The Arasta Mosaic Museum, a rather smallish museum, is tucked away below the Hippodrome and behind the Arasta Pazar. The entrance fee is minimal, but the excavation work is superb. The placards are in Turkish, English and German and give a history of what Istanbul was like during Roman times. The beautiful colors and depictions of life, boys rolling hoops, crushing grapes, wildlife (very wild animals and birds) are of a homey nature, suggesting what people did during those times. The intricacy of the borders around the "courtyard" areas show the expertise of the craftsmen. You can be in and out in about an hour, but locating it and ambling through is an enriching experience to help one have a sense of what Istanbul once was. The museum store has some Istanbuli purchases, such as typical Turkish-patterned notecards and refrigerator magnet sets that are unique and affordable.
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