Turkish and Islamic Art Museum:
The Leandros Tower:
Topkapi Palace which was built by Mehmet The Conqueror between the years 1462 and 1478 was constructed at Seraglio Point surrounded by the Sea of Marmara, the Golden Horn and the Bosphorus . It is located on the first hill of old city. Topkapi Palace is one of the finest examples of the Ottoman civil architecture in existence. After harems were added to it Suleyman moved with all his harem to the new palace. Topkapi Palace, the greatest residence of The Ottoman Dynasty, is one of the best museums in the world. This vast and fascinating complex served as Imperial residence for the Ottoman Empire for more than four centuries.
Topkapi Palace consisted of three courts and a large terrace. The first court was open to the public but the second court requiresd special permission to enter. The third court was reserved for servants, court officials and students, This court had a mint. the Ministry of Finances, a bakery and a hospital.
The second gate, which looked like a fortress with two towers opened into the second court. The Kitchens were located to the right and consisted of ten rooms with three large domes. In each room cooking was done for different ranks-for the sultan, for his mother and his wives. A head cook, ten chefs and 480 cooks worked each day cooking for 5000- 7000 people and during holiday time for 10000- 12000 people. Today Chinese, Japanese, Turkish and European porcelain are exhibited in these former kitchens. This is the world's third largest collection of porcelain after Peking and Dresden.
The complex of the harem has 400 rooms,10 baths, 2 mosques, a hospital and a prison. The most influential person in the harem after the sultan was the sultan's mother. The third most important person in the harem was the Chief Black Eunuch.
In addition, the third court included schools, a summer residence and bath, government buildings and a mosque.
In the first room one can see the armor of Mustafa III, decorated with gems, the ivory throne of Murat IV, a golden music box in the shape of an elephant, pearl trimmed Koran holders, golden water pipes, tobacco boxes, shields, swords, helmets, daggers pistols, and vases of jade.
In the second room is the canopy throne decorated with mother of pearl, emeralds and rubies belonging to Ahmet I, the golden cradle of the princes, precious stones, and the Topkapi dagger with emeralds and 22 uncut emeralds.
The third room contains the 86 carat diamond surrounded by 49 brilliants, two golden candle holders, and an Indian throne trimmed with 250.000 pearls.
In the former government building, built by Mehmet II, the holy relics brought from Egypt by Sultan Selim are kept. The prophet's mantle, Muhammad's sword, his bamboo bow, his letter to the patriarch of Egypt, one of his teeth, a hair from his beard, and his footprint in the marble of Mecca can be seen.
The terrace is decorated with several pavilions, the most beautiful being the Bagdat Pavilion which was built to commemorate the conquest of Bagdat in 1638. Other pavillions include The Revan Pavilion which was built in 1631, The Mecidiye Pavilion built in the 18th century and the Sofa Pavilion built in 1704.