A Palace Fit For a Sultan – Topkapi Palace in Istanbul.
If you go to Istanbul and you miss this sight, you are crazy. After being to Hagir Sofya I wasn’t sure if anything could be topped but this place was amazing.
This place was grand. It was massive. It was cool.
Istanbul has resparked my love for history and learning about the ottoman history has been a true delight. To be honest, I didn’t consult very scholarly articles when reading up on the Topkapi palace but I honestly don’t think it could have been any more useful as I carried this Wikipedia page around on my iPad. It literally described everything in order that we saw it and shed light on the hundreds of buildings inside the topkapi palace.
If you go to the Topkapi Palace, be sure you have time to explore everything. The building contains 4 courtyards, all massive in size, all used for different means and purposes. You can see the beautiful gardens and trees in the first courtyard while you line up for tickets before you enter the historially significant door to the second chamber where you see the outsides of the kitchens where the servants cooked and lived. Not satisfied with a few chimneys you can move over to the left hand side of the courtyard to see the chambers where they made all their important decisions, housed in a classical ottoman style room. Don’t forget to check the exhibition with the collection of watches and clocks either made by ottomans or given to them by Europeans to celebrate their long and illustrious ruling over our now beloved Istanbul and Turkey.
As you move in to the third chamber you start to realise how legitimate and important this place was in its time and still is today. The highlight definitely being the eery museum that contained objects such as the staff of Moses along with Muhammed’s relics such as his famous beard, a tooth and his swords. Don’t mention the plethora of swords, keys and other ancient relics all of which history began to get over my head. The third chamber was where all the party happened as this was the central area and the harem is attached to this also. The Sultan would spend most of his time in this area and it was the innermost section of the palace.
The fourth section would have to be my favourite however. This area was where the sultan would hang out in summer and you could tell why as you started out into the magnificent crystal blue waters from the lookouts. This beautiful view combined with the wonderful architecture that is quickly becoming my favourite of all time made this area amazing.
Some of you may say that 25 Turkish Lira is an expensive price to pay to see where a fat sultan spent his days but I urge you that it’s brilliant and worth it! And that’s something coming from a tight arse like me!