Topkapi Palace (part 1): Istanbul

  • 26 Jun 2008 08:40:52 GMT


    I went to Istanbul last yr. Amazing place with history and art, especially Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, etc. Also only city on 2 continents!

    they were unlucky yesterday, almost they took it to extra time. I liked the match Turkey had with Czech

  • 26 Jun 2008 10:22:09 GMT

    [However they played superb Soccer!]

    Amazing isnt it??

    They nearly stuffed Germans!!

  • 26 Jun 2008 13:53:45 GMT

    Wow so much details!

  • 26 Jun 2008 17:42:50 GMT


    It is a wonderful place

    there are few annotations wrong.

  • 26 Jun 2008 17:49:09 GMT

    Pic 5: Courtyard of Eunuch

    Pic 6: Imperial Diva (not Holy relics section)

    Pic 7: Kubbeath

    6&7 part of Imperial Council

  • 26 Jun 2008 20:36:13 GMT

    Tasteful architecture:))

  • 26 Jun 2008 21:15:36 GMT


    Istanbul architecture is very variable and diverse, was capital of Roman (for short while), Byzantine and Ottoman Emires

  • 26 Jun 2008 21:23:25 GMT

    [Courtyard of Eunuchs pic 5]

    Another door leads to the Courtyard of the (Black) Eunuchs (Harem A alar Ta l ), with on the left side their apartments. At the end of the court is the apartment of the black chief eunuch (K zlar A as ), the fourth high-ranking official in the official protocol. In-between lays the school for the imperial princes with precious tiles from the 17th and 18th centuries and gilded wainscoting. At the end of the court is the main gate to the harem (C mle Kap si). The narrow corridor on the left side leads to the apartments of the odalisques (white slaves given as a gift to the sultan).

    Many of the eunuchs quarters face this courtyard, which is the first one of the Harem, since they also acted as guards under the command of the Chief Harem Eunuch. The spaces surrounding this courtyard were rebuilt after the great fire of 1665. The complex includes the dormitory of the Harem eunuchs behind the portico, the quarters of the Chief Harem Eunuch (Dar ssaade A as ) and the School of Princes as well as the Gentlemen-in-Waiting of the Sultan (Musahipler Dairesi) and the sentry post next to it. The main entrance gate of the Harem and the gate of the Ku hane connected the Ender n court leads out into the Ku hane door.

    The dormitories of the Harem eunuchs (Harem A alar Ko you u) date to the 16th century. They are arranged around an inner courtyard in three storeys. The inscription on the facade of the dormitory includes the deeds of trust of the Sultans Mustafa IV, Mahmud II and Abd l Mecid I dating from the 19th century. The rooms on the upper storeys were for novices and those below overlooking the courtyard were occupied by the eunuchs who had administrative functions. There is a monumental fireplace revetted with the 18th century K tahya tiles at the far end. The Chief Harem Eunuch`s apartment (Dar ssaade A asi Dairesi) adjacent to the dormitory contains a bath, living rooms and bed rooms. The school room of the princes under the control of the Chief Harem eunuch was on the upper storey. The walls were revetted with 18th century European tiles with baroque decorations]


    [Imperial Coucil - pic 6%7]

    The Imperial Council (D v n--305 H m y n) building is the chamber in which the ministers of state, council ministers (D v n Heyeti), the Imperial Council, consisting of the Grand Vizier (Pa-351 a Kap-305 s-305 ), viziers, and other leading officials of the Ottoman state, held meetings. It is also called Kubbealt-305 , which means `under the dome`, in reference to the dome in the council main hall. It is situated in the northwestern corner of the courtyard next to the Gate of Felicity.

    The first Council chambers in the palace were built during the reign of Mehmed II, and the present building dates from the period of S leyman the Magnificent by the chief architect Alseddin. It has since undergone several changes, was much damaged and restored after the Harem fire of 1665, and according to the entrance inscription it was also restored during the periods of Selim III and Mahmud II.[

    From the 18th century onwards, the place began to lose its original importance, as state administration was gradually transferred to the Sublime Porte (B b--305 li) of the Grand Viziers. The last meeting of the Council in the palace chambers was held on Wednesday, August 30, 1876, when the cabinet (V kela Heyeti) met to discuss the state of Murat V, who had been indisposed for some time.

    The council hall has multiple entrances both from inside the palace and from the courtyard. The porch consists of multiple marble and porphyry pillars, with an ornate green and white-coloured wooden ceiling decorated with gold. The floor is covered in marble. The entrances into the hall from outside are in the rococo style, with gilded grills to admit natural light. While the pillars are earlier Ottoman style, the wall paintings and decorations are from the later rococo period. Inside, the Imperial Council building consists of three adjoining main rooms. Two of the three domed chambers of this building open into the porch and the courtyard. The Divanhane, built with a wooden portico at the corner of the Divan Court (Divan Meydani) in the 15th century, was later used as the mosque of the council but was removed in 1916. There are 3 domed chambers:

    -The first chamber where the Imperial Council held its deliberations is the Kubbealt-305 .

    -The second chamber was occupied by the secretarial staff of the Imperial Divan.

    -In the adjacent third chamber called Defterh-257 ne, records were kept by the head clerks. The last room also served as an archive in which documents were kept.

    -On its fa ade are verse inscriptions which mention the restoration work carried out in 1792 and 1819, namely under Sultan Selim III and Mahmud II. The rococo decorations on the fa ade and inside the Imperial Council date from this period. The main chamber Kubbealt-305 is however in decorated with Ottoman K tahya tiles. Three long sofas along the sides were the seats for the officials, with a small hearth in the middle. The small gilded ball that hangs from the ceiling represent the earth. It is placed in front of the sultan`s window and symbolises him dispensing justice to the world, as well as keeping the powers of his viziers in check.

    In the Imperial Council meetings the political, administrative and religious affairs of the state and important concerns of the citizens were discussed. The Imperial Council normally met four times a week (Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday) after prayer at dawn. The meetings of the Imperial Council were run according to an elaborate and strict protocol