Istanbul Travel Guide

Istanbul Mosaic Museum

  • Green man

  • Animals fight each other in a struggle for survival

  • Two boys driving geese

  • Farmer

  • Mythical mosaic

  • Most of the mosaics date from the 5th and 6th century.

The archaeologist of the University of St. Andrews in Edinburg made extensive excavations at the Arasta Bazaar in Sultan Ahmet square between the years 1935's and 1950's. This partly opened up one of the south-western buildings of Byzantine Palace, so called Great Palace. The Great Palace had got a big courtyard. It was decorated with mosaics.  The Great Palace mosaic was the largest and the most beautiful landscape in the 6th century A.D. It was restored from 1983 to 1997 and is now preserved in this museum.

Mosaics of Bukholeon Palace
The Mosaic museum consists of the remnants of the Great Palace from the Byzantian era, and the side buildings of the Sultanahmet Mosque from the Ottoman Empire. These are the first buildings in which the Byzantian emperors and his fellow inhabitants lived between the 4th and 11th century. Its construction was initially ordered by Constantine I. In the first half of the 5th century, the Bukholeon Palace was built. Most of the mosaics date from the 5th and 6th century.

Pictures in the mosaic is collecting eight basic groups

Hunting scenes: Horseman and pedestrian hunters with arm sword and spear haunt animals such as tiger, lion, panther and boar. These scenes are related to men and their hunting.

Fighter animals: These scenes are about fight between eagle and snake, fight between snake and deer, and fight between elephant and lion.

Free animals: This scene is about animals which wander and feed freely in nature such as bear, monkey, chamois and flocks.

Village Life: Scenes are about sheep and goose shepherds, fishers and villagers who milk the goat.

Children: Children who mount a camel and take care of animals.

Myths: These are mythological descriptions such as war between Bellerophon and Chimera.

Exotic Creatures: Exotic animals are portrayed in this scenes such as mixture of panther and bird, lion and tiger figures whose half body is bird.

Useful Information for Istanbul Mosaic Museum

Address Arasta Çarsisi, Sultanahmet Mahallesi Fatih
Tel (0212) 518 12 05
Fax (0212) 512 54 74
Entrance fee 8 TL
Visiting hours Summer Schedule- 15 April -1 October Last Entrance: 18.00, Winter Schedule- 1 October - 15 April Last Entrance: 17.00, Museum is is available everyday for visiting except Monday