Not far from the ruins of the legendary city of Troy, there is a very unusual exhibition complex: it takes the form of a massive cube rising right in the middle of an empty field. This building is called the Troy Museum, housing exhibits related to the archaeological excavations of this world-famous site.
Certainly, traveling to this region of Turkey just to see the museum might be senseless. The exhibition space can be visited before or after a stroll through the ruins of Troy. I previously provided information on how to reach the ancient city from Istanbul in this article. In the summer of 2023, the cost of visiting the museum was 200 Turkish liras, the same amount required for exploring the ruins.
A Bit of History
Construction of the unusual museum building began in 2013 and lasted for five years. The exhibition comprises various ancient artifacts: sculptures, sarcophagi, tools, and everyday objects. Numerous colorful informational panels about the history of these places are installed on the complex's premises. Periodic temporary exhibitions are also held here. For example, two years ago, the museum hosted an exhibition dedicated to the 150th anniversary of the discovery of the Troy ruins.
The design of the Troy Museum building is strikingly unusual not only from the outside but also from the inside: instead of stairs leading to the upper floors, massive ramps are used, and sunlight entering through narrow openings turns the spaces into something resembling a spaceship. The museum building covers an area of 11,200 square meters, with exhibition spaces occupying about a third of the volume.
According to Turkish media, in 2020, the exhibition complex received a special award from the European Museum Prize. Not long ago, I visited another exhibition complex that earned similar recognition back in the 90s – the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations in the Turkish capital, Ankara.
As is often the case, there is a shop on the ground floor of the museum building. In one of my previous articles about Troy, I mentioned that local street vendors sell small interesting souvenirs at very affordable prices, and it's better to buy commemorative figurines from them. The museum shop, on the other hand, offers a decent selection of books and expensive interior items.
Despite the impressive appearance of the museum building, its collection cannot be called enormous: it took me about an hour to explore all the museum halls. Probably, the overall fatigue from the night bus ride and the walk through the ruins of Troy influenced the speed of my visit.
For those interested in archaeology, a virtual journey through the Istanbul Archaeological Museum might be intriguing. Its collection consists of a million diverse ancient artifacts.
Have a nice trip!