Cruise tourism attracts visitors to İzmir museums

With the rising popularity of cruise line tourism, more people are visiting the archeological, ethnographical, historical arts and Atatürk museums in İzmir.

Cruise tourism attracts visitors to İzmir museums

With the rising popularity of cruise line tourism, more people are visiting the archeological, ethnographical, historical arts and Atatürk museums in İzmir.

The İzmir Archeology Museum was established on a 500-square-meter area in Bahribaba Park in 1984. In this four-floor museum, the exhibition is organized in sections. Ceramic and precious artifacts are on the upper floor, stone statues, busts and portraits are on the middle floor, and while the ground floor is reserved for the administration, the basement is used as a storage room. There are 58,788 items on display in the museum and in its garden.

The Ethnography Museum is also located in Bahribaba Park. The museum building was constructed in the 19th century in neoclassical style on a sloped terrace. The building was used as the St. Roch Hospital in 1983, and was converted into a care-house for poor Christian families by the French in 1845.

The Selçuk Museum is another notable museum in İzmir. Museum officials point out that many tourists, especially those who come to the region on cruise line tours, have been visiting the Ephesus Museum, St. John's Basilica and the ancient city of Ephesus in greater numbers since April 2007.

Passengers on cruise line tours arrive in İzmir and Kuşadası and travel to the museum by bus. While last year, 139,000 people visited the museum, by the end of June 2007, 66,500 people had visited.

Last year, 170,000 people visited St. John's Basilica in Selcuk. In the first half of this year, 80,000 people visited the church. Last year, Ephesus welcomed 1,225,000 visitors, with 598,000 visitors arriving in the first half of this year. Museum officials highlight that the ruins unearthed during the excavations at Ephesus attract the attention of foreign tourists the most. Excavations in the ancient city have been continuing for nearly a century, with the findings displayed in the museum.

Çeşme Museum: The Çeşme Museum stands inside Çeşme Fort, which has been preserved to the present day. Artifacts found in sunken Ottoman and Russian warships are on display at the museum. The museum's most popular section is dedicated to the Ottoman and Russian warships, where visitors can watch a documentary and listen to outstanding audio effects simulating the warships. Many Turks who live abroad and tourists who come to Çeşme visit the museum. The Çeşme Museum was first opened to the public as a gun museum in 1965, with guns transferred from the Istanbul Topkapı Museum. By 1984, however, extreme humidity had oxidized the guns. Officials decided to transfer the items to the İzmir Archeology Museum and the Ödemiş Museum, where artifacts obtained from the excavations at Ildiri (Erythra) are also on display.

In the Bergama Museum are ethnographical and archeological works, which belong to different periods ranging from the Early Bronze Age to the Byzantine Empire. Most of these works were found during excavations in Bergama.

In the Tire Museum, sculptures, sarcophagi, glass items, oil lamps and coins are exhibited. There are also handwritten Korans, writing sets, traditional clothing and jewelry on display. In the Ödemiş Museum, which opened in 1983, there are coins from different periods, glass items and handicrafts.

Manisa Museum: The Manisa Ethnography and Archaeology Museum has 7,000 of its 27,000 historical works on display, obtained from excavations at Sart.

The complex of the Muradiye Mosque, which was built by Mimar Sinan in 1585, was used to store historical works in 1928. In 1937, the complex was converted into the Ethnography Museum. In 1972, the soup kitchen adjoining the mosque was turned into the Archaeology Museum.

Uşak Archaeology Museum: News that the Winged Sea-Horse Brooch at the Uşak Museum was replaced with a fake last year attracted more visitors to the museum. Regional Culture Director Şerif Arıtürk said there had been a 20 percent increase in visitors since last year, arising out of media interest. There are also another 45,600 items on display at the Uşak Archeology Museum to keep visitors interested.

The Isparta Museum, with 17,368 ethnographical and archeological works, opened in 1935. Today the museum sits in a modern building in the Istiklal neighborhood. The museum welcomed 10,420 people last year and 5,721 people in the first six months of this year. Most pieces are from the Roman, Byzantine and Lykian periods. The treasures, the ethnography section and the rug halls as well as ethnographic works directly from Isparta attract the most attention.

There are carpets from different periods between the 17th and 20th centuries and a rose distiller corner on display at the museum.

Yalvaç Museum: The Yalvaç Museum, where historical works obtained from the region are on display, was first opened in 1947. That year, ethnographic and archaeological works were collected and preserved in a warehouse. The museum moved to its new building in 1966 and was arranged into different sections such as prehistoric, classical and handwritten works. One of the most popular works is the "Golden Cup," from the Roman era. The cup was given to the winner of marksmanship contests. Another outstanding item on display is a molding with an image of a salamander on one side and a male figure with a bow and arrow on the other. This object was found in the ancient city of Pisidia Antiocheia.

'Transportation in Anatolia' on display in Bursa: Many museums are located in Bursa, a city with a 4,000 year history that was once capital of the Ottoman Empire. The TOFAŞ Anatolian Vehicles Museum was inaugurated in June 2002 to display the changes in transportation vehicles in Anatolia. To date, around 160,000 people have visited the museum. On-display are examples of wheeled vehicles, including simple wooden wheeled vehicles, horse carriages, TOFAŞ's first invention the Murat 124 and modern cars made with state-of-the-art technology.

