About Topkapı Palace
Quick Facts about Topkapi Palace:
Address: Topkapi Palace, Cankurtaran Mahallesi, Sultanahmet, 34122 Fatih, Istanbul
Original Name: Topkapi Sarayi (Cannon Gate Palace)
Original Ottoman Name: Sarây-ı Cedîd-i Âmire, سرای جديد عامره (New Command Palace)
Built: From 1460 to 1478
Architects: Alaüddin Davud Aga (begin of construction under Sultan Mehmed II), later Davud Aga, Mimar Sinan, Sarkis Balyan, Acem Ali
Architectural Style: Ottoman style with European Baroque and Rococo influences
Area: 350,000 square meters
Annual Visitors: 3.3 million (2022)
What is Topkapi Palace?
Topkapi Palace is the former imperial residence of the Ottoman Sultans for almost 400 years (1465-1856). Today, it is a museum that is open to the public.
Visitors can explore the vast palace grounds, consisting of four main courtyards, and see the many rooms and chambers that were once used by the sultans and their families.
The palace also contains an extensive collection of porcelains, robes, weapons, shields, armaments, and other priceless artifacts. The harem, which was the private residence of the sultan's family, is one of the most famous parts of the palace.
Who built Topkapi Palace?
Six years after the conquest of Constantinople in 1453, Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror ordered the construction of the palace. The first part of the building was completed in 1465 under architect Alaüddin Davud Aga. With the completion of the outer protective walls in 1478, the initial construction of the palace was concluded.
Throughout the centuries, subsequent Ottoman rulers consistently sought to expand and enhance the complex. Architects such as Davud Aga, Sarkis Balyan, Acem Ali, and the most renowned Ottoman architect, Mimar Sinan, were involved in these endeavors.
Why is Topkapi Palace famous?
Topkapi Palace is one of the most incredible places to visit in Istanbul. Not only is it incredibly beautiful, but it's also steeped in history. It is famous for its rich past and significance as the seat of the Ottoman power for almost 400 years, its beautiful setting on the Bosphorus, and its fabulous architecture and collections.
Highlights include the Imperial Treasury, with the magnificent 86-carat Spoonmaker's Diamond and Topkapi Dagger; the harem, where the sultan's wives and concubines lived; and the Sacred Relics room, which houses relics of the Prophet Muhammad. UNESCO announced the Topkapi Palace as a World Heritage Site in 1985, and it's not hard to see why.
>> Read More: Inside the Topkapi Palace Museum
Topkapi Palace Architecture
Topkapi Palace is one of the most interesting and beautiful examples of Ottoman architecture. The palace is a maze of courtyards, gardens, and buildings, all surrounded by high walls and topped with ornate roofs.
The architecture of the palace is a blend of Islamic, Turkish, and European influences. One of the most striking features of the palace is its massive size. The complex covers over 350 hectares, making it one of the largest royal residences in the world.
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