Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Tuesday, May 07, 2013
The famous "Gypsy Girl" mosaic.

Woke up early on my first morning in Gaziantep, went to the breakfast salon and immediately headed out of the hotel.  It’s a long distance walk from there (Ugurlu Hotel) to Zeugma Museum, it took me more than 30 minutes to get there, but the weather is nice although sun shining but  no sweat.

The museum is located at the back of the train station, from the other side of the train track.
Zeugma Museum is one of the highlights of the city of Gaziantep, it’s the main reason I came to this city on my way to Midyat and Mardin.  The museum is a huge modern-architecture building and quite new.  I was the first to enter, there isn’t much people that morning.

This place holds the largest mosaic collections in the world with more than 7,000sqm of total space, in 3 floors.  The mosaics were salvaged from the rich and cosmopolitan ancient Roman city of Zeugma.  A city founded by a general under Alexander the Great in 300BC. 

Most of the works are laid out on the floors, a lot of them big ones like an area of a typical bedroom, and assembled and framed on the walls.  The best display is very much secured inside a dark room, one is the most popular called the “Gypsy Girl”, illuminated by a faint light.  You can rent an audio guide from the reception or just read the information printed both in Turkish and English beside each display.

I was in awe and truly fascinated by the intricacy of the collection and how each of them were salvaged from the site before the ancient city was submerged under water with the building of the Birecik Dam.

The museum opened to the public on September 2011.

How to get there:

If you're staying at the city center of Gaziantep, you can take a long walk, look for the train station "Gaziantep Gar", take the underpass on the left side and continue along the highway, you won't miss it, it's a huge building.  You can always ask ("Muze") any local in the area.  Or pay TL10 for a taxi ride to get there.

Entry fee is TL8, it’s a must see in Gaziantep.

Website: http://www.muze.gov.tr/gaziantep-en


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