All About Istanbul
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Islamic Arts museum

Turkish and Islamic Arts Museum is re-opened after restorations.

Museum Pass

You can buy the "Museum Pass" for foreigners which is valid for 3 and 5 days in various museums of Istanbul.

Museums open 7 days

The museums in Istanbul will operate 7 days a week, except Topkapi Palace.

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The Great Palace

The Great Palace of Byzantium was a complex of several palaces, pavilions, courtyards, churces, baths and other administrative buildings built on the slopes of one of the ancient hills of Constantinople. The palace was located between the ancient Hippodrome, Hagia Sophia Church and the Sea of Marmara, just under todays Arasta Bazaar and behind the Blue Mosque in the southeast of Sultanahmet Square. The palace was first built by Constantine the Great in the 4th century AD, than restored by Justinian I in the 6th century after the Nika riot, and extended and used by later emperors as well until the 12th century. It's said that this huge palace probabily covered an area of 100.000 square meters (about 25 acres). The palace was abandoned during the sack of the city by the Fourth Crusade between 1204-1261 when the emperors moved to the Blakhernai Palaces (also known as Tekfur Palace), than it fell into ruins during the centuries because of earthquakes and other reasons.

First serious archaeological excavations and studies started in 1930's, than one of its buildings was partly opened in 1953. Today, the ruins of the Great Palace is home for the Mosaics museum in Istanbul holding many floor mosaics from the Byzantine period. These mosaics consist one of the best examples of its kind since the Roman period, describing mythological motifs, animals, hunting scenes, games, people, etc.

Open daily between 09:00-16:30 except Monday.

Büyük Saray (Great Palace) Mozaikleri Müzesi
Arasta Çarsisi - Sultanahmet
Tel: (212) 518 12 05
Admission: 35 TL

Please note that admission fees, opening times or days of closure of the museums might be changed without prior notice, or that museum might be closed for restorations. To be certain on the closure days or opening times, you can call that museum directly (country code for Turkey is +90) or contact me to double check. Most of the museums have longer opening hours during summer months.

Hope to see you soon in Istanbul.

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