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PhotoSecrets Topkapı Palace, first published May 3, 2016. This version output April 28, 2018.
Curated, coded and designed by Andrew Hudson. Copyright © Andrew Hudson for PhotoSecrets (Photo Tour Books, Inc.). Photos, text and maps copyrights are listed in the credits section.
“‘And what is the use of a book,’ thought Alice ‘without pictures or conversations?’”
— Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll
Thank you to the many talented photographers that generously made their photos available. Photos distributed by the following:
Text copyright of Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike (CC BY-SA).editors and contributors. Licensed under
Map data fromand its contributors. Open data licensed under the .
Cover image by Bjørn Christian Tørrissen/Wikipedia.
Back cover image by .
All rights reserved. Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored, or transmitted in any way without the prior written permission of both the copyright owner(s) and the publisher of this book.
The information provided within this book is for general informational purposes only. Some information may be inadvertently incorrect, or may be incorrect in the source material, or may have changed since publication, this includes GPS coordinates, addresses, location titles, descriptions, Web links, and photo credits. Use with caution; do not photograph from roads or other dangerous places or when trespassing, even if GPS coordinates and/or maps indicate so; beware of moving vehicles; obey laws. The publisher and author cannot accept responsibility for any consequences arising from the use of this book. There are no representations or warranties, express or implied, about the completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability or availability with respect to the information, products, services, images, or graphics contained in this book for any purpose. Any use of this information is at your own risk.
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A great travel photograph, like a great news photograph, requires you to be in the right place at the right time to capture that special moment. Professional photographers have a short-hand phrase for this: “F8 and be there.”
There are countless books that can help you with photographic technique, the “F8” portion of that equation. But until now, there’s been little help for the other, more critical portion of that equation, the “be there” part. To find the right spot, you had to expend lots of time and shoe leather to wander around, track down every potential viewpoint, and essentially re-invent the wheel.
In my career as a professional travel photographer, well over half my time on location is spent seeking out the good angles. Andrew Hudson’s PhotoSecrets does all that legwork for you, so you can spend your time photographing instead of wandering about. It’s like having a professional location scout in your camera bag. I wish I had one of these books for every city I photograph on assignment.
PhotoSecrets can help you capture the most beautiful sights with a minimum of hassle and a maximum of enjoyment. So grab your camera, find your favorite PhotoSecrets spots, and “be there!”
Bob Krist has photographed assignments for National Geographic, National Geographic Traveler, Travel/Holiday, Smithsonian, and Islands. He won “Travel photographer of the Year” from the Society of American Travel Writers in 1994, 2007, and 2008.
For National Geographic, Bob has led round-the-world tours and a traveling lecture series. His book In Tuscany with Frances Mayes spent a month on The New York Times’ bestseller list and his how-to book Spirit of Place was hailed by American Photographer magazine as “the best book about travel photography we’ve ever read.”
The parents of three sons, Bob and his wife live in New Hope, Pennsylvania.
Thank you for reading PhotoSecrets. As a fellow fan of travel and photography, I hope this guide will help you quickly find the most visually stunning places, and come home with equally stunning photographs.
PhotoSecrets is designed to show you all the best sights. Flick through, see the classic shots, and use them as a departure point for your own creations. Get ideas for composition and interesting viewpoints. See what piques your interest. Know what to shoot, where to stand, when to go, and why it’s interesting. Now you can spend less time researching and more time photographing.
The idea for PhotoSecrets came during a trip to Thailand, when I tried to find the exotic beach used in the James Bond movie The Man with the Golden Gun. None of the guidebooks I had showed a picture, so I thought a guidebook of postcard photos would be useful for us photographers. Twenty-plus years later, you have this guide. Thanks!
Now, start exploring — and take lots of photos!
Originally an engineer, Andrew Hudson started PhotoSecrets in 1995. His first book won the Benjamin Franklin Award for Best First Book and his second won the Grand Prize in the National Self-Published Book Awards.
Andrew has published 38 nationally-distributed photography books. He has photographed assignments for Macy’s, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Men’s Health and Seventeen, and been a location scout for Nikon. His photos and articles have appeared in Alaska Airlines, National Geographic Traveler, Shutterbug Outdoor and Nature photography, Where, and Woman’s World.
Andrew has a degree in Computer Engineering from Manchester University and a certificate in copyright law from Harvard Law School. Born in Redditch, England, he lives with his wife, two kids, and two chocolate Labs, in San Diego, California.
