Monday, July 9, 2012

Turkey 2: Istanbul - Topkapi Palace

According to Wikipeda, Topkapi Palace was the primary residence for the Ottoman Sultans for approximately 400 years, ending in 1856.

I believe this is the outside of the Sultan's residence, which was located inside his fortified compound.There was so so much to see and we moved so quickly that it will be impossible for me to create a comprehensive, photographic travelog type tour in these posts.

The best I'll be able to do is offer some scenes that happen to have caught my eye along the way. Here, above, is the imperial council chamber where the Sultan entertained foreign guests.

Outside of the harem building inside the second court.

Notice the series of circular, domed roofs. 

Inside, each of those domes and the surrounding ceiling was elaborately decorated.

Each dome was decorated with a unique pattern and color palette.

Another example, showing how the domed room were connected to each other.  Notice how the design on the inner dome above is completely different from the one where I'm standing.

Walls of the palace were also richly decorated.  This wall looks like it could be wallpapered. In reality, the portion of the pattern that we see here consists of 88 individual ceramic tiles, each I guessed to be approximately 4-1/2 to 5 inches square.

Inside the harem quarters, you can see how large numbers of those types of tiles formed elaborate designs.  Every wall in the palace was decorated in this fashion.

A different room in the harem quarters.  With several hundred women living close together in these quarters, each vying for attention from the Sultan, one can only imagine how intense the palace intrigue must have been.

This room had a huge dome as its ceiling.  I found much of the place dark and depressing.  However, since no flash was allowed inside the building, the resulting pictures rather accurately portray what it must have been like to have lived here.

Taken from the favorite's courtyard, one can see what remains of a reflecting pool outside the harem building.

Outer walls of the palace.  Notice how the palace sits on the top of a hill overlooking the ocean.

Outside the palace walls, food vendors did a brisk business.  Click on any photo for a larger image.  If you can't read the sign, this vendor sold Turkish Delight.  Melony said the taste lived up to its name.

Continue on to Post 3: Istanbul - Blue Mosque and Basilica Cistern, by clicking here.


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