With the weather getting colder and colder throughout Turkey, it’s probably the right time to start making plans for indoor activities. Luckily for you the country has a very rich history and culture, and museums offer the perfect opportunity to learn more about them. We have compiled the top ten museums in Turkey, some which have international reputation:

The Hagia Sophia – is a world landmark that draws attention from thousands of tourists a year. Built in the 5th century, it is approximately 1,200 years older than the Blue Mosque and stands as a model for wisdom with its age. The Hagia Sophia is a fascinating gem with its huge imperial door that was used by the Byzantine emperors, massive domed ceilings and metal lighting frames.

Zeugma Museum – The ancient city of Zeugma in the town of Nizip in Gaziantep was founded by Alexander the Great’s generals in 300 B.C. Due to the invasion and a major earthquake, the city and its magnificent structures were left undiscovered for centuries. In the 1980s, the Gaziantep Archeology Museum conducted the first excavation of the city and uncovered graves and statues. The main excavation conducted in 1992 unveiled beautiful mosaics and brought Zeugma onto the archeological scene.

Istanbul Toy Museum – Founded by Turkish poet Sunay Akin in 2005, this museum is home to the most exquisite examples of toy history, spanning from the 1700s to today. The museum includes toys that Akin bought from auctions and antique shops in 40 countries over 20 years, which explains why every visitor can easily find their own toy story in the museum. In 2012, the EU’s Toy and Children’s Museums marked the Toy Museum as a pioneer in its field.

Anatolian Civilizations Museum – Located in the capital city of Ankara, the Museum of Anatolian Civilization includes treasures that date back thousands of years. Displays of gold, silver, glass, bronze and marble artifacts are included in the museum and the coin collections ranging from the first minted money to modern currencies are also present. The museum was renovated in May of 2014 and displays nearly all civilizations which have left traces in Anatolia.

Antalya Museum – Established in 1922 by teacher Suleyman Fikri Erten, the Antalya Museum is among the top destinations to visit for gaining a better understanding of the civilizations that once lived on Anatalya lands. With its sculptures from the Roman period and unique findings uncovered in excavations, the Antalya Museum functions as an open air museum with its archeological richness.

Istanbul Archaeology Museum – Located in the garden of Topkapi Palace, Istanbul’s Archaeology Museum complex is a group of three archaeological museums that are home to more than 1 million artifacts, representing nearly all eras and almost every ancient civilization of world history. With art collections made up of ancient Greek, Roman and Near East artifacts, the Archaeology Museum complex holds some of the most varied treasures.

Chora Museum – in Istanbul’s Edirnekapi district was originally a Byzantine monastery. According to historians, the museum was constructed in 298 – the early period of Christianity – but was rebuilt in the 6th century by the Emperor Justinian. The construction of the Chora Museum dated back to 298 – this museum, which is surrounded by Ottoman-style Fatih houses with a pink mansion in front of it, is a must-see destination for tourists today.

Museum of Innocence – Inspired by the novel of the same name by Nobel Laureate Orhan Pamuk published in 2008, the Museum of Innocence was set up in the spring of 2012. The museum served as an example of literary tourism where many tourists come to see the museum of Pamuk’s impressive novel brought to life.

Hatay Museum – Turkey’s southern province of Hatay has been home to many cultural beauties and various civilizations since the beginning of human history. The Hatay Archaeology Museum represents mosaics made between the second and sixth centuries A.D.

Ankara Ethnography Museum – The Ethnography Museum in Ankara is dedicated to the cultures of Turkish civilization. Founded in 1925, the museum was designed by architect Arif Hikmet Koyunoglu and displays the stone artifacts, metal works, jewellery, hand-woven crafts, Turkish coffee and Turkish clothes worn by Turks of the early civilization.

Source:  Daily Sabah

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