Places to visit in istanbul Turkey - Topkapı Palace...

Topkapı Palace in İstanbul

Topkapı Palace in İstanbul - Turkey : The Topkapı Palace (Turkish: Topkapı Sarayı or in Ottoman Turkish: طوپقپو سرايى) is a large palace in Istanbul, Turkey, that was the primary residence of the Ottoman Sultans for approximately 400 years (1465-1856) of their 624-year reign.
As well as a royal residence, the palace was a setting for state occasions and royal entertainments. It is now a major tourist attraction and contains important holy relics of the Muslim world, including Muhammed's cloak and sword.The Topkapı Palace is among the monuments contained within the "Historic Areas of Istanbul", which became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1985, and is described in Criterion iv as "the best example[s] of ensembles of palaces [...] of the Ottoman period.".

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Construction began in 1459, ordered by Sultan Mehmed II, the conqueror of Byzantine Constantinople. The palace complex consists of four main courtyards and many smaller buildings. At its peak, the palace was home to as many as 4,000 people, and covered a large area with a long shoreline. The complex was expanded over the centuries, with major renovations after the 1509 earthquake and the 1665 fire. The palace contained mosques, a hospital, bakeries, and a mint. The name translates as "Cannon gate Palace" from a nearby gate which has since been destroyed.

From the end of the 17th century the Topkapı Palace gradually lost its importance as the Sultans preferred to spend more time in their new palaces along the Bosporus. In 1856, Sultan Abdül Mecid I decided to move the court to the newly built Dolmabahçe Palace, the first European-style palace in the city. Some functions, such as the imperial treasury, the library, and the mint were retained in the Topkapı Palace.

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