Topkapı Sarayı

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After the conquest of Istanbul by Mehmed the Conqueror in 1453, the construction of the Topkapı Palace started in 1460 and was completed in 1478.

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The Palace was built upon a 700.000m2 area on the Eastern Roman Acropolis, located between the Sea of Marmara, Bosporus and the Golden Horn…

 Screen shot 2014-12-07 at 02.09.19Topkapı Palace, was the administrative, educational and artistic center of the Empire for nearly four hundred years since Mehmet the Conqueror until the reign of Sultan Abdülmecid (Sultan Abdulmajid) in 1853. Although the center of the Turkish power was replaced when the Ottoman Dynasty moved to the modern Dolmabahçe Palace (19th century), Topkapı Palace remained an important historical site. After the foundation of the Republic of Turkey, Topkapı Palace was transformed into a museum in 1924. It was the first museum of the Republic of Turkey.

Topkapı Palace Museum covers app. 400.000m2. The Palace is protected with the Imperial Walls, made by Mehmed the Conqueror. Topkapı Palace is one of the largest palace-museums with its numerous architectural structures, important collections and approximately 300.000 archive documents.

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During the 400 hundred years of reign at Topkapı, each sultan added a different section or hall to the palace, depending on his taste and the needs of the time. The buildings are, in general, centered on the four courtyards with the different gates to the palace.

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The architecture is predominantly Middle Eastern in character. The initial construction was Cinili Mansion, a tiled kiosk finished in 1472, and the main gate (Bab-i Humayun or the Imperial Gate) faces the gorgeous Sultanahmet square and the Palace ramparts, at the second gate (Bab-us Selam or the Gate of Salutation) were completed in 1478.

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The third gate, Bab-us Saade or the Felicity Gate, separates the site and most important parts of the palace from other sections, such as the Treasury.

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The Harem, literally meaning “forbidden” in Arabic, was a complex of apartments in the palace belonging to the wives, concubines and children of the sultan, guarded by the black eunuchs. At some point, its population topped to a record high of 474 ladies…

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The palace contains great examples of Ottoman architecture in the 15th to 19th centuries, and also includes large collections of the Holy relics, the arms and armoires, the sultans’ robes, the miniature paintings, some of the most impressive Islamic calligraphic manuscripts, Chinese and Japanese porcelain figures and tiles, as well as a display of Ottoman treasure and jewelry. The tiles adorning the walls and ceilings of every room, the Islamic calligraphic writings on the domes, the carved doors, fountains, furniture decorated with silk fabrics belong to the Ottoman imperial culture.

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Indeed, the Topkapı Palace is an Ottoman royal construction, which collects some characteristics of the Roman, Byzantine, Persian, Seljuk, and Arab internal and external architectural designs and styles…

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