Topkapı Palace is located on a hilltop in probably the oldest inhabited district of Istanbul. It dominates a view over the Marmara Sea, the Bosphorus and the Golden Horn and is accepted as one of the iconic structures of Istanbul forming the city’s famous historical silhouette.
The construction of the Topkapı Palace started in 1460 at the request of Fatih Sultan Mehmet and it was completed in 1478. However, the Palace extended till the 19th century with additional structures.
Topkapı Palace lies over an area of 700 thousand square meters on the former Roman acropolis and it was the administrative, educational and artistic center of the empire for approximately four hundred years as well as the residence of the dynasty till the reign of Sultan Abdülmecid in mid-19th century.
Although Topkapı Palace was gradually abandoned as the dynasty moved to Dolmabahçe Palace, it preserved its historical importance and value. After the establishment of the Republic of Turkey, the Palace was converted into a museum in 1924, having the distinction of being the first museum of the Republic.
Today, Topkapı Palace is one of the largest palace-museums in the world with its buildings, architecture, collections and approximately 300,000 archive documents.