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Topkapı Palace: The Residence of the Ottoman Sultans

Topkapı Palace was constructed by Sultan Mehmet the Conqueror between 1460 and 1478. The palace was used as the residence of the Ottoman Sultans until very late period of the Ottomans. The palace transformed into a museum after the establishment of the Turkish Republic.

The area of the Topkapı Museum is about 400.000 squaremeters. You will see how fabulous the environment is inside the museum when you start to have a tour there. You will see the high ceilings and walls all around the museum. The area is so large that the number of people that can be hosted at a time is around 4000.

By Gryffindor This Panoramic Image Was Created With Autostitch. Stitched Images May Differ From Reality. (Own Work) [Public Domain], Via Wikimedia Commons
Kubbealtı – Topkapı Palace
Kubbealtı was an area used for the Imperial Council to meet. The Sultan of the time would usually stay behind the window located there and watch his viziers and other chief staff during their meeting in order to have control on those people. Of course, the viziers and other chief staff were not seeing that then Sultan was watching them. This was done for the security of the state to make sure that those people holding important positions do not betray to the Sultan.

The Harem

Harem is the area where the Sultan of the time lived with his wives, children, mother and other siblings. In other words, it is the special place for the family of the Sultan. If you have a Müzekart, you can enter to the Topkapı Palace without paying however in order to get into the Harem, you should pay extra even though you have that card. This area is usually less crowded since visitors prefer not to pay to see the area. The rooms in Harem are smaller compared to the other areas in the Palace but they are fantastically ornate.

Harem - Topkapı Palace
Harem – Topkapı Palace

Unfortunately you cannot see all the areas in the Topkapı Palace since many of them are close to public. However, even the areas open to public will give you an idea about how the life at the palace was during the periods of Ottoman Sultans. You will not only be fascinated by the interior design, the gardens of the palace with fountains will also amaze you.

Things to Remember

The Museum is open everyday except Tuesdays. You will also not be able to enter tot he museum at the first days of the religious festive days until afternoon.

There is a sacred relics department and the administration will ask yo not to enter there with shorts, mini-skirts, tank tops, or strapless clothing.

If you are going to visit Hagia Irene Church, you are lucky since it is opened to public. It is located at first courtyard of The Topkapi Palace but you will need to pay 20 TL for one person as of December 2016.

If you have a baby car and want to visit the exhibition hall, we have a bad news for you! You cannot visit the hall with the baby car. Keep this in mind when you buy a ticket.

You can print out the tour plan for the museum before you come to there from this link.

You don’t need to go to the Topkapı Museum to get a ticket. You can get one from this link. You just need to select which one you want and that is it! Remember that the ticket for one person except Harem section is 40 TL as of December 2016.

Handicapped people with one attendant, owners of ICOMOS, UNESCO and ICOM cards, owners of press cards, and children 12 years or younger can visit the museum for free.

If you are going to get your ticket at the ticket windows, you can pay in cash or by credit cards.


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