Most Important Museums Of Istanbul
Istanbul has many well-known historical museums. The history of the city dates back more than 2500 years. And lived by different civilizations and cultures. As you know, dear reader, the famous saying “who has past, shall have no future,” so the Turkish State has taken care of the museums and monuments in its country, especially in Istanbul. The Ottomans also took care of these monuments, as well as those of the Byzantines and Romans did before. Because of them, the world’s visitors have had the opportunity to visit these historic landmarks and to recall the greatness of history and the people who have passed through here. I will mention in this article five of Istanbul’s most important museums, and when I say Istanbul’s most important museums, it is certainly the most important in the world as well.
The palace of Topkapi was built in the reign of Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror. After Constantinople fell into his hands, Istanbul became the capital and center of the Ottoman Empire. It was necessary to have a place that includes the affairs of the state politically, economically and socially. The Tupkapi Palace was named after the cannons that opened Constantinople. In Turkish, Topkapi means the “gate of the cannon”. At the entrance of the palace, the main cannon that bombed the walls of Constantinople day and night until the wall decided to surrender to the attack of the Muslims, was placed there.
After the completion of the palace, about eight hundred people have lived there, and then the number rose rapidly to reach 5000 people in a short time, while on holidays and events, the palace received ten thousand gusts. The palace was the largest palace in the world with an area of 700,000 square meters. Almost every Sultan has worked to add a new section to the palace. Now it has an area of 80,000 square meters only. You will find two main sections when you visit it. The first section is the main section, while the second section is the section devoted to women and the Sultan’s family. It is called “Haram” which means the forbidden section.
The palace was converted into a museum in 1924 by the founder of the Turkish Republic Ataturk. The public was able to reach most of the rooms of the palace and visit this great edifice.
You will find in your visit to the palace many antiques. The most important of these artifacts you will find in the section “Pavilion of the Holy Secretaries” where the section contains some of the remains of the Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him (the type of his foot – and a few hairs of his beard and his coat – and bow) in addition to a group of Swords of the Caliphs and many other sacred secretariats.
In the palace you will also find a jewelry pavilion. Your eyes will be on Napoleon’s priceless diamond. In addition to many rare collections such as the Sultan’s throne, the clothes of the Sultans and others. Also, in the palace there is a special wing of the weapons, which includes large groups of Ottoman and Iranian and Arab weapons such as arches, rifles, swords and others.
One of the most visited museums in the world, has been visited by more than thirty million visitors in the past ten years. Aya Sophia was built in 537 AD. It was a church for 916 years, until Mohammed The Conqueror turned it into a mosque in 1453. Aya Sofia remained a mosque where Muslims prayed, until 1931 when Ataturk turned it into a museum for visitors. Aya Suphia is an architectural masterpiece designed by the Greek engineers (Isidore of Miletus and Anthemius of Tralles) as it was called “the wisdom of God”.
The Basilica Cistern:
One of the most beautiful palaces of Istanbul, located near Aya Sophia, in the southwest. The Basilica Cistern palace was built in the Roman period between the 3rd century and the 4th century, to be used as water supplier. So, it has a huge underground space estimated at one hundred thousand tons. The palace is 140 meters long and 70 meters wide. The palace contains 336 columns, two of them in the form of a Medusa head. (Medusa is a Greek myth, used here to protect the palace).
The palace was restored during the reign of Sultan Ahmed III in 1723 by the engineer Kayserili Mehmet Ağa.
Istanbul Archaeological Museum:
Istanbul Archaeological Museum is a collection of three museums located in Gülhane Park near Topkapi Palace. The museum is considered as part of the Topkapi palace. The three museums are, the Archaeological Museum, the Ancient East and the Museum of Islamic Art. Contains more than a million artifacts from around the world representing early civilizations. The museum was built in the 19th century as an attempt to modernize the Ottoman Empire through the western part of the city. Be sure to devote a few hours to the museum as there is plenty to learn and much to read.
From the existing artifacts, the Ark of Alexander, which was found in Sidon, there is also the coffin of the weeping woman. You will also find pictures of glazed tiles from Ishtar Babel Gate. And many much historical monuments.
The Palace of Dolmabahce was built by the order of Sultan Abdul Majeed in 1856. After the Sultan lived with his family at the Topkapi Palace, the Sultan decided to renew the shape of the Ottoman palaces and blend little of Western civilization with the Ottoman civilization. It is divided into three parts: imperial harem, state apartments and ceremonial hall. Located opposite the Bosphorus, this beautiful palace was built mainly for anchoring the Ottoman fleet. The imperial garden and small summer mansions were eventually transformed into this mansion. There are clear western influences in the style and decoration of the palace. You will find many furniture imported from Paris and other Western cities. The cost of minors was one-third of the budget of the Ottoman Empire at that time, so that the Ottomans would reflect their economic power in that period.