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Topkapi Palace of the Ottoman Sultans

Listed under Castles & Palaces in Istanbul, Turkey.

  • Photo of Topkapi Palace of the Ottoman Sultans
  • Photo of Topkapi Palace of the Ottoman Sultans
  • Photo of Topkapi Palace of the Ottoman Sultans
Photo of Topkapi Palace of the Ottoman Sultans
Photo by Mike Lyvers
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Istanbul's famous Topkapi Palace is arranged within a series of large courtyards. A line of rooms facing an inner courtyard is used to display some of the incredible wealth of the Ottoman Sultans, including jewel-encrusted swords, thrones inlaid with countless diamonds and pearls, the amazingly ornate Topkapi Dagger, an 86-carat diamond, robes studded with gems, and even the bizarre jewel-sheathed arm and skull of John the Baptist. Another section has sacred Islamic relics such as a door from the Kaaba in Mecca; the Prophet Mohammed’s hairs, teeth, footprint, sword and a letter written by him; and his Sacred Cloak in a golden casket within its own separate chamber. Nearby is the Harem (from “haram,” meaning forbidden), the private quarters of the Sultans and family - including the “Gilded Cage” where the princes lived as virtual prisoners, and the quarters of the sultan’s many concubines. The chambers of the Harem are especially lavishly decorated. The Topkapi Palace is definitely one of the highlights of Istanbul.

Written by  Mike Lyvers.

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