Museums & Cisterns

Next up on our Istanbul travels was a visit to the Archeological Museum.

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This part of the day was Charles’ choosing – museums, maps and rocks in fields are his thing.

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I decided to entertain myself in the museum by having some fun with the ancient artifacts.

 

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Charles played along too.

 

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That hand posture is impossible to recreate!

 

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Are we the only people that do this at museums? I find it hilarious!

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I WAS however excited when I came across the head of Hermes – the God of dexterity and skill, the messenger – he is known for his winged feet: the symbol of running!

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Charles was WAY more into all this history stuff than me.

 

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One of the most exciting things I saw at the Museum was this:

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A non-Western style toilet! Craziness, right?

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Luckily, they had one of each!

 

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After exploring the inside of the museum, we checked out the surrounding area.

 

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Lots O’ Rocks!

 

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All the rocks made me tired.

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But Charles was in heaven!

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Next stop is the Cistern Basilica –  which means “Sunken Palace” – it’s the largest ancient cistern that lies beneath Istanbul and was built in the 6th century.

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Inside the cistern it was dark and cool. 

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It was very beautiful down there.

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One of the highlights of the cistern were two blocks that were carved into the head of Medusa. 

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According to popular myth, Medusa was a terrifying female creature from Greek Mythology – with her hair of snakes she could turn anyone who looked at her into stone, and images of her were used to protect great buildings.

  

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Another version of the story claims that Medusa was a beautiful girl with long hair and dark eyes who had long been in love with Perseus, the son of Zeus. Athene, also in love with Perseus, turned Medusa’s hair into snakes in a jealous rage. From then on, every person Medusa looked at was petrified.

After learning of Medusa’s curse, Perseus beheaded her, taking her head to war with him and turning his enemies into stone. It is said that many Byzantium era sword handles and columns were engraved with her head upside down.

 

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Just a few historical tid-bits and lots of pictures of another day from our travels in Istanbul!

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7 Comments

  • Reply Kelley June 22, 2011 at 10:33 pm

    Hahaha this is so funny! I will have to try those museum tricks next time I travel. That’s awesome! You guys are so cute!

  • Reply Liz June 23, 2011 at 8:14 am

    I think this might be one of my favorite posts you’ve ever made. You guys are freaking adorable with your museum poses!

  • Reply Lindsey June 23, 2011 at 9:39 am

    Your photos and captions were hillarious!

  • Reply Gabriela June 23, 2011 at 2:34 pm

    That is so funny! Although it may not be an American thing, I have definitely seen toilets like that in Italy! Yikes! Not fun.

  • Reply Life with Kaishon June 23, 2011 at 9:55 pm

    I have a friend going to Istanbul in one week! I will have to send her a link to this! So much fun : )

  • Reply amanda June 25, 2011 at 12:41 pm

    wait! that toilet…do you like have to sit on the floor to pee? omg. crazyyy.

    fave picture-you laying on the floor in the museum and charles in that dress. it looks so real. haha.

  • Reply Patty O July 4, 2011 at 6:55 pm

    You two are hilarious with all those funny statue photos – those artists would cringe if they saw what you did to their masterpieces!! Enjoyed the history of Medusa…

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