"the gorgeous pavillion of sultans: TOPKAPI" Topkapi Palace Tip by smeagol13
Topkapi Palace, Istanbul: 277 reviews and 656 photos
the largest and oldest of all the palaces in the world, that still stands. on the hill called "Sarayburnu", Topkapi is a must see for Istanbul's visitors.
the construction began short after the entrance of Mehmed II to the city, and did not and untill the construction of Dolmabahce Palace. It does not constitute of a single large buildings, instead it is the combination of many buildings that were built for the residence of each emperar (Sultan). none of the emperors used the same building as their predecessor did.
the overall view from the garden of the palace is excellent. also the inside decoration of the rooms may be considered good, but the most attractive part of the Palace is not actually the rooms or buildings; but the instruments, clothes, jewelleries, weapons and pictures that are demostrated in it.
you do not need to have a guide with you, since there is a little phone available for each visitor (with a little fee) and when you push the right numbers on the phone, a voiceover tells you the properties of each room and each item to be demonstrated.
the Ottoman jewelleries -especially the Kasikci Diamond-, the old clothes, the weapons, gifts from other states, fruits of arts, kitchen instrumens and ceramics are worth seeing.
and the "Kutsal Emanetler" room (Sacred Trusts) includes many items belonging to the Prophet Mohammad or his companions: a hair from his beard, his footprint, his tooth that was broken in Uhud, his clothes, his sword and many other belongings. in the room, the holy book of Islam (Quran) is being read for about 5 centuries; it began on the way to Istanbul after the conquest of Egypt by Selim I, and did never stop.
CAUTION: it may take a lot more time to visit the musem, than you may think. at least 2 hours should have been reserved -and it also probably won't be enough.
Directions: just behing the Hagia Sophia, near the Sultanahmet Square
Phone: +90 212 512 0480
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