Istanbul Archaeology Museum was awarded "Museum of The Year" by the European Council.
It was established as the first Turkish Museum in 1891 with the artifacts from Sidon, present-day Lebanon, by Osman Hamdi Bey.
Currently, the museum consists of four sections disposed in four different buildings.
The main building is the neo-classical building, the work of Alexander Vallaury from 1902. It houses the famous Sarcophagus of Alexander the Great and priceless artifacts from Archaic, Classical, Hellenistic and Roman Eras.
The upper floor has a wide collection of coins; the Ottoman Collection alone consists of 800,000 pieces!
The New Building, opened in 1998, has a magnificent exhibition of Troia and Anatolian Cultures.
There is a very well exposed section for Istanbul. The third building is a former School for Fine Arts from 1883 - the work of Osman Hamdi Bey - containing remarkable works of art from Mesopotamia.
In the museum, you will find artifacts dating back to the 6th millennium. Sumer, Hitite, Akad, and Babylonia are some of the cultures that help you get a sense of the affected European Culture.
The highlight of this experience is viewing the Kade Agreement. It is the first peace agreement in human history written in cuneiform letters in a terracotta tablet.