Topkapı Palace was not only the residence of the Ottoman sultans, but also the administrative and educational centre of the state. Initially constructed between 1460 and 1478 by Sultan Mehmed II, the conqueror of Constantinople, and expanded upon and altered many times throughout its long history, the palace served as the home of the Ottoman sultans and their court until the middle of the 19th century. In the early 1850s, the palace became inadequate to the requirements of state ceremonies and protocol, and so the sultans moved to Dolmabahçe Palace, located on the Bosphorus. Despite this move, the royal treasure, the Holy Relics of the Prophet Muhammad, and the imperial archives continued to be preserved at Topkapı, and-since the palace was the ancestral residence of the Ottoman dynasty as well as the place where the Holy Relics were preserved-Topkapı continued to play host to certain state ceremonies. Following the abolishment of the Ottoman monarchy in 1922, Topkapı Palace was converted into a museum on April 3rd 1924, on the order of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk.
It was built shortly after the conquest of Constantinople, 1453 by order of Sultan Mehmet II, known by his nickname ‘Fatih’ means ‘Conqueror’.
In 1964, the movie ‘Topkapi’ was filmed on this place, from a band of thieves trying to steal a dagger from the Sultan’s Emerald that is still exposed in this museum. Melina Mercorui and Maximilliano were in the cast of this film that gave much inspiration to many later ones.
It is the most visited museum in the country, which annually receives around 6 million tourists from all over the world. This result is created for two main reasons, in addition to its beautiful gardens: First the legacies of the ancient prophets are stored and exposed in this palace. The left hand bone of St. John the Baptist, The sword of David, The staff of Moses, the mark of the foot of the prophet, and his mantle are on the list of the collection of the Relics.
The second reason is certainly the valuable collections of riches, such as imperial jewels, and the collection of weapons. Among them, the 86-carat Kasikci diamond and 40 diamonds around it is the highlight of the museum.
Part of the harem is another museum within the Topkapı museum. If you want to visit, know that you have to buy another ticket before.
It is worth hiring a private guide, because many things will catch your attention and calmly and ends up being better to apprehend the nomadic culture of the Ottoman Turks.
See the official website of the Topkapi Museum: http://www.topkapisarayi.gov.tr/ For those who wish, it is available from the collection of relics with 360 degree technology, check out: http://www.360tr.com/ 34_istanbul / kutsalemanet / english /
Taking Photo inside the exhibiton halls is prohibited
Please, do not take photo inside the exhibition halls in which contains/ displays objects.
Entering sections with baby cars is prohibited
Baby cars are not allowed to enter to the museum sections. Please don’t forget this rule before buy a ticket.
We ask you to wear appropriate clothes or use the cloths provided by our staff while visiting the Sacred Relics Department
We ask that you refrain from entering the Sacred Relics Department with shorts, mini-skirts, tank tops, or strapless clothing..
Tripod usage is liable to permission
Museum is open every day except Tuesdays.
Winter Season: Between October 30th – April 15th
Museum, Harem and Hagia Irene can be visited between 9:00 AM – 4:45 PM as last entrance to the Museum 4:00 PM
Attention: Ticket booths close at 4:00 PM
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