is "the city of contrasts" in good sense as it was told in the well-known Soviet comedy. Really, Europe and Asia meets here, and there are many interesting places which without fail should be visited to any tourist. One of similar sights is the Military museum – can be, not such old against the background of other memorable places of Istanbul and conceding age of Hagia Sophia or the Blue Mosque, however capable to make absolutely not a smaller impression on the visitor – in particular if you are interested in history, the military science cold and firearms.
The museum is located near the central region of Sultanakhmet where most hotels and mini-hotels – therefore is concentrated, it is very simple to reach here, having used the taxi or public transport. It is placed in the ancient building built in any way no later than the end of the XIX century and is surrounded on perimeter with a trellised fencing with images of military fittings. Through lattices of a fence it is possible to make out military equipment of times of World War I.
It is authorized to photograph expositions, however it is necessary to pay a separate payment for it. It is not necessary to save on it at all, pictures will turn out very colourful, accepting in view of huge abundance of the most various exhibits collected in the museum. Already in the hall it is possible to notice several show-windows where the cold weapon sparkling a notch and semi-precious stones – sabers, swords, daggers is presented. The geography of exhibits is extremely extensive, it is worth to remember that once Ottoman Empire was the huge state stretched from North Africa to the Balkans and Arabia. Therefore, in halls of the museum, models of protection and arms from each region once subject to Turks are presented. There is the Arab, Caucasian, European, Persian weapon and, of course, actually Turkish. However, it is necessary to tell about everything one after another.
The entrance to museum halls "is protected" by the dummies equipped in a medieval armor. Chain armors, peaked shishak, round boards and curve sabers – approximately so looked at the time the soldiers who were involved in storm of Constantinople. The first hall narrates about life and life of far ancestors of the present Turks wandering once on open spaces of Central and Central Asia. The horse harness, clothes elements, tips of arrows – all this they brought in the Area of Anatolii, having directed towards the West a century ago. As is well-known from history course, among numerous leaders of nomads Seljuks the charismatic leader in a name of Osman who laid the foundation Ottoman (or – Ottoman) empires moved forward. At the hall there is his portrait, images of the closest associates, and walls are painted with pictures on battles and military campaigns. At the same time, the exhibits which are behind a protection kind of merge with images on a wall, creating an interesting panorama and effect of presence of visitors of the museum on the battlefield.
Further exhibits meet in a chronological order, being placed according to concrete century. So, it is possible to observe evolution of the Turkish arms personally. In the certain hall, an armor and an individual weapon of the famous sultans – Selim Grozny, Suleyman Velikolepny, and a number of others are collected. These swords took once Damascus and Cairo, approved the power of the Ottoman Empire over Medina and sacred Mecca, threatened the Austrian Vienna. There are regimental badges, bunchuk from horse tails here and it is a lot of other interesting objects.
In the certain hall the artillery is presented. Large-caliber tools on powerful gun carriages and absolutely small pushchonka, smooth-bore nuclear and cut. Before some round kernels are put by a pyramid and near everyone it is possible to be photographed. The hall with artillery is located in such a way that visitors at first survey it from above from a balcony, and then have an opportunity to come downstairs down to treat each exhibit apart. The gathered, all these guns are an unforgettable picture.
Other hall acquaints guests of the museum with everything, as for riding. Horse and camel saddles, peremetny bags, stirrups, a harness – all this is shown on show-windows. It is known that Turks had from olden days a reputation for skillful equestrians, however in the hall many exhibits and from other people brought from the Arab countries and other places are collected.
The following hall is devoted to archery. Here various types of onions – simple and compound – arrows are presented, each of which intended for a separate task, armor-piercing and flammable tips, leather quivers. Onions throughout centuries accompanied in the Turkish soldier's campaigns, and in former times quite often it was preferred to firearms.
Cold weapon. In the museum thousands of units of the most various blades practically from all corners of the Globe are collected. The well-known Damask steel, curve Turkish swords with heavy to an elmanye – kylych – the Arabian swords, blades of Persia. The compatriot will find here and well familiar checkers and daggers of the Caucasus, a large number of the Caucasian mountaineers moved in borders of the Ottoman Empire after defeat in war with Russia. There are fancy daggers from Indonesia, shod of meteoric iron here, and swords of the European knights.
However an original highlight of the museum, for the sake of one which should visit it – a live performance the Janissar. In the special round hall where on perimeter there pass three tiers of balconies, marching tents of the yanycharsky case are broken. Shaking in bunchukama air, to the arena there are actors dressed in exact copies of yanycharsky clothes of the past centuries – everyone is armed with a saber, a dagger, onions, a musket or couple of guns. Under deafening fight of timpani they raise the fighting song. A show this so picturesque and unforgettable that even on weekdays of the place for the audience are crowded – here it is possible to see not only foreign tourists, but also residents of Istanbul. In a word, this museum quite deserves visit and if you plan to visit once Istanbul, here definitely it is worth coming.
LifeGid: read as well about other interesting places in Turkey - Cappadocia and the Bosphorus strait.