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Topkapi Palace Istanbul Reviews
Topkapı Sarayı Apr 04, 2015
Have you heard for a historical Turkish soap opera television series" Muhteşem Yüzyıl"? Well, it was one of the reasons why I wanted to enter and explore this palace by myself.
The total area of Topkapı Palace was much larger than what it is today. From one side it is surrounded by Gülhane Parkı. From the street Divan yolu, besides the Fountain of Ahmed III, you'll have to pass first the Imperial Gate( Bâb-ı Hümâyûn), the main entrance into the First Courtyard. Everybody can enter this park without a fee. At the Gate of Salutation (Bâb-üs Selâm), entrance to the Second Courtyard, you'll see long lines of visitors, waiting to pass the security control and to show the tickets. At last there is The Imperial Mint (Darphane-i Âmire) after you get into the Third courtyard with several pavilions.
In front of the pavilion with the Imperial jewels is the longest queque, something like at the very entrance to the palace. You may spend an hour standing to get inside, but once you enter, you forget all troubles with a sight of the magnificent pieces of precious stones and metals.
Next to it is the Pavilion of the Holy Mantle where are held the Sacred Relics( Kutsal Emanetler Dairesi) of Peygamber: a bow, one tooth, a hair of his beard, his battle sabres, an autographed letter, and many other things.
From the upper terrace with a fountain and the Baghdad kiosk is a marvelous view of the Galata quarter on the opposite side of the Golden Horn (Haliç). On the other side of the palace there are stairs that leads to the spacious modern restaurant with the excellent view of the Bosphorus. There you can have the same meals that were prepared for the sultan centuries ago. Prices follow the quality. If you want to see all of the parts of this enorme palace, you'll really need a break in this restaurant or somewhere in the gardens.
In the Third Courtyard opposite of a nicely decorated drinking fountain, there is a very old hollow tree, that also attracts attention of the visitors.
Ticket for the palace per person costs 30 TL. If you want to visit Harem section you'll have to pay additional 15 TL. You can buy it online or in the First Courtyard. On the exit from the palace, there is a little gift shop, like in all this type museums, that you can enter only after you pass the security control at the main entrance, in other words with already payed visit.
In my opinion the best month to visit the palace is April, when gardens are full of tulip in the biggest variety and colours. This famous Turkish Imperial flower was kept here for centuries before its bulbs were taken to the rest of the world.
Part of the From Turkey with Love travel blog
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