Located between the Gulhane Park and Topkapi Palace, the Archaeological Museum houses a remarkable collection of Greco-Roman antiquities.
Osman Hamdi Bey, important Ottoman painter, was appointed in 1881 as the first director of this museum which has the distinction of being the first building in Turkey to have been built for the sole purpose of housing a museum. Osman Hamdi Bey spent thirty years collecting antiquities for the museum until his death in 1910, Some of the most important objects housed in this museum are the Sarcophagus of Alexander and the Sarcophagus of the Mourning Women(dated ca. 350 BC) excavated by Hamdi Bey’in Syria in 1887. The museum was opened to visitors in 1896. As the collection grew, new wings were added to the museum in 1902 and 1908. It presently consists of thirty-six halls, twenty on the lower floor and sixteen on the upper. This museum was recognized as The”Museum of the Year”by the European Council in 1992. Opposite the Archaeological Museum is the Cinili Kosk, or”Tiled Pavilion. which was built in 1472 by Sultan Mehmed, the Conqueror.
When the imperal residence shifted to the Dolmabahçe Palace in 1856, the abandoned Çinili Köşk was used to store archaeological objects. It now contains a collection of Turkish tiles.
Osman Hamdi Bey Yokuşu, 34400 Gülhane
Open daily 9.00-17.30 except Monday