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Turkey: Istanbul – Adventurous Vacation III

Published: 10.8.2014
With so many memories from yesterday we slept so well. Now we are about to have delicious Turkish breakfast, i.e. white cheese, tomatoes, cucumbers, olives, bread… And black tea with much sugar. And we are ready to go. It is like we are invited to see the sultan personally in his Topkapi Palace.

palac Topkapi

palac TopkapiToday it is a museum. The sultan would certainly boast with his famous Topkapi dagger, treasures filled with emeralds and rubies, golden throne, and the 86 carat spoon diamond. Allegedly, the diamond was thrown into the sewer. Later it was discovered by a “dustman” who regarded it as a worthless piece of glass. He traded it for three spoons he considered more valuable.

We were astonished by the beauty. We just miss there women’s jewels. It is certain that ifts from the sultan to his concubines and wives are not the property of the empire. It is theirs. So we won’t see them again. palac Topkapi. Therefore they will offer you beautiful jewels at the great bazaar, saying Roxelana , well-known wife of Sultan Suleiman , wore them. Or famous beautiful women of Cherkessia. We continue to the Bagdat and Yerevan pavilions. They were built as memorials to the great military victories. The Bagdat pavilion was built by Murat IV to celebrate the conquest of Baghdad in 1638.

The Topkapi Palace is furnished in the style of Nomadic tents. It consists of four courtyards, lower castle, and other important buildings, such as bakery, school, hospital, etc. There used to be the seat of government, i.e. Divan, palace school for Janissaries (members of the infantry units of the Ottoman army), harem, armory, and mint. The word harem means prohibited. There sultan wives, concubines, and their children lived. Firstborn sons were in constant danger of being poisoned or murdered. Because of this a terrible countermeasure was invented. Potential successors to the throne were locked in cages around of an area of 20 sqpalac Topkapimeters. They couldn’t get out and nobody could go there. No wonder some of them became insane ... For example, Sultan Ibrahim was nicknamed Deli, or crazy in English. One day he had woken up and thought that all his concubines and wives were definitely cheating on him. So he decided to put them into sacks and throw them into the Bosphorus. Only one managed to get out of the bag and fortunately also knew how to swim. A French ship saw her, rescued her and took into Paris, where this woman lived the rest of her life and wrote a book about her experiences as one of the concubines.

The major protectors of the sultan were Janissaries. They lived in the Topkapi Palace, together with the sultan. They were abducted from Christian families to gain an important position, good salary, but were not allowed to have a wife or family. For example, the Janissaries band inspired a significant composers such as Beethoven, Mozart, and others, or timpani were made according to the pattern of the drums of the Janissaries band ... It is like one wandered in time and space, through a magical corner of this oriental palace.

Sulejmanye

Sulejmanye We go to Eminonu Square and head up a steep hill directly to Sulejmanyi, i.e. the mosque of Sultan Suleyman the Magnificent. It takes us twenty minutes to get there. We walk through the courtyard and pass a little tucked modest tomb, on which is written that this is the tomb of the giant Mimar Sinan, who apparently remained himself, humble and satisfied with his extensive architectural work and his live. We slowly step inside and what a surprise! Or a disappointment? The inside dome is huge as the columns supporting it on all sides. But at least it is decorated. Architect Mimar came up with the idea. He wanted to arouse awe in the visitor over the size of the building itself. Anyway, you can enjoy this magnificent building without being distracted by ornate tiles, mosaics and stucco. With this in mind, you will get rid of the feeling of disappointment and let the mosque to impress you ......

Sulejmanye

To be continued...

Text/photo: Sylvie Halouzková



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