At a Glance
|Name:||Topkapı Palace (Turkish: Topkapı Sarayı)|
|Construction started:||mid-15th century|
|Architects:||Mehmed II, Alaüddin, Davud Ağa, Mimar Sinan, Sarkis Balyan|
|Far:||2.5 km (1.5 miles) from center of Istanbul|
The primary residence of the Ottoman Sultans for approximately 400 years of their 624-year reign.
This massive gate, originally dating from 1478, is now covered in 19th-century marble.
|AKA:||Outer Gate, Gate of the Sultan, Bâb-ı Hümâyûn, Saltanat Kapısı||Wik:|
The Fountain of Sultan Ahmed III III.
A former Eastern Orthodox church located in the outer courtyard of Topkapı Palace.
A former Eastern Orthodox church located in the outer courtyard of Topkapı Palace.
This crenelated gate has two large octagonal pointed towers.
|AKA:||Middle Gate, Bâb-üs Selâm||Wik:|
Constructed in 1727.
Directly behind the Gate of Salutation, on the northeast side, the imperial carriages are temporarily exhibited in the former outer stables and harness rooms.
The elongated palace kitchens are a prominent feature of the palace.
Chinese and Far Eastern porcelain was highly valued and was transported by camel caravans over the Silk Road or by sea.
The Tower of Justice is located between the Imperial Council and the Harem.
|Look:||North ↑||Far:||80 m (270 feet)|
The Gate of Felicity is the entrance into the Inner Court, also known as the Third Courtyard, marking the border to the Outer Court or Birûn.
|AKA:||Bâbüssaâde, Bab-üs Saadet||Wik:|
The building where the arms and armour are exhibited was originally one of the palace treasuries.
|AKA:||Dîvân-ı Hümâyûn Hazinesi, Hazine-ı Âmire||Wik:|
The Imperial Council building is the chamber in which the ministers of state, council ministers, the Imperial Council, consisting of the Grand Vizier, viziers, and other leading officials of the Ottoman state, held meetings.
The Neo-classical Enderûn Library also known as “Library of Sultan Ahmed III.
|AKA:||Library of Sultan Ahmed III, Enderûn Kütüphanesi, III. Ahmed Kütüphanesi||Wik:|
The Conqueror’s Pavilion, also called the Conqueror’s Kiosk and the arcade of the pavilion in front, is one of the pavilions built under Sultan Mehmed II and one of the oldest buildings inside the palace.
|AKA:||Conqueror’s Kiosk, Fatih Köşkü||Wik:|
The Imperial Treasury is a vast collection of works of art, jewelry, heirlooms of sentimental value and money belonging to the Ottoman dynasty.
The Audience Chamber, also known as Audience Hall or Chamber of Petitions is right behind the Gate of Felicity to hide the view towards the Third Courtyard.
|AKA:||Throne Room, Audience Hall, Chamber of Petitions, Inner Council Hall, Arz Odası||Wik:|
The Islamic Sacred Relics, also known as the Holy Relics, known collectively as the Sacred Trust, consist of religious pieces sent to the Ottoman Sultans between the 16th century to the late 19th century.
|AKA:||Hopy Relics, Sacred Trust, Kutsal emanetler||Wik:|
In 1640 Sultan Ibrahim I added the Circumcision Room, a summer kiosk dedicated to the circumcision of young princes, which is a religious tradition in Islam for cleanliness and purity.
|AKA:||Summer Kiosk, Sünnet Odası, Yazlik Oda||Wik:|
The Revan Kiosk served as a religious retreat of 40 days.
The gilded İftar Pavilion, also known as İftar Kiosk or İftar bower offers a view on the Golden Horn and is a magnet for tourists today for photo opportunities.
The rectilinear Terrace Kiosk also erroneously known as Kiosk of Kara Mustafa Pasha, was a belvedere built in the second half of the 16th century.
|AKA:||Sofa Köşku / Merdiven Başı Kasrı||Wik:|
The Grand Kiosk, also known as the Mecidiye Kiosk, Grand Pavilion or Kiosk of Abdül Mecid I built in 1840, was the last significant addition to the palace, along with the neighbouring Wardrobe Chamber.
|AKA:||Mecidiye Kiosk, Grand Pavilion, Kiosk of Abdül Mecid I, Mecidiye Köşkü||Wik:|
|Far:||2.06 km (1.28 miles)|
The Terrace Mosque, also called Sofa Mosque was constructed under Mahmud II in the Empire style for the use of the corps called Sofa Ocaği in the 19th century.
