Topkapi Palace is the famous palace of the Magnificent Century. When Sultan Mehmet II (Fatih Sultan Mehmet) of the Ottoman Empire took Constantinople (Istanbul) in 1453, imperial Byzantine Great Palace of Constantinople was largely in ruins so Sultan Mehmet II ( after the conquest he was nicknamed as the Conqueror) requested the development of another royal residence for this new Ottoman capital (Istanbul) after seeing the desolate state of the Byzantine palace. The Conqueror had a palace built in Beyazit where Istanbul University's main building resides today.
This first palace was later going to be called the Old Palace (Eski Saray) because the sultan searched for a better location for his new palace, and desired a larger and more efficient structure designed exclusively for administrative purposes. The sultan chose the place of the old Byzantine acropolis. The construction of the new palace started in 1459 and finished in 1478. The Conqueror called this place Saray-i Cedid-i Amire (Imperial New Palace). The New Palace was built upon a 700.000 squaremeters ((172.9acres)) area on Byzantine Acropolis located at Sarayburnu in the Istanbul Peninsula between Sea of Marmara, Bosphorus and the Golden Horn.
The name "New Palace" was used until mid 18th. century. The palace received its final name during the reign of Sultan Mahmud I. Topkapusu Sahil Sarayi (Cannon Gate Palace by the sea) had gone through a fire and severely damaged. In memory of the place, its name was given to the New Palace.
Topkapi Palace served as an administrative, educational, art center for approximately four centuries. It has been home for sultans of the Ottoman Empire from 15th century to 19th century, from Sultan Mehmed II the Conqueror (7th Sultan) to Sultan Abdulmecid I (31th Sultan). Throughout the years, the palace complex experienced consistent advancement. A few structures vanished, some were crushed by flame and earthquakes and some others were destroyed to clear a path for new structures. The palace was not a solitary enormous structure built at one go. Rather, it was a natural structure which was never static, and mirrored the styles and tastes of numerous periods it had served for Ottoman Empire.
In mid 19th century, Sultan Abdulmecid had Dolmabahce Palace built. The construction of the palace lasted 13 years (1843-1856). As soon as the construction ended, Ottoman Dynasty completely left Topkapı Palace and moved to the European style, newly built Dolmabahce Palace. The main reason why Sultan Abdulmecid wanted a new palace was that he thought that Topkapi Palace was inadequate in luxury, comfort and contemporary style in contrast to the palaces of European rulers. Dolmabahce Palace was built to belie the decline of the Ottoman Empire, to show the world it is still powerful.
After the foundation of the Republic of Turkey, Topkapı Palace, was turned into a museum (April 3th 1924). It is also the first museum of the Republic of Turkey. Topkapı Palace Museum covers roughly 400.000 squaremeters today.
You can visit Topkapi Palace every day except Tuesday.
Summer Schedule: (APRIL 15th - OCTOBER 30th) (Museum, Harem and Hagia Irene)
Visiting Hours: 09.00 - 18:45
Tickets Sold Until: 18:00
Winter Schedule: (OCTOBER 30th - APRIL 15th) (Museum, Harem and Hagia Irene)
Visiting Hours: 09:00- 16:45
Tickets Sold Until: 16:00
Ticket Price: 40 TL
Buy Topkapi Palace Tickets Online
You can follow the link below to buy e-ticket for Topkapi Palace Museum. You can also buy a museum pass to get more value for your money through the link as well. Buying Topkapi Palace tickets in advance will save you a lot of time since you will have chance to skip the line of the most popular tourist attraction of Istanbul.