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Museum of Islamic Art, Sultanahmet

Hippodrome, 46 Atmeydanı Sokak
Tel: 90 212 518 1805's insider take:

This scarcely visited museum is housed inside the İbrahim Paşa Palace, a building on the edge of the At Meydanı (Horse Square) in Sultanahmet, the site of the former Roman Hippodrome, and now across from the Blue Mosque. The palace dates to the 16th century and is considered one of the foremost examples of secular architecture from that period. The collection includes artifacts that span the history of Islam, and a notable assortment of antique carpets, some of them of breathtaking dimensions, as well as manuscripts and miniatures dating back to the 7th century. The best little gems may not be immediately obvious—like the 18th-century Süleymaniye waterway map, rolled up into a scroll, some intricate Koran boxes, and candlestick holders. The collection, however, suffers from a most moribund presentation (much of it lacks labels), and the ethnographic exhibit on the lower level, with its mannequined renditions of yurts and other central Anatolian dwellings, is an educational giggle, if nothing else.

Open Tuesdays through Sundays 9 am to 4:30 pm.

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