"The Topkapı Palace (Turkish: Topkapı Sarayı) or in Ottoman Turkish: طوپقپو سرايى) is a palace in Istanbul, Turkey, which was the official and primary residence in the city of the Ottoman Sultans for 400 years of their 624-year reign from 1465 to 1856." ( Source: Wikipedia ) This dog was very kindly looking at us - the palace dog :) “Topkapı Palace is among those monuments belonging to the ”Historic Areas of Istanbul", which became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1985, and is described in Criterion iv as "the best example of ensembles of palaces of the Ottoman period." ( Wikipedia )This building is the mosque . The gardens have beautiful old trees, they could tell us plenty of stories, I think. Rainy day, but it did not stop us to see all those fine buildings and decorations there. I would like to know, how old is this tree and what it has seen. Initial construction began in 1459, ordered by Sultan Mehmed II, the conqueror of Byzantine Constantinople. The palace is a complex made up of four main courtyards and many smaller buildings. At the height of its existence as a royal residence, the palace was home to as many as 4,000 people, formerly covering a larger area with a long shoreline. The complex has been expanded over the centuries, with many renovations such as after the 1509 earthquake and 1665 fire. It held mosques, a hospital, bakeries, and a mint. (Wikipedia) Many people and chimneys too - this part of the palace was as a kitchen, the palace was home to as many as 4,000 people, they needed food. Behind some of those doors were incredible treasures to see.People took photos by phone and I took some photos stupidly by my big camera and almost lost it to very the angry man ( the guard , who had the beautiful chocolate eyes : ) - I should understand - no photographing in such place. "Topkapı Palace gradually lost its importance at the end of the 17th century, as the Sultans preferred to spend more time in their new palaces along the Bosporus. In 1856, Sultan Abdül Mecid I decided to move the court to the newly built Dolmabahçe Palace, the first European-style palace in the city. Some functions, such as the imperial treasury, the library, mosque and mint, were retained though." (Wikipedia ) Views from the area of Topkapi were wonderful, but as you can see - a little rainy and foggy though. Bosporus and bridges over it. Some more photos from the buildings of Topkapi is coming in next post.