|Topkapi Palace entrance|
Topkapi Palace is so renovated that it is difficult to imagine how it must have looked during its heyday. Certainly the paved walkways throughout the grounds for tourist pedestrian traffic did not exist. And some of the buildings are quite obviously not original to the Palace construction.
|Harem building exterior|
|Harem courtyard entrance|
The courtyard entered into another room with a large fireplace. This room had doorways off to the right that supposedly led to the sultan's quarters quite some distance away. This was barred entry to tourists. Another doorway led to a large courtyard which was often used by the "mother" or most important wife, as well as whichever other wives she chose to accompany her.
|Harem women's courtyard|
|One of many ornate fireplaces|
|Fancy tiles on walls & ceiling|
|Mother-of-Pearl inlaid window covering|
|No clue what this is|
|First Wife's sleeping chamber|
The room opened back to the right into "mother's" or "number one wife's" courtyard. Before the courtyard there was a room with yet another fireplace, this one made from copper. The number one wife or "mother" also had a private sleeping platform in her private room. The sleeping platform was topped by intricately molded or shaped copper. We were told that sometimes the sultan visited this bedchamber rather than ordering the first wife to his chambers.
|View from First Wife's courtyard|
|Fancy tiles & stained glass windows for the male children's suite|
|Bronze fireplace for the boys|
Next we were led into the princes' suite of rooms. As is common in all Islamic culture, the males get the best of everything. These little male darlings had the most elaborate tiles and fireplaces of any place in the Palace open for public view. The sleeping platforms were spacious and elaborate. The fireplaces were beautiful. The tiles intricate. There were seating cushions wrapping completely around the day room.
|Princes' day room|
|Deposed sultans lived down there|
And that completes the tour of the Harem.
|Small corner of Topkapi Palace|
|Long line to see the Treasury|
Then we found an exhibition of carriages used over the centuries.
And that was enough of Topkapi Palace for us.
|Streets that cause aching legs|
I thoroughly enjoyed the Archaeological Museum. The oldest item in the Egyptian section was over 12,500 years old.
|Egyptian with man bag|
Enough was enough. We looked at marble statues until our eyes were glazed over. After 3 floors of artifacts and statues, we were done. We were so over-done. And we had completed only one building and 1/2 of the second building. There were at least 3 other buildings that we never entered. We were just too tired and our legs ached too much. One could spend a week appreciating this museum complex.
We had hoped to see the Dolmabahce Palace during our time in Istanbul. It supposedly makes the Topkapi Palace look like a slum. But friends said they waited in line almost 3 hours just to get inside that palace. We are not standing in line 3 hours for anything -- ever!
We cried Uncle and gave up on sightseeing.
As always, click on any image for larger view.