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Private Ottoman Relics Half-day

To step through Bab-? Humayun, the Imperial Gate of the Topkap? Palace, is to step into the past – a past redolent with the mysteries and exoticism of the Orient. This colossal complex taking up all of Seraglio Point was from where the Ottoman sultans ruled an empire that at its peak stretched from Budapest to Baghdad. The vast wealth and luxury enjoyed by the sultans is evident as you wander through the complex, which is divided into four courtyards and the harem. In the first courtyard you will see the fourth century Hagia Irene church, a reminder of what the Ottomans conquered. The second courtyard is a treasure trove of attractions such as the Imperial Divan, the Tower of Justice and the Imperial Treasury. Pass through the gilded Gate of Felicity into the third courtyard to marvel at the Conqueror’s Pavilion, which houses a dazzling collection of jewels, including the Topkap? Dagger and the 86-carat Spoonmaker’s Diamond. Then there’s the Harem, the forbidden area where the sultans kept their wives and concubines, often in the hundreds, under the close watch of eunuchs. In the fourth courtyard and beyond you will admire the kiosks and gardens, and enjoy fantastic panoramic views of the city, the Golden Horn, the Bosphorus and Asia. At the Rustempasa Mosque the opulence on display is of a different sort; here it is the glory of God that is celebrated. A somewhat modest exterior – it has just one minaret – hides an interior decorated with beautifully crafted tiles with floral and geometric designs. To step through Bab-? Humayun, the Imperial Gate of the Topkap? Palace, is to step into the past – a past redolent with the mysteries and exoticism of the Orient. This colossal complex taking up all of Seraglio Point was from where the Ottoman sultans ruled an empire that at its peak stretched from Budapest to Baghdad. The vast wealth and luxury enjoyed by the sultans is evident as yo Meeting/ Pick up point: Hotel Lobby. Start or opening time: 8-8.30amEnd or closing time: 1pm.Others: As mosques are closed on Fridays, there will only be external visits on that day.