason, it is a separate focus of interest from other Press Museums. The museum, which entered service in 1988, is Turkey’s first and the world’s 4th Press Museum.


Istanbul Archeology Museum

Istanbul Archeology Museum

It is one of the world’s greatest museums, with over a million works of different nations, cultures, and languages. An interesting feature is that museum building ranks as the oldest building constructed as a museum in Turkey. In the late 19th century, painter and museum artist Osman Hamdi Bey organized this place as “Imperial Museum”. So, it started to host visitors on June 13, 1891.


Hagia Sophia Museum

Hagia Sophia

It is one of the most prestigious monuments of the world’s architectural history that have survived to the present day. Hagia Sophia Museum is shown as the 8th wonder of the world in terms of its architecture, magnificence, and size. It was the largest church in the Eastern Roman Empire in Istanbul and was built three times in the same place. Today’s Hagia Sophia is the third building constructed with a different architectural concept than the earlier ones. This structure was built by the order of the Emperor Justiniaonos (527-565) to two important architects of the period: Antralios from Tralla (Aydin) and Isidoros from Miletos (Balat).

The construction was started on 23 February 532 and completed in a short period of 5 years and 10 months. The opening ceremony was held on 27 December 537. When it was first built it was called Megale Ecclesia (Great Church). However, from the 5th century onwards, it was defined as Hagia Sophia (Sacred Wisdom).

The building, which is a 916-year church, was converted into a mosque by Fatih Sultan Mehmet in 1453 with the conquest of Istanbul. After being used as a mosque for 482 years, it was taken into service as a Museum in 1935 with the order of Ataturk and the decision of the Council of Ministers.


Obviously, there are much more museums in the Dream City – Istanbul. Those who want to take a holiday in Istanbul can visit Istanbul Travel Guide page. Keep in mind that your comments motivate us.


Must-See Museums in Istanbul
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