Thursday, April 2, 2009

Topkapi Palace, Istanbul

During our sightseeing last week in Turkey, Michelle and I got to visit the famous Topkapi Palace, built by one of the Sultan's of the Ottoman Empire in the 1400s. Among its grand collections were:
  • an 86 carat pear-shaped diamond
  • the beard & sword of the Prophet Mohammed
  • the wooden staff of Moses
  • the sword of King David
  • an assortment of fine silk robes from the sultan's wardrobe
  • the harem quarters, with 400 rooms for its residents
  • a building used for one of the Nicea Councils
  • the rotted flesh and bone hand of John the Baptist
  • old keys to the Kaaba (Muslim shrine in Mecca)
  • a footprint of the Prophet Mohammed
  • a diamond encrusted chainmail armor-suit worn by a sultan
  • gigantic jewel-encrusted plumes used to add splendor to the Sultan's turbans
Just an interesting assortment of "sights" to see. Photography was not allowed in most of the exhibits, but I found a few online images. For the most part, you'll just have to take my word for it- just as I had to take their word for it (really? John the Baptist arm? how? and why?).

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