The Topkapı Palace

Istanbul, Turkey


Ksenia Mardina

Istanbul's largest and richest museum. It was the primary residence of the Ottoman Sultans and their harems as well as a government building. Six centuries after it boasts the same splendid tiled exterior, stained glass, pavilions (the circumcision room, the dressing room, vast kitchens) and gardens – mainly all are opened to tourists. The Blessed Mantle Pavilion hosts sacred Muslim relics like hairs from Muhammad's beard, his tooth, footprint and the mantle itself stored in a special golden chest. You can admire bejeweled throne made of gold, Topkapi emerald dagger and the 86 karat diamond. It's a real Oriental fairy tale.


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