The exhibition offers details on the different vehicles designed by Anatolian experts. Ox-drawn vehicles from Bursa, Balikesir and Akhisar, wooden vehicles, ox-carts from Tokat, urban cars, donkeys, chariots, horse-drawn vehicles from Sivas, coaches, cannons, and war vehicles from different regions are all on display at the museum.

Visitors will be able to see TOFAŞ's 1971 model Murat 124 and 131, both of which were first manufactured in the Bursa plant, the first cars of the "Bird Series," the one millionth car, the race car F-1 pilot Michael Schumaher test drove, Vehbi Koc's official car, and the pump-system fire engine used during the Ottoman period.

Turkey's first and only forestry museum: Turkey's first and only forestry museum is the Bursa Forestry Museum. The museum contains a library on forestry, plants, and forestry as well as communication devices, photographs, historical documents, albums and Turkey's sole tree-fossil collection. The museum was established in 1989 to preserve the historical development of forestry and build awareness about forests. The museum, located on the streets of Çekırge, also hosts the Watch Mansion. The building was built in the baroque style in the nineteenth century, and served as the Bursa Forestry School between 1934 and 1949 and as the Regional Forestry Directorship until 1989, when it was restored to become Turkey's first museum of forestry.

In the fossil collection there is a 3 million-year-old Anatolian Sequoia tree, known also as an elephant and mammoth tree, found today only in some parts of North America, fossils of an animal known to as the "king of horses," and fauna and flora fossils from the Mycenae period.

The museum, which has on-display around 3,000 items, mainly hosts students as its visitors.

The Ottoman Folk Costumes and Jewelry Museum: The Ulumay Ottoman Folk Costumes and Jewelry Museum has on display 70 costumes and 350 pieces of jewelry from different parts of Anatolian and Ottoman Rumelia, with some items dating back to as far as the seventeenth century. The museum, which was created inside the Ahmet Paşa Medrese, functions as a cultural center. Inside, visitors will be able to find the "Ottoman Tea Garden." In addition to costumes and jewelry, the museum exhibits items related to Turkish coffee, the Turkish bath, and Turkish horsemanship as well as items with inscriptions from the Ottoman period.

Antakya Museum: Housed at the museum are unique remains from the first settlements in Çukurova, most of which were found during excavations in Gözlükule, the Tarsus mounds in 1934, Yumuktepe, the Mersin mounds in 1936, Sirkeli, the Ceyhan mounds in 1938 and Misis, and the Yüreğir mounds. Museum Director Kazım Tosun told Anatalia news agency reporters that 3,500 of the registered 46,500 historical works in Turkey are on display at the Antakya Archaeology museum.

Tosun said there are marbles, terracottas, sarcophaguses and tombstones from the Phoenician, Assyrian, Hitite, Greco-Roman, and Byzantine periods on display. Tosun also noted that 96,500 people visited the museum last year and more than 55,000 have visited as of June 2007.

In 1985, a diver in the Karataş district of Adana reported to the museum his discovery of a sculpture of a Roman senator dating to 2 A.D. The sculpture, found 300 meters off the coastline and 15 meters underwater, is now on display at the museum.

Kayseri Archeology Museum: The museum contains artifacts found during excavations in the Kultepe-Kanis mounds, where Assyrian merchant colonies existed 4,000 years ago. Among the artifacts are inscribed tablets which provide information about the economic and social lifestyle of that period. Inscriptions describe problems between Assyrian merchants and the local king and public. Some tablets indicate that merchants violated rules in order to escape fees and taxes levied by kings.

In a tablet written from Assyrians to Kultepe, there is a request from a customs official to secretly transfer goods.

In another uncovered tablet, there are inscriptions about an Assyrian girl who wants to get married but is having problem with her brothers, who want money as dowry.

In addition to the tablets, which serve as evidence of the first writing in Anatolia, there are traces of muddy coatings used as envelopes. Among the 9,175 items on display at the museum, two mummified children attract the most attention.

Underground cities in Nevşehir: There are five museums -- two of them open-air -- and six sites with building ruins in Nevşehir. The Nevşehir Museum has 18,000 archeological and ethnographical works and hosts around 1,500 tourists each year. Sarcophagus tombs made from mud during the Roman Period attract the most attention. The Ürgüp museum houses around 8,000 artifacts of which tusk fossils are the most popular. Around 2,500 people visit this museum each year. The most popular of the Nevşehir museums is the Göreme Open-Air Museum, with an annual 700,000 visitors. The museum is on UNESCO's preservation list, and features churches carved from stone, chapels, stone sky-scrapers, and fair chimneys known as the peri bacaları. Along with these museums, around 2 million tourists visit the Zelve Open-Air Museum, the Derinkuyu, Kaymaklı and Özkonak underground cities as well as the Çavuşin, Jean and Tat Churches.

Today's Zaman

Last Mod: 01 Ağustos 2007, 11:22
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