Sultans’ dwelling: Topkapı Palace

The Ottoman Emperor Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror built his first palace to the place in Beyazıt where Istanbul University is located today after he conquered Istanbul. Before The Topkapı Palace was built, Sarayburnu neighbourhood was a forested land where there were the ruins of old established cities. Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror lived in the palace in Beyazıt for about 15 years. Then, he could not stand the gorgeous beauty of Sarayburnu, and he had a palace built in here. This palace was called “Saray-ı Cedit” which means new palace. The Palace, which was built between 1475-1478, was composed of separate mansions, flower gardens and pools. [1]

After the sultanate of Mehmed the Conqueror new buildings were added for the needs of new sultans. The palace constantly expanded, restored and changed within new additions. The palace reaching today is a combination of buildings. It is like a city rather than a palace with its inner system and organization. It was a nonstop empire palace during 380 years till the Dolmabahçe Palace was built. The Topkapı palace was used, too, after the sultans’ beginning to live in the Dolmabahçe Palace. Sultanate was abolished in 1922, and it was decided in 1924 that the palace was turned into a museum. Today the palace is one of the most attractive destinations for visitors. [2]


[1] Topkapı Sarayı Müzesi, Kemal Çığ, Arkı Kitabevi, İstanbul, 1968

[2] İstanbul Bitmeden, Ayşegül Kaya, İnkılap Yayınevi, 14. Baskı, İstanbul, 2019