Topkapi Palace is a palace located in the Fatih district of Istanbul, which was used as an administrative headquarters and home for Ottoman Sultans for more than 400 years. Construction of Topkapi Palace started just six years after the conquest of Constantinople by the orders of Sultan Mehmet the Conqueror. Topkapi Palace maintained its importance and power in Ottoman politics until 1856, when Sultan Abdulmejid I moved the court to the Dolmabahçe Palace. Topkapi Palace became Ottoman’s official palace in 1478 with the name of ‘’New Palace (Saray-ı Cedid-i Amire).’’ Topkapi Palace greatly expanded over time by having an area of 80,000 meters squared as of our day. Members of the royal family, pashas, Sultans, generals, and many more people lived within the walls of this great palace, and it was recorded that roughly 4,000 people lived in this palace. Even though this palace faced many disasters as well as a great earthquake in 1509 and a fire in 1665, it was able to maintain its incredible power through repairs and renovations.
The Topkapi Palace is made out of four main courtyards, which contained many other smaller buildings that functioned in various manners. While the First Courtyard functioned as an outer park, it consisted of the mint buildings, imperial armory, courts, and janissary residences, The Second Courtyard was home to imperial kitchens, hospitals, treasures, and stables. Third and Fourth Courtyards were the unique parts of this palace as they served only to Palace members. The Fourth Courtyard was the private living area of the Sultan and his family. Topkapi Palace was turned into a museum by the orders of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk in 1924. Since then, Topkapi Museum attracts countless visitors all around the world. One of the most-visited parts of the museum is the Holy Relics site which consists of private ownings of Prophet Mohammed (s.a.w). These sacred relics were brought to the Topkapi Palace, starting with the Arabic conquest of Sultan Selim I in the 16th century.
Various sacred relics brought to the palace are exhibited in the Privy Chamber as of our day. These religious pieces were brought to this palace between 16th and 19th centuries. There are many sacred artifacts located in the museum, which are open to visitors all around the world. These relics hold the utmost importance for both the museum and its visitors. Even though Mohammed’s (s.a.w) holy relics could be found, there are many other relics with an incredible value located in this museum.
If you ever wish to visit this museum, Grand Sirkeci Hotel is within reach of the museum by only 15 minutes of walk. Holy Relics located in Topkapi Palace are: Blessed Mantle of Mohammed (s.a.w), Prophet Mohammed’s footprint and Sandals, Prophet Mohammed’s beard, piece of Prophet Mohammed’s broken teeth in the Battle of Uhud, the seal of Mohammed (s.a.w), Prophet Mohammed’s sword and sword handle, Prophet Mohammed’s bow and arrows, Mohammed’s (s.a.w) letter to the false prophet, Holy Banner, keys and door of Kaaba, wand of Mosses, and many more Holy relics are located in Topkapi Palace.
This mantle was given to Mohammed (s.a.w) by the famous poet Ka’b bin Zuhayr as a tradition. This Blessed Mantle was visited by Sultan, his family, and the court with a special ceremony each year during the 15th day of Ramadan. This mantle was kept in a golden box to which only the Sultan had the keys. Today, Blessed Mantle is exhibited each Ramadan for visitors all around the world.
Also known as the Sakal-ı Şerif in Turkish, this beard is exhibited in a glass reliquary in Topkapi Palace. It is said that this piece of beard was trimmed by Salman the Persian with the company of Abu Bakr and Ali.
Seal of Mohammad (s.a.w) is one of the sacred relics located in the Topkapi Palace. It’s the replica of Prophet Mohammed’s seal, which was used in his letters.
According to records, Prophet Mohammed lost four teeth during the battle of Uhud. One of these teeth has persevered in Topkapi Palace.