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Istanbul Palaces

The Topkapı Palace is a large palace in Istanbul, which was the primary residence of the Ottoman Sultans for approximately 400 years (1465-1856).   As well as a royal residence, the palace was a setting for state occasions and royal entertainments.  
30 Topkapi Palace

From the palace balcony, we could see the across the Bosphorus Strait to the Asia side.
31 201308_03 Istanbul Topkapi Palace View of Asia and Europe

Here is a view of the room where ambassadors were greeted.
32 201308_03 Istanbul Topkapi Palace-Ambassador Receiving Room

In the courtyard was a huge ancient sundial.
33 201308_03 Istanbul Topkapi Palace Sundial

It is now a major tourist attraction and contains important holy relics of the Muslim world, including Muhammad’s cloak, hair and sword, Moses’ rod, Abraham’s sauce pan, King David’s sword and Joseph’s turban.

Beylerbeyi Palace was a summer residence of Ottoman sultans and a state guest house to entertain the foreign heads of state.    It was completed in April 1865 on the Asian side of the Bosphorus Strait.
36 201308_04 Beylerbeyi Palace-Asian side 1863 AD

37 201308_04 Beylerbeyi Palace-Asian side 1863 AD

Çırağan Palace was a former Ottoman palace on the European shore of the Bosphorus in 1867, but it is now a five-star hotel. 
40 Ciragan Palace-Bosphorus_shore_Istanbul-European side-now 5 star hotel

Dolmabahçe Palace on the European coastline of the Bosphorus strait, served as the main administrative center of the Ottoman Empire from 1856 to 1922.
41 201308_04 Bosphorus Tour-Dolmabahçe Palace European side 1856 AD

Istanbul Historic Places

We took a brief break in visiting cathedrals and mosques to see the famous Grand Bazaar, which was built in 1461.  
51 201308_03 Istanbul Grand Baazar

It is one of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world, with 61 covered streets and over 3,000 shops.
52 201308_03 Istanbul Grand Baazar

The Egyptian Obelisk was originally setup by Ramses III in upper Egypt.   Emperor Theoosius had it brought to Istanbul in 390 AD, where it was renamed the Obelisk of Theodosius.
55 201308_03 Istanbul Roman Hippodrome

Originally during the Roman Empire days chariot races ran around the Roman Hippodrome, where the Obelisk was placed.  In later years, the Roman Hippodrome was converted into an arena for Roman gladiatorial games.
56 201308_03 Istanbul Roman Hippodrome

Rumelian Castle (Rumelihisarı) is a fortress located on a hill at the European side of the Bosphorus.  It was built by the Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II between 1451 and 1452, before he conquered Constantinople (Istanbul).
57 201308_04 Bosphorus Tour Rumelian Castle 1451 AD

The Spice Market is the second largest covered shopping complex in Istanbul.  Only the Grand Bazaar is larger.   
60 Egyptian Spice Market Istanbul

60 201308_04 Spice Mkt

The Spice bazaar has always been the center for spice trade in Istanbul, but in recent years more shops of other type have been replacing the spice shops.
61 201308_04 Spice Mkt

61 201308_04 Spice Mkt-0

62 201308_04 Spice Mkt

To see more pictures of our Turkey Travels, click on one of the links below:

Arrival in Istanbul, Travel to Bursa and Uludag
Istanbul Mosques and Cathedrals
Istanbul Palaces and Historic Sites
Streets of Istanbul
Ephesus Area
Pamukkale Area
Aspendos, Perge and Side
Antalya and Konya
Cappadocia – Day 1 Morning
Cappadocia – Day 1 Afternoon
Cappadocia – Day 2 Morning
Cappadocia – Day 2 Afternoon
Final Day in Istanbul


Istanbul Sites