In the first six months of the year, Istanbul’s Topkapı Palace and Hagia Sophia Museum received the most visitors as compared to all other museums and historical sites.
Istanbul’s Topkapı Palace and Hagia Sophia Museum were the most popular visited tourist sites in the first half of 2012, the Culture and Tourism Ministry has said, noting that it made over a billion Turkish Liras off of entrance fees around the country.
A total of 189 museums and 131 historical sites managed by the Culture and Tourism Ministry were visited by almost 13 million people in the first half of 2012, bringing in revenue amounting to 1.08 billion Turkish Liras, it said.
Turkish museums and historical sites present artifacts from all of the civilizations that have inhabited the territory that is now modern Turkey, dating back thousands of years, and their share in tourism increases every year.
Istanbul’s broke a visitor record in the first half of the year, when compared to the other areas of the country. The city’s museums and ancient sites were visited by more than 4 million people in the first half of the year, producing 59,186,360 liras in revenue.
In Istanbul, the Topkapı Palace Museum had the most visitors. The palace was built in 1478 by Mehmet the Conqueror and served as the administrative center of the Ottoman state for 380 years. Visitors to Topkapı in the first half of the year numbered more than 1.5 million, and the earned income was more than 24 million liras. The palace’s Seraglio (Harem), where the women of the palace lived in the Ottoman era, was visited by 360,062 people, bringing in 4.6 million liras.
The second most-visited site in Istanbul, the 1,475-year-old Hagia Sophia Museum, also received more than 1.5 million visitors in the first six months of the year, earning 26 million liras.