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Night view of Topkapi Palace from across the Bosphorus (Lefteris Papaulakis  / Adobe Stock)

Topkapi Palace, Showcasing Ottoman Splendor And Opulence

Centuries before Versailles, Buckingham Palace and the Kremlin Palace, on the shore where the Western world meets the East, cupped by the Sea of Marmara, the Bosphorus Strait and the Golden Horn, there rose a palace of such splendor, called Topkapi, where Ottoman sultans lived in lavish luxury, entertained kings, princes and foreign dignitaries, hoarded and displayed their riches and treasures and kept a harem of 1,000 concubines. Topkapi’s grandeur is tangible evidence of the Islamic Ottoman victory when Constantinople, the last bastion of the Roman-Byzantine Empire, finally fell.

View of the Fourth Courtyard of Topkapi Palace secluded behind the Walls of Constantinople (EvrenKalinbacak/Adobe Stock)

On May 29, 1453, 21-year old Sultan Mehmet II the Conqueror of the Ottoman Dynasty, finally brought the Byzantine Empire to its knees by conquering Constantinople. Not only did the Fall of Constantinople herald the end of the Middle Ages, it also changed military history as the Theodosian Walls were not approached by siege towers, but relentlessly bombarded with gunpowder, until the city surrendered. The city was sacked, looted and the men, women and children mercilessly raped, even on the altar of the Hagia Sophia,  but when the dust settled and the survivors and conquerors regained their senses, Sultan Mehmet II began to transform the city into one of the most beautiful and exotic the world has ever seen, crowned by a majestic palace complex, today called Topkapi Palace, a place of ostentatious splendour, showcasing the Ottoman supremacy.


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