5 Most stunning palaces to visit in Turkey

Ottoman Rule in Turkey extends for more than seven centuries. In such a long period of their rule, they have made several wonderful palaces in different regions of Turkey. Byzantine Empire lost Constantinople to the Ottoman Rulers. Defeating the Byzantine lords of Constantinople, Ottoman built several lost castles and palaces. A few of them are rebuilt on the remains of Byzantine castles, while other new were built such as the Topkapi Palace.

5 worth visiting palaces in Turkey

Topkapi Palace

The Topkapı Palace or Ṭopḳapu Sarāyı is a large palace complex in Istanbul, Turkey. For more than 400 years, the Palace was the home of Ottoman sultans and their ladies. Now it is a museum where many of the important elements of Turkish architecture are exhibited. The museum also contains a few of the most important Islamic relics including Muhammad (SA) clock and his sword.


The construction of the palace was started in 1459, on the order of Sultan Mehmed II, the conqueror of Constantinople. It was called New Palace as the sultan moved his residence to the newly made palace. Topkapi (cannon gate) was a title owing to a lost of gate of the palace after been fired by a Cannon.

In the later half of the 17th century, Sultans preferred to spend more time in the Dolmabahce Palace. And, finally in 1856, Sultan Abdul Mecid I decided to move his court to the palace of Dolmabahce. A few official functions were still been done in Topkapi including imperial treasury, mint, and the library.

In the 1923, newly built Turkish republic by Kemal Ataturk, commissioned to take it as a heritage property of the government. The Palace complex was turned into the Topkapi museum.

Palace Complex

A city within a city, Topkapi Palace was the main headquarter of the Ottoman royal family. It also worked as an official seat of the government.  It is large enough to provide housing to 4000 people of the Istanbul city. All the government building lies inside its boundaries including court, treasury, armory, mosques, libraries, and even schools.

First Courtyard

The First Courtyard is expanded to the Seraglio Point and is surrounded by high walls. It purely contained government structures including  mint, an old church, and several fountains. Janissaries and court official would line up in the path before royal family enter into the second courtyard.

Gate of Salutation

Bab-us-Selam or The Gate of Salutation is the first gate before entering the palace/museum. It is the welcoming gate from where people can enter into the second courtyard. It is beautiful decorated with many religious subscriptions, monograms, and statutes of Ottoman sultans.

Second Courtyard

Upon passing the Bab-us-Selam, the visitors enter into the Second Courtyard or Divan Square. Where there are grazing many beautiful peacocks, gazelles, and other beautiful animals. The courtyard is used as the gathering place for royal families and guests from other countries. Only the king or Sultan was allowed to pass through the second gate into the third courtyard.

Baths of the Sultan and the Queen Mother

In the next area are many rooms and hammams for the Sultan and the Queen’s Mother. Double bath designs came from the late 16th century. Each hammam or bath contain multiple rooms and each area has a dome in the middle of the bath. The floor of the hammam or bath is made up of white and grey marble.

Imperial hall

It is the biggest hall of the Topkapi, also known as Imperial Sofa or throne room. Here the sultan receive guests and visitors from higher families and other officials of the country or outsiders. It is also the room for Sultan’s entertainment.

Conqueror’s Pavilion

The Conqueror’s Pavilion is a big arcade ground, made during the reign of Sultan Mehmed II. It was the oldest pavilion to be built in front of the building. The area also houses the imperial treasury.

Dolmabahçe Palace

Dolmabahçe Palace is located on the European coastline of the Bosphorus strait. From 1856 to 1922, It was the home of five sultans until the end of Caliphate in the Ottoman empire. On March 3, 1924, law enacted transferred the ownership of the palace from royal family to the National Heritage of The Republic of Turkey.

Palace complex

Formerly, the complex was located at the bay of Bosphorus, that was used as an anchorage fro Ottoman fleet. Later, Sultan built an imperial garden at the site of the bay, and garden turned into a palace. Dolmabahce comes from the Turkish language words, dolma meaning filled and banche meaning, “filled in garden”.

Construction was ordered by the 31st Sultan, Abdulmecid I, of the Ottoman empire. The sultan felt less luxury in Topkapi palace, comparing it with those of the English Monarchs. It was built in more European fashion with taste of Turkish art, Baroque, and neoclassical styles.

Dolmabahçe is the largest palace-complex in Turkey. It has an area of 45,000 square meters, and contains 285 rooms, 46 halls, 6 hammams, and 68 toilets. It is decorated with tons of gold under the ceiling and other major rooms.

In the ceremonial hall there is a crystal chandelier, a gift from Queen victoria. There are 750 lamps in it, that weighs to 4.5 tonnes. It has the largest collection of Bohemian and Baccarat crystal chandeliers in the world. A collection 202 paintings are placed inside the hall, from several famous painters.

Adile Sultan Palace

Photo by Daniel Cruz Valle CC by 2.0


It was the former royal residence of Ottoman princess, Adile Sultan. After her husband passed away, she donated the palace to the Kandilli Anatolian High School for girls. The school is located in the neighborhood of Kandilli, Istanbul City.


The palace has 55 rooms covering an area of 17000 square meters in the Istanbul City. From here, princess could enjoy pleasing panoramic views of the bay of Bosphorus, reaching from the sea of Marmara to the Black Sea. It is a prominent feature of the Istanbul city, as it is located on the top of a hill.


Küçüksu Palace

Küçüksu Pavilion is a summer palace in Istanbul, made as a temporary residence for Sultan and ladies of Ottoman
empire during the season of summer. It is located in Kucuksu neighborhood, Beykoz district on the Asian shore of

Here, sultans used to stay for short time period such as for hunting, practicing, and sports.The tiny palace comprises of two short stories and a basement. It was surrounded by iron railings and a gate on each four sides of the palace.

In the basement, there was a kitchen, larden, and servant quarters. There were chrystal chandeliers in each rooms of the palace. In 2006, the palace was reopened to the public as a museum for cultural and historic exhibitions.

Ishak Pasha Palace

Photo by saipal CC by 2.0

It is a semi-ruined palace complex, located in the Doğubeyazıt district of Ağrı province, eastern Turkey. The construction of the palace was started in 1685 by Colak Abdi Pasha, continued by his son Ishak Pasha, and then completed by his grandson Mehmet Pasha.

It is an exemplary heritage site of Turkish style and architecture. The palace complex has several sections, including Exterior facades, first and second courts, men’s quarter, and a few royal building. There is a mosque, kitchen, bath, hall, harem, armory, and a dungeons in the complex. Access is provided to the palace by an arch gate.

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