Situated in the Arasta Bazaar within the Blue Mosque complex, the museum is home to one of the most beautiful mosaics in the world, preserved from the Great Palace of Constantinople. The mosaics displayed in the museum, dated between 440-550 AD do not have religious content. The portrayals of daily life, nature, and mythology owe their vibrancy to the many professionals who worked under the direction of the era's leading masters.
During the East Roman era, artists who came from different regions of the country made a huge mosaic with 40.000 pieces to the ground that covers a 1870m2 area. The ground mosaics were later covered by massive marble panels during the 7th and 8th centuries when the painting was outlawed, and they were lost until 1921 when they were rediscovered. This is the reason why the mosaics are still in such good shape.
During the Ottoman Era, the Ottoman palaces were moved to the Golden Horn due to possible danger from the sea. Afterward, with the order of Fatih Sultan Mehmet, a residential district was established over the mosaics, but they had no idea the mosaics were there. One day, a fire broke out in that area, and those hidden mosaics showed up. In 1921, Diggins and excavation works started and lasted until 1951. Finally, the mosaics were unearthed, and in 1997, the site was declared as Great Palace Mosaics Museum.
Inside the museum, you will witness one of the most beautiful mosaics. The mosaics have different themes such as nature, daily life, and mythology. Some of the outstanding mosaics in the museum are scenes describing a lizard eating griffon, fighting an elephant and lion, and a mare breastfeeding its colt. The mosaic consists of limestone, terracotta, and colored stones that have an average size of 5mm.
Great Palace Mosaics Museum is open every day between 09:30 am to 07:30 pm. The admission fee is 35 TL.