This palace is located almost perfectly with a view of the Golden Horn (river), the Bosphorus Strait and the Sea of Marmara. It was built between 1451 and 1481, after the conquest of Constantinople and it covers 7,000 square meters. It was the head of the Ottoman Empire for over 4 centuries. It has been turned into a museum and they have rules against taking pictures inside many of the palace buildings, but we still were able to get enough pictures to give a flavor of the palace. How do you like the size of this kitchen? The building was huge!
We were able to take some pictures of the ancillary buildings.
And remember that view I was telling you about.
There were a lot of beautiful and, I imagine, priceless artifacts to view. The most memorable was the single, largest diamond that I have ever viewed, the Spoonmaker's Diamond. It is 86 carats! The Topkapi Dagger was also amazing.
The Egyptian Spice Bazaar
We are not much into shopping so we did not visit the Grand Bazaar with the rest of the group. Okay, maybe we were just too tired, but we did visit the Egyptian Spice Bazaar the next day. You know I love to eat, so this is the kind of shopping I just can't miss. I have no idea why, but it took a full 67 years to complete (1597-1664).
There were shops for just about everything, Spices, teas, Turkish Delights, soaps, jewelry and so much more. And I loved the salesman that invited us into each shop. We were given samples of teas and too many Turkish Delights! We didn't even need lunch that day. 😃 I may have left the bazaar with a lifetime supply of tea.
Bosphorus Strait Cruise
We spent our last afternoon on a cruise along the Strait of Bosphorus. It separates Istanbul and the continents of Europe and Asia. The whole cruise was wonderful and there were a lot of beautiful sights along the way including, many mosques, Topkapi Palace, an Ottoman Fortress, Maiden's Tower, the Bosphorus Bridge and so much more.
As you can tell from our happy faces, it was a very good day!
Other Adventures in Turkey