Topkapi Palace, Istanbul

Jerry and I made another early start when we went to photograph the Topkapi Palace, but the complex was already crowded with sight-seers when we arrived. Jerry paused outside the "Gate of Salutations", to video the crowds. The inscription above the gate reads, "There is no God but Allah, and Mohammed is his prophet."

 The walls of the harem, guarding the warren of rooms and 
corridors that make up this complex.

Topkapi Palace covers such a vast area that it takes most of a day to really do it justice. This was the home of the Ottoman sultans for nearly 400 years, and was built by Mehmet II, on the site where the Byzantium Emperors had ruled since Roman times. Topkapi doesn't fit into most people's idea of a palace, as there is no one grand architectural edifice, but rather a collection of small buildings, surrounded by gardens and walkways.

An example of the intricate tiling in the harem

Jerry photographing some detail underneath an imposing 
entrance to a section of the harem

Even the pathways are beautifully designed

We saw many examples of exquisite doors, inlaid with mother of pearl

Jerry taking photos in the "Courtyard of the Queen Mother", 
a central courtyard where members of the royal household could meet.

One of the stained glass window in the royal princes suite.

We had lunch at the Topkapi restaurant, with a magnificent view overlooking the Bosphorus. Although I am sure that the view today is vastly different from the one that the sultans saw.

Photographed out, we finally left Topkapi and walked down the hill to the Bosphorus, stopping to look at the Sirkeci Railway Station, the final stop of the Orient Express.

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