Topkapi Palace Museum | Things You Should Know While Visiting
Topkapi Palace is one of the most visited museums in Turkey. The history and architecture of Topkapi Palace is so detailed that we recommend you to visit Topkapi Palace with a private tour guide if possible. Because the information you will learn during the Topkapi Palace Tour will add a lot to you.
History of Topkapi Palace
During the strongest period of the Ottoman Empire, the Palace where 25 Sultans lived; Architecturally, it is quite simple and has a structure intertwined with nature. A trip to Topkapi Palace in spring provides a pleasant walk in the company of trees and the Bosporus air.
Topkapi Palace, in the years following the conquest of Istanbul; It was built by Fatih Sultan Mehmet and remained the place where the Sultans lived for nearly 400 years.
When the Ottomans conquered Constantinople, which is the Historical Peninsula of Istanbul, they realized that the Byzantine Empire, which was in the period of collapse, had not done the necessary maintenance and repair works (for financial reasons) in the city. Buildings such as the Great Palace, Hagia Sophia and Hippodrome, which were the most important attraction areas of Istanbul, were in bad condition.
The biggest reason for this is actually the Latin Invasion that took place between 1204 and 1261. The city, which was plundered during the Crusader occupation that lasted for 57 years, was taken aback by the Byzantine princes; however, the famous city of the past, Constantinople, could not return to its old days.
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The Gates and Courtyards of Topkapi Palace
Topkapi Palace Tour starts by entering Bab-i Humayun, the first gate of the palace. As soon as you pass through the gate, you will be in the first courtyard called “Alay Square“. Courtyards gain importance from the outside to the inside. While the First Courtyard is a garden that ordinary citizens can enter by claiming, formality begins from the Second Courtyard.
There is an inscription on the entrance door of Topkapi Museum from the date of its construction. The area you see when you enter through this gate, called the Sultanate Gate, was once the area where the public could enter to apply. There are places such as Hagia Irene Church, Alay Square, Bakery, Mint, Hospital, Hasircilar Furnace and wood warehouse. You need to buy a separate ticket to enter Hagia Irene.
At the second courtyard point, where you can pass by buying a ticket, there are the kitchens on the right, the Tower of Justice (representing Justice), the Divan-i Hümayun, the entrance to the Harem Office (which requires a separate ticket for this place) and the Zülüflü Baltacilar Ward on the left. In the transition to the third courtyard, there is the point where the Sancak-i Serif was erected.
As soon as you enter the third courtyard of Topkapi Palace, the Arz room is the room where the Sultan hosted the statesmen and foreign ambassadors. Even if you are inside the palace, many people cannot go further than this point. Right behind the room, you can see the Agalar Mosque, which is open to the use of the Sultan and Enderun students. This courtyard is shared by the Sultan and Enderun. Sacred Relics are also found in this courtyard which are clothes, swords and other belongings of Prophet Mohammed, Khaliphates and other prophets like Moses, Abraham, David, Joseph.
The fourth courtyard is where the Sultan’s mansions and hanging gardens are located. The balcony-shaped structure, located between the Circumcision Chamber and the Baghdad and Revan Kiosks and facing the sea, is the Iftar Lodge, where the Sultan broke his fast in Ramadan.
When you move to the lower part of this last courtyard, there are Hekimbasi tower, Kara Mustafa Pasha Mansion that made of wood, Sofa Mosque, Mecidiye Mansion which is the latest addition to the palace.
If you want to visit Topkapi Palace Museum, we recommend that you choose weekdays, which will be relatively empty. Do not forget that if you want to walk around properly, you need to spare at least two or three hours. Please remember, Topkapi Palace is closed on Tuesdays.
Entrance Tickets of Topkapi Palace Museum;
500 TL each person for foreign visitors who are not holding Turkish citizenship and Harem Section requires another ticket which costs 225 TL per person. Please remember that with this ticket you can also visit Hagia Irene Church, which is located in the first court of Topkapi Palace.
We hope that we have been able to help you find your way around the palace with the Topkapi Palace guide we have prepared. As we mentioned at the beginning of the article, each section of Topkapi Palace has its own unique story.
Many things about the history of the Ottoman Empire took place in this palace, where 25 Ottoman Sultans lived. Our suggestion to you would be to have a Private Guided Topkapi Palace Tour to learn more about Turkish and Ottoman Culture and history from a licensed tour guide who can accompany you in each section of the Palace.
An experienced tour guide who knows the history of Istanbul well and knows Topkapi Palace Museum will greatly contribute to your understanding of Ottoman history and will take you on a journey through time. We hope this article will be helpful. For further assistance and tour inquiries you may get in touch with our team in the following link. We wish you a wonderful trip in the magical city of Istanbul.