TOPKAPI PALACE MUSEUM
Address: Cankurtaran Mh., 34122 Fatih/Istanbul
| Historic Walking Areas, Architectural Buildings,
| Ticket : Not required
Topkapi Palace Museum was the second palace built in Istanbul after its conquest by the Turks. It was a residence for the Ottoman Sultans and includes a maze of opulent buildings, which served as the center of the Ottoman Empire between the 15th and 19th centuries. This palace, where the sultans and their courts and harem lived and governed, is now one of the world’s richest museums.
Topkapı Palace was not only the residence of the Ottoman sultans, but also the administrative and educational centre of the state. Initially constructed between 1460 and 1478 by Sultan Mehmed II, the conqueror of Constantinople, and expanded upon and altered many times throughout its long history, the palace served as the home of the Ottoman sultans and their court until the middle of the 19th century. In the early 1850s, the palace became inadequate to the requirements of state ceremonies and protocol, and so the sultans moved to Dolmabahçe Palace, located on the Bosphorus.
Despite this move, the royal treasure, the Holy Relics of the Prophet Muhammad, and the imperial archives continued to be preserved at Topkapı, and-since the palace was the ancestral residence of the Ottoman dynasty as well as the place where the Holy Relics were preserved-Topkapı continued to play host to certain state ceremonies. Following the abolishment of the Ottoman monarchy in 1922, Topkapı Palace was converted into a museum on April 3rd 1924, on the order of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk.
After the conquest of Constantinople, Sultan Mehmed II (r. 1444-46, 1451-81) had a palace built in what is modern-day Istanbul’s Beyazıt district, on the spot where the University of Istanbul stands today; this first palace subsequently became known as the Old Palace (Eski Saray). Following the construction of the Old Palace, Mehmed II then had the Tiled Kiosk (Çinili Köşk) built, followed by Topkapı Palace itself, to which the court relocated when construction was complete.