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Topkapi Palace, Istanbul

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Nian is interested in writing articles on different topics. She try to do best according to her knowledge!

Topkapi Palace,Istanbul

Topkapi is the largest and oldest palace in the world to survive to our day. In the 15th and 16th centuries it served as the official residence and administrative headquarters of the Ottoman Sultans. As a result the palace was used for almost 400 years by more than 25 Sultans of the Ottoman Empire.


topkapi-palace-istanbul

The palace was the residence of the Sultan,the sole ruler of the empire,it was at the same time the center of the administrative affairs,the place where the council ministers met,and the treasury,mint and state archives were located there. It was also the center of highest educational institution of the empire,the University of Sultan and the state. Therefore the palace was the heart, brain and center of the Ottoman Empire.

The construction of the Topkapi Palace began in 1459,six years after the conquest of Constantinople by Sultan Mehmet II the conqueror. During the initial years that palace was know as 'New Palace' to differentiate it from the old palace in Beyazit Square. It was given the name Topkapi, meaning Cannon Gate in the 19th century.

The palace complex consists of 4 main courtyards and many smaller buildings. Each courtyard serves a purpose and are connected by monumental doors to one another.

While entering the palace the first thing that would appear is the Imperial Gate. passing through it,you will enter the first courtyard which is also known as 'Court of Regiments'. The fact that only the sultan could cross this gate on a horse while everybody had to be on their feet is the uniqueness of the gate.


topkapi-palace-istanbul

The second gate is known as the 'Gate of Salutation' as before going through it every passer had to salute the Sultan. On either side of the path there are two tall,magnificent guard towers.

The third and the final gate will appear after crossing the second courtyard which is also known as 'Gate of Felicitation'. It is the last barrier to the Throne room where the Sultan used to felicitate important events.

The "Throne room",also sometimes called "Imperial Hall" or "Imperial Sofa" is one of the most amazing rooms inside the Harem. This amazing structure is believed to have been completed in the late 16th century. This room served as the reception room for the sultan and visitors of the Harem.


Imperial Hall

Imperial Hall

The most important part of the palace was the Imperial Harem also known as Haram-i-Hamayun,which consisted of more than 400 rooms,was the official residence of Sultan's family. The most influential here was the Valide Sultan(Mother of the Sultan,other than her present in this part of the palace were Sultans concubines,Hanseki Sultans (Sultan Wives) along with the princess and the eunuchs or the black guards. It was forbidden for any other man to enter this part of the palace. As harem itself means forbidden.

Gradually after the 17th century the Palace lost its importance,as reigning Sultans preferred to stay in a more western style built new palaces (such as Dolmabahce Palace) along the Bosporus.

The treasury section of the Topkapi Palace is the great collection of its kind in the world. Treasury displays vast collection of art jewelry and precious stones. All the pieces exhibited in the four rooms are authentic originals. In each room there is an imperial throne from different era. There are numerous items on display ranging from the wall and table clocks and spoon maker's Diamond to the Topkapi Dagger and countless items dating back to the Ottoman Empire.

topkapi-palace-istanbul
topkapi-palace-istanbul

The Ottoman Empire ended in the year 1923 and the Palace ended up being converted into a museum. The structure is now referred to as the "Topkapi Palace Museum" and is now under the Ministry of culture and tourism.

Today the Palace is also listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is visited by millions every year from all over the world.

© 2021 Nian

Comments

Nian (author) from Pakistan on June 04, 2021:

Thank you Rozlin!

Rozlin from UAE on June 04, 2021:

This is a very interesting and informative article, Eman. Thanks for sharing.

Blessings.

Nian (author) from Pakistan on June 04, 2021:

Thanks Rery!

Nian (author) from Pakistan on June 04, 2021:

Thanks Misbah!

Rawan Osama from Egypt on June 04, 2021:

Very informative . Thank u for sharing :))

Misbah Sheikh from The World of Poets on June 04, 2021:

Very nice and informative hub about Topkapi Palace. It’s always interesting to read something about The Ottoman Empire. I enjoyed the read. Thanks for sharing, Eman

Blessings and Peace

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