Topkapi Palace was home to all the Ottoman
sultans until the reign of Abdulmecid I (1839-1860), a period of nearly
The order for the construction of the Topkapi Palace on the Seraglio
Point overlooking both Marmara and Bosphorus was given by Mehmed II
after the conquest of Constantinapolis in 1453. The place was then an ancient olive grove. The final form
of the first palace covered an area 700m², and was enclosed with fortified walls
1400 meters in length.
The walls were pierced by a number of gates, namely the Otluk gate, the
Demir gate and the Imperial gate (Bab-i Humayun), and a number of minor angled
gates between them. After the reign of Mehmed II the Conqueror, the palace grew steadily
to form a city like complex of buildings and annexes, including a shore
palace known as the Topkapi shore palace, as it was situated near the cannon gate
-Topkapi- of the ancient walls of Istanbul. When the shore palace was burned down
in 1863, it lent its name to the great complex we now know as Topkapi
Palace. The main portal, the Bab-i Humayun, was suited next to the mosque
of Ayasofya (Haghia Sophia Church), and this led a series of four courts surrounded by
various structures. The courts, chambers, pavilions and other sections
can be viewed at the floor plan of Topkapi Palace.
In this page, you can find pointers to the pictures of illuminated manuscript pages in the museum sections and pictures of sections illustrating the architecture of the palace. Please visit the pages at the left frame to get more information on the Palace and Museum.
The museum director Prof. Ilber Ortayli is a columnist at daily Milliyet. Here are some of his articles:
Sultan Mehmet II, The Conqueror ,
III. Selim ,
Guns and Armory and "Muhtesem Yuzyil",
Decline of Spain, Habsburg and Ottoman Empire ,
Cem Sultan .
Click the following links to see the 360 panoramic pictures from the