The Grand Palace of Topkapi

It was a hot day in Istanbul when we visited the Grand Palace and the glorious cool gardens under giant shade trees made for a nice break.

When we first approached the gates of the Palace, we wondered if we hadn't ventured into Disneyland instead.

For 400 years the Ottoman sultans ruled their empire from this vast palace. 

Throughout the courtyards are buildings housing art collections in opulent rooms. Topkapi Palace was built in the mid 1400's by Mehmet II after his conquest of Constantinople as his principal residence.  Initially, the palace served as well as the seat of government.  

From the top of the Castle you could see the remains of the fortress wall and clear down the Bosphorous River.


Archaeological Museum

The site of the Istanbul Archaeological Museum actually belongs to the Topkapı Palace outer gardens. The museum has one of the world's richest collections of Greek, Hellenistic and Roman artefacts and pre-classical treasures, housing over one million objects.

With nothing dating more recent than the 1st century AD, pretty much everything here has enormous significance

Greek writing carved in stone tablets


Statues from Archaic ancient times until the end of the Roman era were numerous.

Marble Busts abound including those of Alexander the Great and Zeus

The extraordinary sarcophagi date back as far as the 4th century BC. The museum excels in its rich chronological collection of locally found artefacts that shed light on the origins and history of the city.


The extremely ornate Alexander Sarcophagus, once believed to be prepared for Alexander the Great, is among the most famous pieces of ancient art in the museum. Its astonishingly advanced carvings of battles and the life of Alexander the Great, were discovered in 1887.

May 19

We had our rental car delivered to the hotel and booked ourselves onto the Ferry to Bandirma Bay which shortened our driving distance to the west coast of Turkey considerably. We left the hotel at 6 am and by 9:30 we were headed north to explore the wonders of Turkey's ruins.