Topkapi Palace (Istanbul)

Topkapi Palace (Istanbul)

Topkapi Palace or Topkapi Sarayi is a former residence of rulers of the Turkish Ottoman Empire. It was constructed in 1459- 1465 shortly after Turkish armies conquered the capital of the Byzantine Empire of Constantinople under leadership of Mehmet II. Turks were nomadic people and spent most of their lives in tents. Topkapi Palace became in essence stone version of a traditional campsite. Instead of a single palace building common for the Roman or Byzantine architecture Turks erected a complex of buildings and pavilions around four enormous courtyards. Besides an official residence of sultan or ruler of the Ottoman Empire, Topkapi Palace housed Sultan's Harem (quarters for sultan's numerous wives and concubines), school of civil servants, soldiers and other government institutions. In 1853 Ottoman sultan Abdul Mecit I abandoned archaic Topkapi for a more European looking Dolmabahce Palace. In 1924 after the fall of the Ottoman Empire Topkapi Palace was opened to the public as a museum.



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Topkapi Palace (Istanbul)  Topkapi Palace (Istanbul)  Topkapi Palace (Istanbul)

Places of Interest in Topkapi Palace


Harem Topkapi Palace (Istanbul)Harem was a tradition living quarters of Sultan's many wives, concubines and numerous children. It is a labyrinth of several beautiful rooms with exquisite decorations those construction started in 16th century by the orders of Murat III. Only male slave servants known as eunuchs were allowed to enter these quarters. It is one of the popular travel destinations in Topkapi Palace so book your ticket early if you want to get there.


Divan was a special chamber in the Topkapi Palace. It was here that viziers (state high officials) would met in this room. The catch of Divan was in a fact that sultan or ruler of Topkapi Palace could watch and listen to their deliberations.

Baghdad Pavilion

Baghdad Pavilion was added in 1639 by Ottoman sultan Murat IV to celebrate the capture of Baghdad by the Ottoman Turkish forces. Its interior has beautiful white and blue tiles that cover its walls.

Gate of Salutations

Gate of Salutations is the official entrance to the Topkapi Palace.

The Gate of Felicity

The Gate of Felicity is also referred as the Gate of the White Eunuchs.

Iftariye Pavilion

This beautiful building of Topkapi Palace offers a great view of the Golden Horn from its balcony.

Library of Ahmet III

Library of Ahmet III was added to the Topkapi Palace complex in 1719. It is an elegant marble building with fountains at its walls. It stands in the middle of the fourth courtyard.

Topkapi Palace Kitchens

The kitchens of Topkapi Palace were massive to feed population of the royal residence complex. Today it contains an exhibition of ceramics, silverware that once was used by sultan and his servants as well as splendid examples of glass. Most of porcelain was brought to Constantinople from China and to a lesser extent from Japan.

Hall of the Campaign Pages

Hall of the Campaign Pages houses a large collection of imperial costumes. In the Ottoman Empire it was important to preserves clothes of Ottoman rulers. As soon as one died his clothes were carefully sealed and preserved in Topkapi secret chambers. As a result we have an large collection of kaftans that sultans once wore.

Circumcision Pavilion

Pavilion of the Holy Mantle

Pavilion of the Holy Mantle houses Muslim religious relics that are considered one of the most important in the Muslim World. Most of these artefacts were acquired by means of conquest of Selim the Grim of Egypt and Arabia. He gathered many Islamic relics including mantle that were worn by Prophet Mohammed. Other items include hair from the prophet's beard as well as his foot print.

Exhibition of clocks

Throne Room


Ehbition of Imperial costumes

Exhibition of arms and armour

Exhibition of miniatures and manuscripts


Konyali Restaurant