Topkapı Palace History

Topkapı Palace is the home of the Ottoman Sultans, and the administrative and educational center of the state.

The palace, which was built by Fatih Sultan Mehmet between 1460-1478 with further additions were made in time, continued to be the center of life and administration until the middle of the 19th century. At the beginning of the 1850s, Dolmabahçe Palace was built as a result of the inadequacy of the present palace to meet the requirements of the 19th century state protocol, and after a while the life and administration center for the dynasty was completely moved to Dolmabahçe Palace.

After the abolition of the Ottoman monarchy in 1922, Topkapı Palace was transformed into a museum by the order of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk on April 3, 1924.


Courtyards and gardens occupy a large space in the plan of Topkapı Palace. The most important structures of the palace are generally located around courtyards, such as apartments devoted to state affairs, buildings and mansions which are the residence of the sovereign, and buildings belonging to the officials living in the palace.

Topkapı Palace, home to the state administration and the daily life of the dynasty for centuries before the Dolmabahçe Palace, is a valuable historical monument in order to understand the Ottoman tradition, the royal life and the relationship between the palace and society before the westernization movements in the 19th century.

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