Topkapi Palace: The Story of an Empire

Topkapı Palace

It is located on the nose of the historical peninsula in Istanbul, overlooking both the Marmara Sea and the Bosphorus. The walls surrounding the palace, the main gate on the land side and the first buildings were built during the reign of Sultan Mehmet the Conqueror (1451 - 81). The palace took its present order with the addition of new buildings in the following centuries. Topkapı Palace was the official residence of the Ottoman Sultans who started with Sultan Mehmet the Conqueror until 1856 when Abdülmecid moved to the Dolmabahçe Palace. The Enderun department also gained importance as a school.

 

 

The main outer gate of the Topkapi Palace is the Imperial Gate (Bab-ı Hümayun) which opens to Hagia Sophia Square. This door leads to a garden known as the First Court. In this court there is the Hagia Irini Church, which was once used as an ammunition depot, and there is a mint behind it. In the past, various pavilions dedicated to the different services of the palace were located in the First Court. In later years they were replaced with public buildings and schools. Some of them still exist. At the end of the 19th century, the Archaeological Museum and the School of Fine Arts (now the Museum of Oriental Art) were built in the large garden to the northwest of the First Court. The oldest building in this section is the Tiled Pavilion built by Fatih, who is currently used as the Turkish Tile and Ceramic Museum. On the walls of this outer garden, which overlooks the Bab-ı ali (Imperial Gate), there is the Regiment Pavilion (regiment Pavilion), which the Sultans used to watch the marches. Some of the exterior garden was planned and opened to the public by the municipality at the beginning of the 20th century. The entrance, now known as Gülhane Park, has one of the larger gates of the palace. After the First Court there is the Second Court, which contains the palace structures. It is entered through a monumental gate called Bab'us-Selam or Middle Gate. The buildings in this palace form the outer part of the palace called Birun. On the right, there are domes, chimneys and palace kitchens that are immediately noticed with the dormitories of the employees working there. The most important buildings to the left of the court are the Kubbealtı and the Inner Treasury. Behind Kubbealtı, one of the symbols of Topkapı Palace is the Tower of Justice. The Harem section extending behind these buildings is accessed through the Third Court. The Third Court is entered through the gate called Bab'üs Sa'ade (White Eunuiches Gate). This part of the palace is called Enderun and it is the part where the sultans live with their extended families. It is therefore privately protected. The Akağalar barracks, which protects Bab'üs Sa'ade, is on both sides of the gate. There are two structures. The first Throne Room or Audience Hall just across the door. The sultans here take the Grand Visitor or their ambassadors, such as their Visitors, and senior officials. Behind the throne room is the library built by Ahmet III (1703-30). On the right side of the Third Court is the barracks of Enderun and the Special Treasury, also known as Mehmet in the Fatih Pavilion. On the side facing the Fourth Court is the Larder Barracks of Enderun. The Chamber of Treasures and the Chamber of Sacred Relics. The left side starts with the Harem. The harem, which covers most of the palace, consists of approximately 60 spaces in varying sizes. The main buildings in front of the Harem and facing the 3rd Court; Akağalar Mosque, Sultan Ahmet Mosque, Barracks of the Guard of the Sacred Remains and the Rooms of the Sacred Ruins. Here, the sacred works brought by Sultan Yavuz Selim from Egypt are kept in 1517. The Fourth Court is entered by a closed path leading from both sides of the Treasury Chamber. Here the buildings are located in the first part of the court, which consists of two parts at different levels. On the left side of this section, which is called Lala Garden or Tulip Garden, is Mabeyn, the starting point of the entrance of Harem to the garden. The Sunnah Room, Sultan Ibrahim Patio and Topkapi Palace, the terrace for ladies, who are among the symbols of Iftariye (or Kameri) and Baghdad Pavilion. This pavilion was built in 1640 to commemorate the Baghdad Campaign. It was built by Murad. In the middle of the first part of the Fourth Court, next to it is the Great Pool and the Ravan Pavilion. This pavilion was built in 1629 to commemorate the Revan Campaign. It was built by Murad. The side facing the second section is the Kanepe Mansion (Koca Mustafa Pasha Mansion), the Basbala Tower and Hekimbaşı (Chief Physician) Chamber. The Kanepe Mosque and Esvap Room and the latest Mecidye Pavilion are on the right side of the Fourth Court. The pavilions built on the shore of the Marmara Sea,

 

 

During 18. The century in which the Topkapi palace took its final form contained more than 10,000 inhabitants in the outer (Birun) and inner (Enderun) and Harem sections.

As new sections are added in each period according to the needs, no architectural unity is shown. However, this allows us to follow the stages of Ottoman Architecture in the middle of the 15th century in Topkapi Palace. The structures of the 15th-17th centuries are simpler and the buildings of the 18th-19th centuries are more complex, especially in terms of exterior and interior decoration.

Topkapi Palace was converted into a museum in 1924. Harem, Baghdad Kiosk, Revan Kiosk, Sofa Kiosk, the viewing room, such as the parts of the Palace distinguishes themselves with architectural assets, in other parts of the palace reflecting the works exhibited. life. The museum also offers various donations and library collections.

Telephone and Fax Numbers of Topkapı Palace Museum

Tel: +90 (0212) 522 44 22/512 04 80-5 lines
Fax: +90 (0212) 528 59 91

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