Friday, March 5, 2010

Istanbul = Topkapi Palace

Just a short distance from our hotel, Topkapi Palace was the home of the Ottoman sultans for nearly 400 years, until 1856.


The palace was where the sultan held his official ceremonies and entertained his guests.


The sultan was not only the ruler of the Ottoman Empire, but also the caliph of Islam. In the palace we saw many religious items, such as the prophet Mohammed's cloak and sword. One of the more beautiful items is what is known as the Topkapi dagger. The stunning Spoonmaker's Diamond is composed of 49 individual diamonds and is the most valuable single item that is part of the palace's Imperial Treasury.



We walked through the many courtyards and chambers until we came to a patio overlooking the Bosphorus Straits.





We enjoyed the intricate mosaics.



What would a sultan's palace be without a Harem?




The Topkapi Palace was huge, and beautiful. We enjoyed our visit and headed to the next attraction of the amazing city of Istanbul.

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