Topkapi Palace is a palace which was built between 1459 and 1465 as the residence by Fatih Sultan Mehmet and one of the most deep-rooted palaces of the Ottoman Empire.
The palace was built not as a single building, but as four large courtyards and pavilions, reflecting the nomadic and tent culture of the Ottoman Empire. The palace is important not only for its use as a center for 4 centuries but also for the hosting of the Enderun School, which trained soldiers and civil servants. The palace was evacuated in the 18th century when the dynasty moved to Dolmabahçe Palace. In 1924 it was converted into a museum and opened to visitors.
Sections of Topkapı Palace Museum
This magnificent palace consists of six sections. These sections are Bab-i Hümayun, Divan Square, Alay Square, Enderun Courtyard, Sofa-i Humayun, Harem. Each has its own characteristic structure and function.
Among the sections and works you should definitely see in Topkapı Palace, are the Divan-ı Humayun section, where the sultan and the viziers followed the meetings, the Iftariye Cameriy overlooking the Golden Horn, the Baghdad Pavilion built in the honor of Baghdad's conquest in 1639 and Ahmet III Library.
The Topkapi Palace collection contains many unique and valuable ceramics, glass, silver, weapons, armor, miniatures, manuscripts, clothes, watches and sacred relics. The most interesting part of the Topkapi Palace is the Harem section. The harem which was a place where the wives of the Sultan, his children and his concubines were living, also attracts attention with the architecture and the works you can see inside. Here, the Valide Sultan Chamber where the mother of the sultan lived, Çifte Kasırlar decorated with Iznik tiles, Ahmet III's dining room dating from the 18th century, the Chamber of Sultanate where the entertainments are organized and Harem Ağaları Taşlığı are located.
Topkapı Palace which is one of the first places to come to mind when it refers to places to visit in İstanbul, is flooded with visitors visitors in the month of especially Ramadan, because of hosting Hirka-i Serif and some other sacred relics.
Topkapı Palace Museum Visiting Informations
Address: Topkapı Palace Museum 34200 Istanbul
Transportation: The palace is near the Blue Mosque. You can reach here from Sultanahmet, Marmaray or Sirkeci stops by Metro, from Sultanahmet or Gülhane stops by tram.
Opening Days and Hours: The museum is open every day except Tuesday. It can be visited from October 26 to April 15 from 09:00 to 16:45, from April 15 to October 26 from 09:00 to 18:45.
Entry Fees: Museum entrance ticket is 30 Liras (8.5 Dollars)
Notes: Entrance fees and visiting hours may vary periodically. Please check the website for updated information.