Istanbul - Topkapi Palace

Istanbul Travel Blog

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Topkapi Palace entrance
The following morning started with a tour of the Topkapi Palace. This used to be the palace of the Ottoman sultans, now converted to a museum. We began the tour of the palace via the harem, the section where the ladies used to live. The harem was ruled over by the mother of the sultan, and guarded by black eunichs to ensure no man besides the sultan and the princes may enter. The hierarchy then goes down to the first wife, then the favourites, consorts who have bore the sultan children, and then to the concubines. All the concubines are slave girls from local and neighbouring areas whose way out is to attain the sultan's favour.

Then we visited the museum housing the artifacts from the royal treasury. No photos were allowed, but I managed to snap a quick picture of the royal seal that was held by the sultan, required to remove anything from the treasury (sorry about the picture quality).
Royal signet ring of the sultan
There were countless pieces of jewery, ceremonial swords, precious stones, etc. There are also artifacts from the Kaaba present and I managed to learn quite a bit about the muslim faith going through the various exhibits.

After the tour of the palace, we split up and I went back to the hostel to do a bit of work and catch up on a bit of sleep. That evening we made our way out to the aquaducts and managed to take the scenic route there leading us through the Suleymaniye Mosque (one of the most important mosques in modern Istanbul), then through some rather broken down residential area. The aquaducts popular in many Roman cities were quite an architectual achievement at the time, allowing the transportation of water and making it possible for cities to reach never-before-seen sizes.
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Topkapi Palace entrance
Topkapi Palace entrance
Royal signet ring of the sultan
Royal signet ring of the sultan
Harem - Hall of the Concubines
Harem - Hall of the Concubines
Roof of the bathhouse in Topkapi
Roof of the bathhouse in Topkapi
Replicas of harem life...if these …
Replicas of harem life...if these…
Sultans throne
Sultan's throne
Roof of one of the rooms in Topkapi
Roof of one of the rooms in Topkapi
Aquaducts
Aquaducts
Istanbul
photo by: Memo