The palace is located on the ” Seraglio Point ,” a promontory overlooking the Golden Horn and the Sea of Marmara , with many views of the Bosphorus. The height control Strait was the acropolis of the ancient Greek city of Byzantium. A Byzantine cistern in the second court , was used throughout the Ottoman period . Excavations have been conducted , as well as the remains of a small church called ” Church of the palace .” The Church of St. Irene, although located in the first courtyard, is not considered part of the old Byzantine acropolis.
Topkapı Palace is a palace in Istanbul, Turkey. From 1465 to 1853 , it is urban , primary residence of the Ottoman Sultans . The palace is built on the site of the acropolis of ancient Byzantium. It overlooks the Golden Horn, the Bosphorus and the Marmara Sea. The name ” Topkapı Sarayı ” literally means ” palace gate guns ” after the name of a now defunct next door . It extends over 700,000 m² (70 ha) , and is surrounded by five kilometers of ramparts .
Construction began in 1459 under Sultan Mehmed II , the conqueror of Byzantine Constantinople. Thereafter, the imperial palace underwent many expansions : the construction of the harem in the sixteenth century , or changes after the 1509 earthquake and fire of 1665. The palace is an architectural complex consists of four main courtyards and many outbuildings . At the height of its existence as an imperial residence, housed more than 4,000 people and is spread over an even wider area .
Topkapı Palace gradually lost its importance from the late seventeenth century, when the sultans prefer him a new palace , along the Bosphorus . In 1853 , Sultan Abdülmecid I decided to move his court to the Dolmabahce Palace , the first European-style palace in the city , whose construction has just been completed . Some functions, such as the imperial treasury , the library, mosque and currency remain Topkapı .