Hg2 : The Hedonist

Archaeology Museum

It’s unsurprising that a city with such a history should have such a superb archaeological museum. Nevertheless, its collection (of which only a fraction is on show) is world-beating with a breadth of exhibits to rival the Oriental sections of the British Museum, the Louvre or the Smithsonian. You could spend several days within its 20 galleries, but one of the highlights is its most famous artefact, the Alexander Sarcophagus. Part of the necropolis of the Phrygian Kings found in a Lebanese field just over a century ago, it is a 4th-century marble sarcophagus, its sides bearing exquisitely-carved bas-reliefs depicting Alexander the Great’s wars with the Persians. Much to the chagrin of its discoverers, though, it’s not actually Alexander’s tomb. After inspecting the museum’s wonderful classical statuary, have a look at Istanbul through the Ages, a permanent exhibition that tells the story of the city through several evocative pieces, including a section of the great chain that the Byzantines used to pull across the Bosphorus to block invading ships. To end on a positive note, take a peek at the world’s earliest peace treaty, the treaty of Kadesh agreed in 1269 BC between the Hittites and the Egyptian pharaoh Ramses II and carved into tablets on show in the next door building, the Museum of the Ancient Orient. The Tiled Kiosk alongside was built as an Ottoman-era party pad, but now houses an astoundingly beautiful collection of stained-glass, ceramic teapots and fine porcelain.  

Osman Hamdi Bey Yokusu,
+90 212 520 7742
Opening Times
9am-5pm. Closed Mondays.
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