"The soul of a journey is liberty, perfect liberty, to think, feel, do just as one pleases." ~William Hazlitt
Istanbul: Topkapi Palace
We were awed by the harem at Topkapi Palace, and by the treasures on display there.
Photos aren’t allowed in the treasure rooms, which contain items that were either gifted to the sultans of the Ottoman Empire or captured by them. We saw an 86 carat diamond, an emerald-encrusted dagger, golden thrones, and so much more.
There’s an entire gallery devoted to the Sacred Trusts, religious artifacts including items that belonged to the Prophets. Remember that, in Islam, Muhammed was the final Prophet but not the only one. Muslims honor prominent figures from Judaism and Christianity as well. So, not only are there relics of Muhammed (a tooth, hair from his beard, and his beard, the Sacred Mantle, and many others) but Moses’ staff is on display, Abraham’s pot, Joseph’s turban, David’s sword, and so much more. Of course, it’s a matter of faith whether some of these figures even existed; drawing lines of provenance is another matter altogether. But it’s clear the museum believes they are in possession of sacred relics. The Q’uran is recited continuously in this space. It was an extraordinary place to visit.
I was able to get lots of photos of everything else, though, so I’ll show rather than tell you the rest.
Topkapi was a highlight of our trip for sure, I highly recommend the tour if you visit. It’s within walking distance of the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sofia, but I’m glad we didn’t try to do that all in one day!
Published by Lauren
I'm a nomadic freelance writer, out enjoying the world!