|AKA:||Imperial Sofa Mosque, Mosque on the Terrace, Sofa Mosque, Sofa Camii||Wik:|
The square Tower of the Head Tutor also known as the Chamber of the Chief Physician and court drugstore, dates from the 15th century, and is the oldest building in the Fourth Courtyard.
|AKA:||Başlala Kulesi, Hekimbaşı Odası ve ilk eczane||Wik:|
The Hall of the Ablution Fountain, also known as “Sofa with Fountain,” was renovated after the Harem fire of 1666.
|AKA:||Sofa with Fountain||Wik:|
Another door leads to the Courtyard of the Eunuchs, with their apartments on the left side.
|AKA:||Harem Ağaları Taşlığı||Wik:|
|AKA:||Courtyard of the Apartments of the Queen Mother, Valide Sultan Dairesi||Wik:|
The Courtyard of the Sultan’s Consorts and the Concubines was constructed at the same time as the courtyard of the eunuchs in the middle of the 16th century.
|AKA:||Kadın Efendiler Taşlığı / Cariye Taşlığı||Wik:|
The Apartments of the Queen Mother together with the apartments of the sultan, form the largest and most important section in the harem.
|AKA:||Valide Sultan Dairesi||Wik:|
The next rooms are the Baths of the Sultan and the Queen Mother.
|AKA:||Hünkâr ve Vâlide Hamamları||Wik:|
The Imperial Hall , also known as the Imperial Sofa, Throne Room Within or Hall of Diversions, is a domed hall in the Harem, believed to have been built in the late 16th century.
|AKA:||Sultan’s Hall, Imperial Sofa, Throne Room Within, Hall of Diversions, Hünkâr Sofası||Wik:|
The Privy Chamber of Murat III III.
|AKA:||III. Murad Has Odası||Wik:|
Next to it is the small but very colourful Privy Chamber of Ahmed III III.
|AKA:||Fruit Room, III. Ahmed Has Odası, Yemis Odası||Wik:|
The Twin Kiosk / Apartments of the Crown Prince consists of two privy chambers built in the 17th century, at different times.
The Courtyard of the Favourites forms the last section of the Harem and overlooks a large pool and the Boxwood Garden.
|AKA:||Gözdes, Gözdeler, Mabeyn Taşlığı ve Dairesi||Wik:|
The Golden Road is a narrow passage that forms the axis of the Harem, dating from the 15th century.
|AKA:||Golden Way, Altınyol||Wik:|
The entrance gate from the Second Courtyard is the Gate of Carts which leads into the Domed Cupboard Room.
|AKA:||Arabalar Kapısı, Dolaplı Kubbe||Wik:|
The oldest and one of the most expansive public parks in Istanbul.
Opened in 2008.
34112 Gülhane - Fatih/İstanbul,
|AKA:||Islam Bilim ve Teknoloji Tarihi Müzesi, IBTTM|
|Addr:||Add to Istanbul,|
A Roman victory column dating to the third or fourth century A.D. and the oldest extant Roman monument in the city.
Thank you to the many wonderful people and companies that made their work available to use in this guide.
Photo key: Tap the camera icon to see the photo. The two letters reference the distributor and license. Key for distributors: f:Flickr; w:Wikipedia. Key for license: a:CC-BY-SA; b:CC-BY; m:public domain.
Cover image by .Alexxx1979 ( wa); Derzsi Elekes Andor ( wa); S Barnes ( wa); G Dallorto ( wa); Etaergun ( fa); Andrew Gould ( fb); Brian Gratwicke ( wm); Gryffindor ( wa); Mattias Hill ( wa); Georges Jansoone ( wa); Maksym Kozlenko ( wm); Marku1988 ( wa); Moonik ( wa); Wolfgang Moroder ( wa); Myrabella ( wa); Norbert Nagel ( wa); Bjørn Erik Pedersen ( wb); Dave Proffer ( wa); Josep Renalias ( wa); Payman Sazesh ( wa); Serhinho ( fb); Paul Simpson ( wa); Someone ( wb); David Stanley ( wa); Stegop ( wb); Matthias Süßen ( wa); Bjørn Christian Tørrissen ( wa); Valerius Tygart ( wa); Ahmet Necati Uzer ( wb); Tom Worthington ( wb). Some text adapted from Wikipedia and its contributors where noted by the URL path in the “Wik” table field, used and modified under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike (CC-BY-SA) license. Map data from OpenStreetMap and its contributors, used under the Open Data Commons Open Database License (ODbL).