Top 10 Museums in Turkey with Their Magnificence and History

Our lands, which have hosted many civilizations, have a deep-rooted history and beauty that cannot be explained with words. Museums are also quite affluent in Turkey, where there are different pages of history in each corner. Even though it is difficult to limit the number of museums that carry the traces of the past to the present, we have compiled 10 museums in Turkey that stand out with their magnificence and history. Let’s have a look at the spectacular museums that will take you back in time!

1. Zeugma Museum, Gaziantep


Zeugma Museum is one of the leading mosaic museums not only in Turkey but also in the world. The museum has the famous Gypsy Girl Mosaic, Poseidon Mosaic, Roman fountains, the Statue of Mars, and many other important works. There are also examples of Christian and Early Syriac iconography. You can also see the works reflecting the religious symbols of the churches of Late Antiquity in the museum.

2. Istanbul Archeology Museum

Located in the first Turkish building built as a museum, the Istanbul Archeology Museum opened its doors in 1891 as the Museum-i Hümayun by Osman Hamdi Bey, the pioneer of museology in Turkey. There are dozens of valuable artifacts in the museum, such as the Tomb of Weeping Women, the Alexander Sarcophagus, the votive steles of the Mother Goddess Cybele and the Head of Alexander. After leaving Topkapı Palace, you can arrive at the museum by following the road going down.

3. Museum of Anatolian Civilizations, Ankara

Anatolian Civilizations Museum, one of the few museums in the world, welcomes thousands of local and foreign tourists each year. The works exhibited in the museum, which received the “Museum of the Year in Europe” award in 1997, are divided in chronological order. Located next to the Ankara Castle, where works belonging to the Paleolithic, Neolithic and Chalcolithic Ages are found, the museum also sheds light on the history of civilizations such as Hittite, Urartu and Lydia.

4. Bursa City Museum

Bursa City Museum, located in the building that was used as a courthouse between 1926 and 1999, has been used as a museum since 2004. Located in Bursa, which was the capital of the Ottoman Empire, the museum presents wax statues of Ottoman sultans, decorations symbolizing traditional commercial life and many other historical textures.

5. Izmir Archaeological and Ethnography Museum

The two most valuable treasures of İzmir, which have a history of 5000 years, are the museums of Ephesus and Pergamon. Pergamon Museum, where the artifacts obtained from the excavations are exhibited, has been welcoming visitors since 1934. The Ancient City of Ephesus, which also hosts many valuable temples, especially the Ancient Theater, is the most visited ancient city in Turkey.

6. Antakya Archeology Museum, Hatay

Antakya Archeology Museum, where a total of 3500 square meters of mosaics are exhibited, presents artifacts from various periods such as Neolithic, Chalcolithic, Bronze Age, Paleolithic, Hittite, Hellenistic, Roman and Ottoman. The museum, which made a name for itself with the iconic statue of the soldier named Suppiluliuma, also includes the world’s largest mosaics.

7. Göreme Open Air Museum, Nevşehir

The open-air museum, which has been on the UNESCO World Heritage List since 1985, fascinates with its unique view. Thanks to the museum, which reflects the monastic life between the 4th and 13th centuries, you can see the geometric shapes, churches and chapels used in the early periods of Christianity and witness the enchanting atmosphere.

8. Ulucanlar Prison Museum, Ankara

Ulucanlar Prison Museum, which operated as a prison in Ankara between 1925 and 2006, sheds light on history. The Prison Museum, where thousands of names such as Nazım Hikmet, Necip Fazıl Kısakürek, Muhsin Yazıcıoğlu, Bülent Ecevit, Deniz Gezmiş and Yaşar Kemal remain, doesn’t allow people to forget the agonizing events of the past.

9. Bodrum Museum of Underwater Archeology, Muğla

The museum, which received “Special Praise” in the European Museum of the Year Competition in 1995, welcomes you with a wonderful view inside Bodrum Castle. The museum, which hosts dozens of underwater artifacts and maritime figures, enchants its visitors with the glamor of Bodrum.

Pera Palace Hotel, Istanbul

Atatürk Odası

In the 130-year history of Pera Palace Hotel, there have been many important names of those who have stayed in their rooms. Nevertheless, there is such a name among them that has a special place in hearts and in the history of this country. Room 101 is known as the room where Mustafa Kemal Atatürk accommodated during his visits to Pera Palace Hotel. During the most critical periods, he made decisions that were of great importance to the country during his work here. Room 101 was turned into a museum room on the 100th anniversary of its birth.

 During the Mika – Der night hosted by Leaderscxo, the hyperrealist silicon sculpture work by artist Görkem Candan was donated to Pera Palace Hotel by the donors, who were invited to the night, to be exhibited in room 101 forever. International Museums Week brings you together with history on 18-24 May. While you are enjoying visiting the distinguished museums of Turkey this week, you can visit Atatürk Museum Room 101 in Pera Palace Hotel and see the Hyper-realist silicon sculpture.


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