This summer, I finally had the chance to visit Turkey. My trip of three weeks allowed me to explore four regions of this beautiful country. The trip began with Istanbul and then continued in the east on the border of Armenia and Iran. Then we went for a ride in Cappadocia to finish with a few days at the beach on the shores of the Mediterranean.
The Topkapi palace was, one expects, magnificent. Extraordinary vaults and ceilings, here are some pictures.
I was finally able to do some cleaning in my photos and I will, in the coming weeks, publish some travel books. I’m starting today with Topkapi Palace because it’s the first one I finished. It’s a bit like an appetizer before the main courses. 😉
The palace complex is located on the Seraglio Point (Sarayburnu), a promontory overlooking the Golden Horn, where the Bosphorus Strait meets the Marmara Sea. The terrain is hilly and the palace itself is located at one of the highest points close to the sea. During Greek and Byzantine times, the acropolis of the ancient Greek city of Byzantion stood here.
After Sultan Mehmed II’s conquest of Istanbul in 1453, the Great Palace of Constantinople was largely in ruins. The Ottoman court was initially set up in the Old Palace (Eski Saray), today the site of Istanbul University in Beyazit Square. Mehmed II ordered that construction of Topkapı Palace begin in 1459. According to an account of the contemporary historian Critobulus of Imbros the sultan “took care to summon the very best workmen from everywhere – masons and stonecutters and carpenters … For he was constructing great edifices which were to be worth seeing and should in every respect vie with the greatest and best of the past.” Accounts differ as to when construction of the inner core of the palace started and was finished. Kritovolous gives the dates 1459–1465; other sources suggest construction was completed in the late 1460s