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The Topkapi Palace dominates the tip of the cape where Istanbul’s old city is located. For almost 400 years, this was the symbolic and political centre of the Ottoman Empire. Once home to the sultan and his harem, the palace is now a beautiful museum. The palace, which encompasses several buildings, charming courtyards and splendid gardens, is now open to the public.
The Topkapi Palace was built between 1460 and 1478 as the main residence of Mehmet the Conqueror of Constantinople. The building is a stone version of the tent camps of the nomadic Ottomans. Once you pass through the entry gate with its white towers you enter the world of the Ottoman sultans. The kitchen displays a huge collection of Chinese porcelain which was brought to Turkey via the Silk Route. For an additional fee you may also see the living quarters of the women who were part of the sultans’ harem.