THE ARCHEOLOGICAL MUSEUM
The museum was founded by painter and archeologist Osman Hamdi on June 13, 1891. It was called at that time the Imperial Museum. Two side wings were added in 1902 and 1908, and on its centenary in 1991 the museum was enlarged with a new section and reorganized. The architect of the monumental building was the famous Valaury.
Eacing the entrance is the huge and formidable statue of god Bes. To the left are the halls where matchless antique statues are exhibited, starting from the archaic period and continuing down to the Roman era, in a visitor-friendly arrangement. The first room contains ancient tomb stones and reliefs, followed by the Kenan Erim Hall where one finds relics from the time of the Persian dominance in Anatolia and from Aphrodisiacs. In the room called ''the three marble cities of Anatolia" there are findings from Ephesus, Millets and Aphrodisias, Hellenistic statues, sculpture from Marsias by the River Meander, and finally statues of Hellenistic-influenced Roman and Roman styles.
To the left of the entrance, after the gift and book shops, there is the room dedicated to Osman Hamdi, and then come the halls containing the works of art he personally discovered in the royal necropolis of Sayda (Sidon). The first three sarcophagi belong to the family of Saydan King Tabnit. An exceptionally beautiful Lycian sarcophagus and the Satrap sarcophagus are also in this room.
The next section contains the Sarcophagus of the Mourning Women and the very famous Sarcophagus of Alexander the Great, which in fact did not belong to him. The four sides of this sarcophagus are decorated with reliefs depicting scenes of the war between the Macedonians and the Persians, and hunting scenes.
On the side wall of the new annex the Temple of Athena in Assos has been reproduced in its original dimensions.
The first hall houses the section on "The Local Cultures of Istanbul". Here, exquisite artifacts from various ages that were found in the vicinity of the city are exhibited in a modern setting. There is also the room containing works of art from the Byzantine era. Another section is called "Istanbul Through the Ages".
On the upper floors, there is the exhibition "Anatolia Through the Ages and Troy", and a chronologically arranged display of works from Palestine, Syria and Cyprus under the title of "Civilizations of Anatolia and Neighboring Countries".