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Best History Museums in Istanbul

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Turkish and Islamic Arts Museum

In Sultanahmet, there is no worry of running out of historic sites to see. On the Hippodrome, across from the Blue Mosque is the Museum of Turkish and Islamic Art, which houses artwork, carpets, ceramics, calligraphy, Kur'ans, and other odds and ends from the ancient Ottoman and Seljuk eras. This restored palace built by Sultan Suleyman, The Magnificant's Grand Vezir, Ibrahim Pasha, dates back to the early 1500's. Although most of the palace has been restored, much of the foundation from this ancient time period is miraculously still intact. There is also a cafe located in the beautiful garden at this famous palace, so stop in and picture yourself living the lavish life of an Ottoman Emperor.

Istanbul, Turkey
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Great Palace Mosaic Museum

In the 1930s, an archaeological team from the University of St. Andrews in Scotland made a massive discovery of ancient mosaics dating back to the Byzantine Empire. The location of the museum is near the Sultanahmet Square, directly behind the Arasta Bazaar so there are many things in this neighborhood to keep you busy all day. The mosaics are incredibly impressive and the size of the collection will surprise you as well.

Istanbul, Turkey
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Istanbul Military Museum

The Istanbul Military Museum is one of the best of its kind in the world, and it showcases the proud military history of Turkey. The museum has thousands of artifacts from the Ottoman empire as well as exhibits which are more recent. Walking along the various exhibits, visitors can see the evolution of the military from the grand weapons of the Ottoman empire to the progressively sleeker and more deadly weapons from World War I and the times that followed.

Istanbul, Turkey
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Panorama 1453 History Museum

The Panorama 1453 History Museum is a unique one in Istanbul. Situated in the Topkapi Cultural Park which is across the Topkapı-Edirnekapı ramparts spot, it opened in 2009. Step into the Ottoman times when the Ottoman armies conquered Constantinople, marking an end of the Roman Empire and changing the course of history. The 360 degree painting depicts this scene and spans 2,350 square meters (25295.2 square feet). Panoramas were quite prominent during the Victorian era. Visit this place for a slice of a historic past.

Istanbul, Turkey
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