Great Palace Mosaic Museum


Torun Sokak, Behind the Blue Mosque,


Istanbul's major state-run museums charge hefty admissions, but the Great Palace Mosaic Museum, just behind the Blue Mosque adjacent to the Arasta Bazaar, costs only $3. These delightful mosaic scenes of hunts, myths, animal battles, and everyday life in antiquity—boys riding a camel, a man milking his goat, a youth feeding his donkey—once covered the floor of a large courtyard of the Palatium Magnum, the Great Palace built between the time of Constantine the Great himself and Justinian I (4th to early 6th centuries).