Topkapi Palace

When it was founded in 1459 by Sultan Mehmed, it was plain as day that the Topkapi Palace would become the ever-living symbol of the Ottoman Empire. Today, the palace is a popular traveler pilgrimage at the heart of Istanbul. Visitors to Topkapi Palace—now a UNESCO-recognized museum—find themselves in a maze of hundreds of chambers. The ones worth seeing unearth the most sensational treasures ever collected by Ottoman rulers.

One of the most fascinating sections of the palace is none other than the well-known Harem of the Ottoman royalty. The Harem was the secluded residence of all the female members of the palace, including wives, servants, concubines, and female relatives. Tradition was the principal force driving the Harem, the traces of which are still visible today in the design. Adorned with gilded grills, stained glass windows, and İznik and Kütahya tiles, even the baths of the Harem are a feast for the eyes.

If you think the glitz and brashness have come to an end, wait till you reach the treasury. The world’s priceless Spoonmaker’s Diamond and the emerald-studded golden Topkapi Dagger are enough to knock you off your feet. Deeper in Topkapi Palace’s bowels lie more of the empire’s trophies, all waiting for the admiration of visitors. In the pleasure-filled pavilions of the Fourth Court, you will find impeccable flower gardens, gleamy pools, and spectacular kiosks.

Topkapi Palace Gallery

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