Topkapi Palace - Topkapi Palace information and pictures

The Topkapi Palace, located in Istanbul, Turkey, has remained the official residence in the city for the Ottoman Sultans for over four hundred years of their six hundred twenty four year period in control. The construction of the Topkapi Palace began originally in 1459. Conqueror of the Byzantine Constantinople, Sultan Mehed II, ordered the palace to be constructed.

The palace is located on a promontory site along the Seraglio Point which over looks the Sea of Marmara and the Golden Horn. The Bosphorus is visible from a variety of locations within the palace complex.

The palace is composed of four main court yards with smaller buildings around. Throughout the years, several additions were added to expand the buildings. At one point the palace contained bakeries, the imperial mint, mosques, and a hospital in addition to being the home to nearly four thousand people.

The first courtyard, which is enclosed by large stone wall, serves as an outer precinct. This is the largest of all the Palace's courtyards, and once contained several royal and functional structures. The second courtyard, which was accessible through passing of the Middle Gate, was used as a gathering location for courtiers. This was the location where Sultan held audiences for justice sentences, which impressed visitors from all over the land.

The third courtyard lay just beyond the Gate of Felicity. This courtyard, also known as the Inner Palace, was the main area where the Sultan spent his days outside. The courtyard contains a large lush garden and entrance was prohibited for outsiders.

Several of the carriages located on the northeast side behind the Gate of Salutation, were destroyed in a fire during the late nineteenth century. One of the most notable features of the Topkapi palace was the kitchens. The kitchens began construction during the fifteen century when the palace was originally being constructed. The kitchen was the preparation area for over six thousand meals a day. The kitchen is also reported to having over ten thousand pieces of Japanese, Chinese, and Turkish porcelain.

At the end of the seventeen century, the Sultans created new palaces along the Bosporus and lost interest in spending their time at the Topkapi Palace.

On April 3, 1924, the Topkapi Palace was transformed into a museum of the imperial era. Several thousands of the buildings contained in the Palace are not accessible to the public. Only a few of the most important buildings are available for public access.

Where is Topkapi Palace: Cankurtaran Mh., Fatih

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User Comments about Topkapi Palace

Jehnavi says:
There are a number of paintings of sultans from painters from all over the world, such as the Sultan Selim II, by Constantin from Kapidag.