Topkapi Palace Museum (Day 4)

It shares space with the Istanbul Archaeological Museum (see previous post). Whenever I see a wall like the one below, I know I’m about to be immersed in some ancient story and this was no exception.

It houses some impressive imperial collections from the era of the Ottoman sultans. During the 15th century, Topkapi Palace served as the main administrative post and residence of the sultans. It is made up of four courtyards exhibiting various collections of weaponry, kitchenware, treasury, relics of ancient prophets, sultan caftans, carpets and much more. It is unfortunate that pictures were not allowed in some sections.

Being on top of a hill, Topkapi Palace offers a view of opulence and magnificence. 

Topkapi Palace Entrance

It was constructed in 1454 and ruled by several sultans, beginning with Mehmed II who is the one that ordered the construction.

Pillars and arches

All of the pots that were used to make food in the palace kitchen were made entirely of copper and were quite big in size. Housing so many people, over 2000, the size was important in making sure everyone got a share. They were made using the tombac technique which involved alloying gold and mercury to copper in order to obtain a golden hue. Some of the pots found in the palace date back to the 18th and 19th century.

This pot was almost my size. I’m 5’0

As you walk around the palace, you’ll come across this structure that reeks of royalty. This is the Terrace or the Mustafa Paşa Kiosk (pronounced as pasha), which is sometimes and incorrectly called the Kiosk of Kara Mustafa
Paşa. It is from this room that sultans watched sporting events or organized entertainment in the garden

Can you believe this was erected in the 17th century?
If this is the kind of garden they had back then, I would too want to sit watch

In another section, you find the Baghdad Pavilion with tiles dating to the 17th century. The tiles consist of mother-of-pearl, tortoise-shell cupboards and window panels, making this pavilion one of the last examples of classical palace architecture. From 18th century onward, the building was used as a Library of the Privy Chambers. 

The details in this Pavilion…astounding

Upclose shot of the tiles with mother-of-pearl, emeralds, rubies and metal
The details on the tiles…
Somewhere in the garden
During the month of Ramadhan, the sultan is reported to have had a custom of breaking his fast under this bower. 

And now the ocean views.

Sea of Marmara
The beautiful skies of Istanbul
View of the Blue Mosque from the Topkapi Palace Museum

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