After a visit to the modern part of Istanbul, Beyoglu, we thought it was time to pay hommage to the Sultan. The Topkapi Palace stand majestically above the centre of Istanbul and is the juwel of the crown of all sights to be seen in Istanbul. This palace was the home of many sultans from where they reigned over the Ottoman Empire. Mehmet de conquerer built it in 1453 and Mahmut de 2nd (1808 – 1839) was the last of the many sultans who lived there.
Because of the grand scale of the palace, we decided to head for the ‘most reffered to part’ The Harem. We wanted to see how the sultan lived his live supposedly surrounded by many women. But none of this seems to be true. The Harem is the area where he lived with his family and where he had meetings with international heads of state. When we asked the guide how Sultan Murat got his 113 children!, we did not get answer! So, the Harem remains a mystery.
After the Harem we decided to have a look at the Sacred Safekeeping Rooms. Here a lot of Sacred artifacts are stored and therefor a sacred place for many. We saw a couple of hairs of the prophet mohammed, a footprint of Mohammed (size 12…?1), a golden box containing mohammeds cloak and a walking that belonged to Mozes. Actually all quite cool!! We ended our tour with a visit to the Treasury where the worlds fifth largest diamond was on display. According to histroy, this stone was found on a rubbish dump, then sold to a broker for three theespoons (how foolish) and when found out, demanded to be given to the sultan.
We ended the day in the area beneath the palace, Sultanahmet eating the Sultans Meatballs. Because we had so much fun eating his majesties meatballs, we hope we won’t end up on the toilet with ‘the revenge of the Sultan’ as they call it here!