Topkapi Palace and the Clay Pot Dinner

The home of the Ottoman sultans dates back to the fifteenth century. Aside from being a palace, it’s claim to fame is the supposed debauchery that took place in the Harem. My story is not that interesting. 

The palace is sprawling unlike the castles you’d find in Europe. Let’s see if I can keept track here…

You start by walking into the First Court with soldiers at the gates. The First Court is a park with a ticket office, shop and cafe near the entrance of the Palace Museum. You might run into this guy. 


Here’s the Middle Gate leading into the Second Court.   

Here’s where the council got shit done. Sultan would eavesdrop via the golden grates to find out if people noticed his body odor or other insecurities. 

Off to the side is the entrance to the Harem. The women were educated in Islamic and Turkish culture, reading, writing, music and dancing. There’s a whole tier system so only the best would meet the sultan. Major downer– his mother ran the place.

Mom’s room… Doing mom things. 

The reception room, right before you made your grand entrance. 


The Imperial Hall where the cool people met the sultan and hopefully was not embarrassed by his mother.   

Some details from the sultan’s rooms. They were small and hard to photograph. 

  Outside his window… 
Now we move onto the Third Court. Here’s the gate. 

The sultan would check out guests’ gifts through here. And it better be good. 

Fountain in front of the library

There’s no gate but at some point I got to the Fourth Court. Are you tired yet? I am. 


I took a nap at this point. 

I found a restaurant on Yelp and I told myself make a left at the third street, right at a mosque… Yeah I didn’t get there. My offline map failed me so I had nothing to check. 

I walked over to the other restaurant I wanted to try in a more obvious neighborhood. I ordered testy kabab which is a stew cooked in a clay pot. It’s quite a show when they bring it out, coals a blazing. The top is popped off and the stew is poured onto your plate. 

Incredibly full I walked some more before going to sleep. I stopped for some photos where a man told me this obelisk is from Egypt. Yes. Thank you. 

This fountain is a gift from Germany or rather the Prussian Empire.   


One Comment

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  1. I love the color palette. The stained glass I think is my favorite! Its weird comparing “homes” like this, compared to how people at home live their daily lives, especially here in NY and NJ in small apartments ^_^


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