Tile art

The walls of the Topkapi palace are a riot of colourful tiles. One can spend a lot of time admiring them. But this post is not about the tiles themselves, but the larger pieces made of ceramics. There is little representational art in the palace, and the three pieces i show here stand out as… Continue reading Tile art

Commemorating Baghdad

The fourth courtyard of Topkapi palace was the playground of sultans. It was completely secluded from the world, and was perhaps first seen by others only when Topkapi fell out of use. It is littered (is that the right word?) with pavilions, towers, and kiosks built by different sultans from the 15th to the 19th… Continue reading Commemorating Baghdad

The delightful doors of Topkapi

We bought our tickets to the Topkapi palace inside the first courtyard, and entered the second courtyard through an imposing gateway (featured photo) called Orta Kapi. This is Turkish for a very prosaic name: middle gate. The gate is as impressive as it looks here, with the two Byzantine-looking towers standing over it. The calligraphy… Continue reading The delightful doors of Topkapi

The library of the inner palace

The early 18th century was called the Tulip Period in the Ottoman empire. This era was the rule of sultan Ahmed III, a peaceful time where many changes began to take place. Printing presses, art, culture, trade, and a turn towards Europe are now not as easily remembered as the craze for tulips which gives… Continue reading The library of the inner palace

It’s all in the details

We thought we would spend a leisurely afternoon walking through the Topkapi Palace, but it became more hectic than we had expected. The building of the palace started in 1450 CE, soon after the sultan Mehmet conquered Istanbul, and continued until the 17th century. The result is that there is a lot to see, and… Continue reading It’s all in the details