9. Topkapi Palace in Istambul
Topkapi palace was built by the Ottoman warrior-sultan Mehmet the Conqueror after the conquest of Constantinople in 1453. It remained the heart of the empire until the mid-nineteenth century when a newer grand palace was built in European style. In 1923 the Ottoman Empire came to an end, the Turkish Republic was born, and Topkapi became a museum. Topkapi is a series of buildings enclosed on one of the seven hills of Istanbul overlooking the Sea of Marmara and the Golden Horn. The complex is arranged in four consecutive courtyards separated by gates with the inner most reserved for the royal family and the harem. This illustrated talk focus on the plan of the palace grounds, the extraordinary treasures, and the organization of the royal household.