Day 4: 13th April
This was the day when we finally visited the Topkapı sarayı. This Palace is a spectacular example of the Ottoman exuberance as well as the passion the Turks have to conserve their wealth and monuments.
As soon as you enter the Topkapi, there are two paths, one which is called “Valentines Path” which is a path that leads a little into the grounds where couples can generally practice some PDA and an uphill road leading to the palace.
A note about Istanbul: This is a city that has a lot of walking involved..lot of uphil walking and climbing. To check the museums and especially to feel that you got your money’s worth, you’ll no doubt check every tourist attraction thoroughly which means considerable walking. If there are any plans of visiting Istanbul soon then work on your fitness…you will need to!!!!
Back to the Sarayi.. (=Palace in Turkish). We had to climb on a cobbled road that had some marble columns at the side on the grass. Cars could be driven inside though. On the way to the Palace, the Istanbul Architechtural Museum presents itself.
The Istanbul Archaeological Museum is something that presents itself in 3 chapters (=Trilogy ishtyle)
1.Archaeological Museum (=arkelogi müzesi)
2.Museum of Ancient Orient
3.Museum of Islamic Arts
Beyond the gate, the road continues still forward to a large ground with paths and gardens. There you can see the gates of Topkapi Sarayi
Now In Our Professional Opinion (=Oops oh crap copied the wrong stuff out of an Office Doc!!!)
Back to the point..what i was saying is this place merits a full day. They charge TL 35 to get in and it doesnt make any sense to rush it. There is So much to see!!!
Now i know keeping up with the typical Indian Itenerary (=I know we tend to Run, Daud and Race…oops someone’s movie list spilled over!! I mean we Indians tend to run across a country in 2 days and be proud of that!!) , with a travel agent, this would be done in say 2 hours but believe me there is so much more to the Palace. Not only are you seeing an important part of Turkish history and tradition but also has a Stunning Treasure Room.
Topkapi Palace was not only the residence of the Ottoman sultans, but also the administrative and educational center of the state. Initially constructed between 1460 and 1478 by Sultan Mehmed II, the conqueror of Constantinople, and expanded upon and altered many times throughout its long history, the palace served as the home of the Ottoman sultans and their court until the middle of the 19th century.The Holy Relics of the Prophet Muhammad, and the imperial archives continue to be preserved at Topkapi.
Following the abolishment of the Ottoman monarchy in 1922, Topkapi Palace was converted into a museum on 3 April 1924, on the order of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk.
Alrite for me to give you the coup on Topkapi Sarayi I’ll have to split it up into
1. What we could Photograph
2. What was Hidden from the Camera
As per the Literature that the Topkapi Sarayi Muzesi gave us, it was divided into
1. Main Palace (=TL 20)
2. Harem (=TL 15)
But we didnt end up going to the Harem we indeed were running on a tight schedule. After Topkapi we had to go to the Bosphorus for our cruise which meant we were having a pick up from the Hotel.
Like all other Turkish Monuments there was a full closet of information here. Which will be decoded and presented (=Sigh some disadvantages of working!! It does affect the language!!)
So the first thing we did was we climbed up the path and up ahead of the Archaeological Museum. And then when we went up and saw the whole Imperial Courtyard lined with army men!!!! In Turkey, every young man Has to join the army for atleast a year. The logic is that this will make the Men a Little (=Read LOTS) smarter and sensitive (=:P) and also develop patriotic feelings. As well as get everyone to compulsorily do community service.
And just then we saw…!!!!???
What did we see?? That remains to be seen in another Story, Stay Tuned.