Topkapi Palace Museum
The Topkapi Palace is the biggest and one of the most popular museum in Istanbul. It was built in between 1465-1478 by the Sultan Mehmet II on top of a hill in Historical Peninsula. The Palace was the political center of the Ottoman Empire from the 15th till 19th century. After constructing of Dolmabahce Palace by the Bosphorus, Sultan and his family moved to there.
Mehmet II ordered to built his Palace in its present location on top of the old Byzantine Palace. Topkapi means “Gate of Cannons” in turkish because of huge cannons displayed outside of its gates. There were around 5,000 residents of the Palace at normal days and around 10.000 during festivals. Topkapi Palace became one of the largest in the world in that time. The walls surrounding Palace are about 5 kilometers long and the Palace was built around 700,000 m2 of area during the foundation year.
Ottoman Sultans lived in the Topkapi Palace around 380 years and each Sultan added a different section or hall to the Palace, depending on his taste or on the needs of the time. The main gate is called Bab-i Humayun (Imperial Gate), the second gate Bab-u Selam (Gate of Salutation) and the third gate Bab-u Saade (Felicity Gate).
Topkapi Palace was opened to the public as a museum in 1924 by the order of Ataturk. There are many sections in the Topkapi Palace for visitors. You can visit Exhibition Hall which doesn’t contain any furniture for today, Treasury, Sultans’ Costumes and the Holly Relics.
It is located in Sultanahmet district and walking distance from Hagia Sophia and Blue Mosque.
It is a museum today and closed every Tuesday. It costs 72 Turkish Lira.