Topkapi - Istanbul

Topkapi Palace

photo by Sharani


While sightseeing in Istanbul, one of my hands-down favorite discoveries was the Topkapi Palace.


The grounds of the palace complex were quite beautiful. Courtyards and buildings bedecked in decorative tile created stunning walkways. Residence of the Sultans for four hundred years, at its peak thousands of people lived within its walls.

Topkapi Palace Tile

photo by Sharani

I was especially impressed by the treasury section of the vast palace complex. In these halls, I viewed the most extensive and lavish collection of jewels, thrones, Chinese porcelain and jade. There were ornate objects from all corners of the globe - either spoils of war during the Ottoman Empire or gifts to the various Ottoman rulers.

Topkapi 1964 film

When I shared with a co-worker about how much I enjoyed the Topkapi Palace, she replied by telling me I should watch the film called Topkapi which was shot on location in Istanbul and at the palace. This film from 42 years ago was a delight to watch on several levels. Firstly, I could ooh and ahh at scenes of Istanbul and the palace that I recognized. Secondly, towards the end of the movie the suspense was riveting. The movie was about an attempt to steal the Sultan's emerald dagger (the emeralds are the size of golf balls).

Real Topkapi Emerald Dagger

Peter Ustinov won an Oscar for best supporting actor (he was truly the highlight of the cast) and the heist details were so compelling for that time that the TV series Mission Impossible was modeled after this movie.

Whether or not you have ever been to Istanbul or the Topkapi Palace, be sure to catch this humorous and suspenseful movie.

Related Links:

More about the film Topkapi

Overview of Topkapi Palace from Bilkent University.

My Turkey Trip Nov/Dec 2006 Photos