The Museum of Great Palace Mosaics
Located behind the blue mosque on Torun Sokak just off the Arasta Bazaar, the Museum of Great Palace Mosaics is considered one of the best museums in Istanbul. The museum welcomes about 100,000 tourists annually. While archaeologists from the University of Ankara and the University of St Andrews (Scotland) excavated around the Arasta Bazaar in the 1930s and 1950s, they uncovered the hidden mosaics and remnants of the byzantium palaces dated to Late Antiquity (AD 450-550). Despite not being as colourful as the hagia sophia mosaics since people walked on them for centuries, nor as glorious as the ones in the Cholera Museum which were created almost eight Centuries later, the Mosaics in the Museum of Great Palace Mosaics are magnificent in their own right. This is so much that the area was established as the Museum of Great Palace Mosaics in 1997. The museum contains no religious themes in the mosaics. Instead, daily life, nature and mythology are examined. One can see artistic images of different hunting scenes, mythical beasts, and fantastic objects such as apple eating bears, a lion attacking an elephant, goose herding children, a man milking a goat and a child feeding his donkey among others.