Built between 1460-1478 for Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror, Topkapı Palace is definitely one of the crown jewels of Istanbul’s glory. The sprawling grounds have amazing views of the city, but with every amenity available inside, there would have been no reason to leave the grounds! Sultan Mehmed spared no expense in building his dream home–complete with a church, a library, audience chamber, and a harem. Of course wanting to contribute the grandeur, subsequent Sultans since Mehmed have built, rebuilt, and added to the palace grounds and structures. The result is varying architecture throughout the palace grounds. Again, there wasn’t enough time to see everything, which meant picking and choosing. The only thing I’m sad we didn’t get to see was the Sultan Robe collection. There simply wasn’t enough time, as the line for that exhibit was approaching 2 hours, and so we decided to use that time strolling the grounds and visiting all the other exhibits.
I know I could have stayed there for hours exploring, as there were a lot of areas of the palace grounds that we didn’t get to visit. Unfortunately and all too soon it was time to go–after all, we had much more to see!