By , December 12, 2012 2:16 am

We’re not always museum people.  We definitely don’t visit them in every city or even in every country, but we try to hit up the really unique or interesting ones.  In a city that just oozes history, we couldn’t miss the Istanbul Archaeological Museum (which is actually three museums in one – the Museum of the Ancient Orient, the Museum of Islamic Art in the Tiled Kiosk and the main Archaeology Museum).  And it did not disappoint.

We were surprised to find the museum (located on the grounds of the Topkapi Palace) nearly empty of tourists, though maybe it was just a slow day. Admission was a reasonable 10 lira ($5.50 CAD).  If you plan to go, leave yourself at least half a day to wander through the buildings.  If you don’t get museumed-out like we do, you could easily spend a full day there.  The collections include Greek and Roman antiquities (including a large collection from the mega-famous city of Troy), a mummy and sarcophagus collection, a timeline of coins used in the area, detailed information about the Byzantine period and an entire floor dedicated to Istanbul’s history.  The collections are impressive – in scope, in size, and in the level of preservation.

Here’s a few of my favourite photos from our visit:

Reflection of the Tiled Kiosk Building

Tile Kiosk

Engravings on Tomb (6 feet tall)

Mike, with pieces of the Ishtar Gate of the city of Babylon

Skeleton of Sidonian King Tabnit ll

Alexander Sarcophagus, 4th Century BC

Detail of Alexander Sarcophagus, 4th Century BC

Stunning Sarcophagus

Detail on Sarcophagus

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