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.
The Imperial Gate and main entrance to the palace through the outermost wall
The Gate of Salutation along the inner wall and entrance into the Second Courtyard
looking across the courtyard at the Hall of Justice
the detail of the ceiling of the Imperial Divan
tile detail along the walls and ceiling
The Gold Window behind which the Sultan would sit when he wanted to hear the affairs of state, but not be seen
all the doors along the Imperial Divan were decorated…
…and the windows too!
Kubbealtı, where the Imperial court was held
The Gate of Felicity and entrance into the third courtyard, which were the private areas of the palace and entry through the gate was only with approval by the Sultan himself.
the doorway of The Gate of Felicity
outside of The Audience Chamber
main entrance to the Audience Chamber, where the Sultan received visitors
detailing of the tile of the entrance to Audience Chamber
a look down at the cafe on the palace grounds–with stunning views of the Bosphorus
The Conquerer’s Pavilion, which housed the Imperial Treasury
of course, I loved the Pavilion’s decorative sidewalks!
one of the water fountains around the palace grounds
wash basin in front of the Enderûn Library, aka Library of Ahmed III
inside the reading room of the Enderûn Library
nothing like a selfie while in a palace!
potted plants and flowers lined the sidewalks…
…along with huge trees
walking back to the Salutation Gate
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!
the view from across the Bosphorus–pic courtesy of Istanbul Top 10 (click pic to go to their website!)