Explore the Intricate History of the Ottomans
If these palace walls could talk they’d recite plans for military campaigns and tales of love, lust and betrayal that make this former residence and imperial seat of the Ottoman Empire so intriguing. Walk the tile-and-mosaic-lined corridors and rooms, see the jewels the sultans wore, the baths where they washed, the rooms where they entertained, the quarters that housed their concubines and the kitchens that created feasts for 5,000 residents.
By Leeann Murphy, AFAR Local Expert
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Colorful and Detailed Ceilings in the Sultan's Harem
Topkapi Palace was where the Sultans lived for most of their 600 year rule over the Ottoman Empire. The Harem of the palace was home to the Sultan's mother, his concubines, wives, children, and servants. This architecture and detailed ceilings are among the most beautiful I've seen. You'll spend your visit looking up. If you go, don't miss the exquisite collection of jewels in the Treasury.
By Michela Baxter, AFAR Local Expert
Tulips at Tokpaki Palace, Istanbul
If you go to Turkey and Istanbul (which I highly recommend), you must go to Tokpaki Palace. It is gorgeous and gives a glimpse into an opulent lifestyle and culture. The sultans had it made! Spring is lovely as the flowers are in bloom. Unfortunately we also had some rain, but I was still able to capture this wonderful image of a bed of tulips with one of the many buildings of the compound in the background.
By Lynne Nieman
Various levels of piety seen in istanbul.
Mostly western and European in dress, Istanbul has a many levels of piety on display. Shoulders and knees should be covered when visiting the mosques.
Iznik Tiles at the Topkapi Palace
Am visiting Istanbul for five days, but there is so much to see... You could spend two days at the Topkapi Palace alone to take it all in. The area for the harem is the high point, especially with beautiful iznik tiles. Right now there is an additional harem exhibit, which enables you to see a huge variety of personal items from members of the harem. I thoroughly enjoyed it!
By Brenda Bradt
Topkapi Palace Surprise Parade
The Topkapi Palace in Istanbul is a tribute to excess and luxury. Beauty almost overwhelms as you wander the extensive grounds from treasure to treasure. In the midst of the crowds and lines, occasional military parades provide a glimpse into the origins of this modern democracy. With colorful costumes, exotic musical instruments, and heartfelt singing, the spectacle shocks the crowds into silence. On the day we were visiting, even the employees had no idea this parade was going to happen, Tears of joy and patriotism ran down many faces. The tourists left feeling that they had experienced a rare gift. When you go, check the schedule for a parade, but even if none are set, you may be surprised with a spectacle!
By WILL STOTTS
Gilded Doorways and Gilded Light
Topkapi Palace is grand and gaudy - both things that were important to the Ottoman sultans who lived here centuries ago. Though now it is a museum of riches, important treasures, and of magnificent architecture, it once was the primary residence of the richest men in the world. This doorway is only an example of the golden shine the entire palace has. As I visited the palace during golden hour, the gold light up in a golden light that made it glimmer with fury.
Cankurtaran Mh., 34122 Fatih/Istanbul, Turkey
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