Istanbul Palaces - Istanbul Fortresses
Palaces & Fortresses :
First palace Mehmet II had built in Istanbul is the Eski Saray (The Old Palace) situated in Beyazit. Later, the Topkapi Palace was built (the New Palace) in Sarayburnu During the last period of Ottoman Empire a great many palaces were built on Bosphorus. First example is the Kavak Palace in Uskudar which was demolished during construction of Selimiye Military Barracks. Very many mansion houses were built on both Sides of the Bosphorus. These mansions were demolished during the periods of Sultan Abdulmecit and Abdulaziz and were replaced by buildings foreign to Ottoman style, imitating European Palaces.
Sahil (Seaside) Palace built in Besiktas in the period of Mahmut II was made demolished by Abdulmecit and replaced by the Dolmabahce Palace (1818-1856).
Beylerbeyi Palace on the Anatolian side of the Bosphorus is a summer Palace (1865). Ciragan Palace residence of the Sultan caused to be built by Abdulaziz (1863-1871 ) was left uncared after the 1910 fire. In 1988, attempts of converting it into a hotel were completed and serves as five star Hotel now.
Yildiz Palace to which attention was attached and used especially by Abdulhamit II is also formed of the Sale, the Malta and the Cadır Kiosks, armory and porcelain shops added to the surroundings of the kiosk by the mother of Sultan Selim III.
Aynalı Kavak Summer Palace on the shores of the Golden Horn was caused to be built by Mehmet II. It was built in place of the Dockyard Palace. It was decorated with mirrors presented by Venetians in the period of Ahmet III.
Göksu Summer Palace on the Anatolian side, Tophane Summer Palace in Tophane and Ihlamur Summer Palace in Besiktas are mentioned among the mansions the Sultans caused to be built for short term accommodation and hunting. Still there are the remains of the Kalender Summer Palace, caused to be built by Abdulaziz. Most significant property of the Sadabat Summer palace in Kagithane, caused to be built by Head Vizier Damat Ibrahim Pasha, in the water system built with artificial canals supplied with waters brought from the Kagithane creek.
Topkapi Palace :
The first Ottoman Palace after 1453 is in Beyazid, completed and attained its present appearance in 1850 with continuing additions made through centuries. The palace covering surface area of 700,000 m2 is composed of a good number of mansions, kiosks, governmental departments, barracks, mosque, library and the large kitchen.
It has been the Ottoman ruling focus for a period of 400 years. It turned over its functions to the Dolmabahce Palace in 1853, however it housed the old Sultan families till Republican period. The palace, which was opened to visits of foreigners with a special permission during last periods of the Sultanate, was converted to a museum upon the order of Ataturk (1924).
Fortresses in Istanbul :
Anatolian Fortress: It was built in the period of Beyazit I to control sea transport of Byzantium (end of l4th century). Mehmet II had Rumelian Fortress built on the opposite shore. These two fortresses stopping the aids which would be sent to Byzantium from the Black Sea lost their significance after the conquest. Later, they were used as prisons. Mehmet II after capturing the city, has ordered the construction of Yedikule Fortresses in Altinkapi (1457-1458). This fortress was shaped like a star. Ottoman treasury was protected here for a while, afterwards, it was used as a prison. Only six towers of the fortress remain today.Istanbul stands between Europe and Asia and is a once in a life-time 'must visit'. Istanbul, was formerly known as Constantinople, and before that Byzantium. It was also home to the largest building in the world for a thousand years and Haghia Sophia is still standing despite earthquakes. The design of Mosques actually comes from this building which was originally a church built in 535AD. You should not miss this city.
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