Istanbul Military Museum

A number of cannons are on display at the museum.
A number of cannons are on display at the museum.

Istanbul Military Museum is one of the finest museums of its kind in the world. It is dedicated to one thousand years of Turkish military history, from the Ottoman era to World War II.

The museum's twenty-two rooms house a large and eclectic collection of objects. As well as the usual weapons, uniforms and tools you'd expect in any military museum, there are also a number of more unusual exhibits, such as the chain the Byzantines stretched across the Golden Horn to keep out Sultan Ahmet's navy in 1453 during the siege of Constantinople.

The weapons in the museum are impressive. Bows and arrows, curved daggers and lancets are on display, as well as a large amount of armour for soldiers and horses.

Every afternoon the Janissary band Mehter Takimi, the world's oldest military band, gives concerts for museum-goers. The band are turned out smartly in traditional dress, and reflect Turkey's long history of integrating music into warfare.

The museum is open to the public from Wednesday to Sunday.

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