Ottoman architecture - Islamic Empire Architecture
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Ottoman architecture

Topkapi Palace
Topkapi Palace, Istanbul (Turkey, 1400s AD)

As soon as the Ottoman sultans had conquered Constantinople from the Roman emperors in 1453 AD, they began to build themselves a great new palace, which is now called the Topkapi. Work on the Topkapi palace began in 1459 AD.

The sultan put his palace on land which had been an old olive orchard. Like a Roman villa, or like Domitian's palace in Rome, the palace had several open courtyards with rooms around them.

Cinili Kosk
Tiled Pavilion (1472 AD)

One part was the Tiled Pavilion, which was a smaller house where the Sultan could live when he wanted to get away from everyone at court. Inside, the house is shaped like a cross, with rooms in each arm of the cross and a small dome over the middle. The walls were covered with clay tiles. It has a big porch in front where the Sultan could sit and watch his sons play polo in the courtyard.

When the builders finished building the palace in 1465 AD, it was a magnificent palace, suitable for the sultan who ruled most of West Asia and Eastern Europe.

Learn by doing: playing polo
More about the Ottoman Empire

Bibliography and further reading about Ottoman architecture:

Umayyad Architecture
Abbasid Architecture
More Islamic architecture
More about the Islamic Empire
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Karen Carr is Associate Professor Emerita, Department of History, Portland State University. She holds a doctorate in Classical Art and Archaeology from the University of Michigan. Follow her on Instagram, Pinterest, or Twitter, or buy her book, Vandals to Visigoths.
Karen Carr is Associate Professor Emerita, Department of History, Portland State University. She holds a doctorate in Classical Art and Archaeology from the University of Michigan. Follow her on Instagram or Twitter, or buy her book, Vandals to Visigoths.
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