Topkapı palace is a central place located in all the Ottoman sultans’ time until the reign of Abdulmecid I (1839-1860), a period of nearly four centuries. It is the largest and oldest palace in the world to survive to our day.
After the conquest of the city in 1453, the young Sultan Mehmet moved the capital of the empire to Istanbul .He was settled in the middle of the town and built Topkapı Palace which is well known as a traditional example of Turkish Palace structure. When it was used as a palace, it served more functions than one ,generally associates with royal house. Although it was the house of the Sultan, the only ruler of the empire, it was at the same time the center of the administrative affairs, the place where the council of ministers met, and the treasury, mint, and state archives were located there .It is situated on the acropolis, the site of the first settlement in Istanbul, it shows an impressive view of the Golden Horn, the Bosphorus and the Sea of Marmara.
The palace is surrounded by 5 km of walls and occupied an area of 700,000 sq. m at the tip of the historical peninsula. It consists of three courtyard, each serving a different purpose. Therefore it was the heart, the brain, the very center of the Ottoman Empire.Later, the harem (private quarters) of the sultans was moved here too.
In 1924 it was turned into a museum at Ataturk's request.
Diffrerent craftsmanship, tiles, architectural styles, jewellery (like known as a famous spoonmaker’s diamond) exhibited in Topkapı Palace reflect the wealth of Turkish art and mixture of the different countries culture.