|Irene tiptoeing to be taller than her mother.|
The star attraction of Topkapi is the harem. Here is the first decorated room in the harem. Our response was “Wow, definitely worth the extra admission charge.” The self guided tour is organised so that each section is more impressive than the previous, so you are always saying “Why did we spend so log on the beginning” and never “Oh, just another room.”
An exterior passageway
The palace was destroyed by two great fires, so perhaps it is OK to spoil a photo with a fire extinguisher.
A single tile
A single tile from the wall above.
A couple of border tiles
A lovely geometric pattern on the wall
Closer sinspection reveals the details (for some reason it looks green from a ditance)
and here is a single hexagonal tile
The Queen Mother’s apartment is the grandest living area in the women’s area. The room, tiles from floor to ceiling has a fireplace, and cupboards.
Here is the ceiling of another room in her apartement
and Irene photographing it
Inlaid mother-of-pear cabinet
Harem comes from the Arabic (ḥaram) ‘something prohibited; sanctuary, women’. Most of the Harem is enclosed, wit few windows. We are outside again, in a courtyard.
The walls under the arches are tiled
A wall by the Sultan’s chamber
and a close up
The Sultan’s chamber. Naturally the largest and grandest room, but actually, the crown prince’s rooms, being smaller have a greater intensity of decoration.
An alcove with three shelves (still in the sultan’s chamber)
Half the ceiling and the top of a wall (sky lights in the very center)
A couple of details of the painted arches
Corner of sultan’s chamber
In the next room, a water tap for ritual washing
More decorated alcoves
Next we move to a remarkably beautiful room, that seemd to be just the meeting place for two corridors. Ceiling and top of the walls
Five shots of a truly beautiful wall — I will have to find more pics of it
One of the two crown prince’s rooms.
Top of the wall
|This incredibly detailed work is about 10 feet up — well above eye level!|
The crown prince’s room was well endowed with windows, but visitors can only access part of the room, hence the angled shots.
What looks like the tree of life.
This looks like a carpet made of tiles. (This needs to be straightened, but Picassa’s straighten tool loses resolution.)
Rhe top of the wall and a little of the ceiling
A brillliant panel in a narrow passage bewteen two rooms
Outside, again. The outside of the crown prince’s rooms
Still no expense spared. Notice the tiling between the windows, and the gilded decoration on the eaves.
|Gilded decoration on the eaves|
|Tiling at the base of the wall|
A long tiled wall
and it’s time for a very late and well deserved lunch at the restaurant overlooking the Bosphorus
There is lot more to Topkapi. Here is the Sultan’s library — a large bright airy pavilion in the gardens
The divan and Hall of state
|Entrance to hall of state|
|A corner of the Hall of state|
|Detail of an archway in the Hall of State|
A couple of tulips
It was a beautiful day
A final glimpse of the Blue Mosque on the way out.