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A Visit to Topkapi Palace in Istanbul, Turkey

A must-see attraction in Istanbul, is the Topkapi Palace.

Sultan Mehmed II, conqueror of Constantinople, constructed this palace from 1460 to 1478. It was altered many times over the years. In the early 1850"s, the sultans moved to Dolmabache Palace on the Bosphorous, as Topkapi could no longer satisfy the requirements for state ceremonies and protocol. In 1924, after the abolishment of the Ottoman empire, the palace became the first official museum in Turkey. Even after the move to the new palace, Topkapi still housed the royal treasure, the imperial archives as well as the Holy Relics of the Prophet Muhammad (1).

The museum today

The palace grounds are what you would expect of a royal palace. Upon entering, you are met with a big garden, green lawn and an avenue of trees. You can bring your picnic basket and have a picnic here - if you don't mind the hoards of people visiting that is.

Topkapi Palace Museum gardens - Vagabond Journals

The buildings are beautiful, dome-shaped, all adorned with beautiful Izmir tiles and gold trim. Truly stunning.

The kitchens showcase some of the original plates, cups, urns and everything else used during the time with descriptions of how the kitchens operated.

The Library was one of our favourites, as it still contains all the books, cushion and reading tables.

Library in Topkapi Palace, Istanbul - Vagabond Journals