Topkapi Palace, Turkey
Ranked #4 in Turkey Tourism
Topkapi Palace is a famous palace in Istanbul, Turkey. It served as the main residence of the Ottoman Sultans 400 years back. It was dedicated as a UNESCO World Heritage site in the year 1985 and now it is a major tourist attraction. The construction of this palace began in 1459 by Sultan Mehmed II. The Palace was expanded in various centuries and was renovated twice after an earthquake and fire. Topkapi palace lost its glory during 17th century, as the Sultans preferred to live in the new palaces. However, some main functions like the mint, imperial treasury and the library were retained in the palace. The palace was later converted into museum and is open for public.
Topkapi Palace Architecture
Topkapi Palace stands as a fine example of Ottoman style of architecture. It houses wide collections of weapons, porcelain, armor, shields, robes, Islamic manuscripts, murals, Ottoman treasures, miniatures and jewelry.
Harem is the main section of Topkapi palace. It comprises of state apartments of the sultans. Initially, the harem quarters contained Golden Road, private kitchen of the sultan, food cellar, laundry, baths and sick room. The walls of the harem are decorated with paintings consist of flower vases and fruit plates.
Imperial Treasury in the Topkapi Museum now contains the case with the shield of Sultan Mustafa III. The armor made of iron and encrusted in precious stones and gold offered complete protection from head to toe. Another case contains Koran covers, which are decorated with peals. The third case contains the throne of Sultan Murad IV. In the fourth case, 16th and 17th century Iranian and Turkish vases, water jugs and pots can be found.
Topkapi Palace Museum
Topkapi Palace museum has the most valuable Japanese and Chinese porcelain collections, which include a decorative Celadon dish belonging to mid 14th century, Celadon bottle belonging to 15th century, candle holder in the form of a phoenix, saucer shaped dish and ewer belonging to Ming dynasty of 16th century. Basin, celadon footed bowl, blue and white Chinese vase, Chinese plate, incense burner, Chinese cup, Annam Vase and Japanese porcelain are some other noteworthy things to see in this museum. You can see the portraits of Sultan Mehmed, Selim III, and Ahmet III in the museum. A table clock belonging to 18th century and a wall clock that stands as a great example of fine craftsmanship of ottoman can be seen here.