No, get your mind out of the gutter, it’s not like you’re imagining at all! (Although I was wondering how my number of site visitors would go up if I tagged this with the word harem!)
Sunday was all about Topkapi Palace:
It was the palace of the sultans (and yes, their wives,mothers, and other women lived in the harem) for 400 years, from the 15th to 19th centuries. As the needs of the sultan changed, a new and different part was added to the palace. This makes the palace enormous, and I spent over four hours there.
First comes the first courtyard:
And after that I have to admit that I can’t remember specifically where many of these photos came from (harem vs the other public areas). It really is just that big and a little overwhelming, but yet another beautiful and historic site. There is an amazing view of the Bosphorus and, at the innermost part of the palace, a tulip garden.
Can you tell how much I love the ceramics here?
And though I can’t show you pictures as photography was forbidden, I did go into the exhibits at the palace as well. These included a sacred artifacts exhibit (with a cast of Mohammed’s footprint and a staff purporting to be Moses’s), a room of various sultans’ gorgeous caftans, arms and armor that I think my archer friends would love to see (such lovely inlaid bows!), and rooms containing the treasury items like huge diamonds and gold thrones.