MT-02 - Ottoman Vision
Half day - Possible on regular and private basis
We start at the Topkapı Palace*, the main residence of the Ottoman Sultans from the 15th to the 19th century. We visit the fabulous Imperial Treasury and the Baghdad Kiosk. Topkapı Palace is now a museum and boasts unrivaled collections of jewelry, including the Cutler’s Diamond, the third largest in the world. It also has numerous Ottoman court costumes and ceramics, including one of the world’s finest collections of Chinese celadon ceramics, many of them gifts from other rulers. Interestingly, some of the ceramics have a special glaze that is said to change color in the presence of poison. We also visited the Imperial Armory, which displays centuries of Ottoman weaponry. But perhaps the most beautiful feature of the Topkapı Palace are the centuries-old trees in its courtyards; it is easy to imagine the sultan strolling here away from the cares of state and empire. Our last stop, Hagia Eirene, the Church of Holy Peace, is one of the few churches in Istanbul that was never converted into a mosque, having been used as an arsenal until the 19th century. Hagia Eirene is said to stand on the site of a pre-Christian temple and has the distinction of being the first church built in Byzantium as it became the capital of the Eastern Roman Empire. From there, we will visit Gülhane Park, once part of the outer gardens of the Topkapı Palace, where the Edict of Gülhane, a declaration of rights and freedoms that played an essential role in the modernization of the Ottoman Empire, is located. After the proclamation of the Republic, Gülhane Park housed the Istanbul Zoo for many years.
Special Terms for This Tour:
- This tour is not operated on Tuesdays as Topkapi Palace is closed.