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TURKEY INFO => Istanbul
  Topkapi Palace
The Topkapı palace which is one of the biggest palaces of the world is known as being first erected on 1478. The construction of Topkapı Palace which has been used as the government palace and the residence of the dynasty in the capitol city İstanbul of the Ottoman Empire has been completed in 1473 short after the conquest of Istanbul by Fatih Sultan Mehmet. The Ottoman Dynasty has used the Topkapı Palace until they moved to the Bosphorus Palaces in the 19th century. The palace has been turned into a museum after the proclamation of the republic on 3rd April 1924 by the order of Atatürk. The Topkapı Palace has been erected on the Byzantine acropol situated in Sarayburnu at the end of the historical İstanbul peninsula between the Marmara Sea, the Bosphorus and the Golden Horn constituting the topography of İstanbul.The Palace is seperated from the city with the Sur-u Sultani ( Walls of Sultan) on the land side and with the Byzantine walls on the sea side. The monumental port except the many land and sea doors and other doors with different functions within the palace is provided through the Bab-ı Humayun ( The Imperial Gate). The reflection of the functional simplicity required by a solid state concept to the space where all sorts of glory and protocol details have been experienced for centuries start at the entrance. This gate in fact is congruous with the 15th century characteristics of the building which is a fortress-palace. There was a pavillion which remained until the 19th century on this gate which was also used by the public where Sultans used to watch the marching ceremonies and where private treasuries were kept. The palace has been enlarged with additions in later centuries. The Palace which comprises individual pavilions, rooms and gardens occupies an area of 82 thousand square meters. It is surrounded by walls with a length of 1400 meters. The Topkapı Palace has been used as the official residence of the Ottoman Sultans and as the government centrum. The Palace is opening to four main sections through three big gates. In the First Court there were the palace bakeries, the mint , the troop of guardmen, wood depots and vegetable gardens. At our present day the Archeological Museum and and the Çinili Köşk (Tiled Pavilion) stand there. The second court houses the state government center. The only tower of the palace is standing here. The Harem Section has been built by Murat III. The Harem Section is the space devoted to the mother and siblings of the Sultan and the concubines and the eunuchs . The buildings are three or five storey buildings. There are 259 rooms. In the Harem section of which only a part is open today, there stands a big salon decorated with tiles and the private office of the crown prince embellished with stained glass. In addition to that, the section where the weapons of the Sultans are displayed, the porcelain salon where a part of the procelain collection comprising 12.000 pieces are displayed , the treasury section where the Kaşıkçı Diamond and the thrones of the Sultan are displayed and another section where holy objects belonging to the prophet Mohammed and hand written korans are displayed are parts of the Topkapı Palace as well. The palace is open everyday except Tuesdays from 09.00-16.00 and from 12.00-16.00, during the first days of Ramadan and Sacrifice Feasts. The Harem section can be visited in groups with seperate ticket between 09.30-15.30.
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