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Topkapi Palace, is the largest and oldest palace in the world to survive to our day. Situated at the edge of the historical peninsula, it commands an impressive view of the Golden Horn, the Bosphorus and the Sea of Marmara. The palace occupies an area of 700,000 sq. m. From the time of its construction in 1470 by the young sultan, Mehmet the Conqueror, the palace developed constantly with alterations and additions made by each sultan. It consists of tree- shaded courtyards, each serving a different purpose and opening onto one another with monumental gates. Most of the objects exhibited in the palace today are unique masterpieces; the 2500 Chinese and Japanese porcelain, various glassware, silverware and gold-plated copperware collections are exhibited in the palace kitchens. The treasury section of the Topkapi Palace Museum is the richest collection of its kind in the world. The famous Topkapi Dagger, embellished with three large emeralds and the 86-carat Spoon Maker's (or Pigot) Diamond are also on display here. The weapon collection includes the armor and weapons used by the sultans, the members of the palace and the army weapons conquered from other countries. The harem was the private zone of the palace, where the mother and siblings of the sultan, the other members of the family, and the concubines and eunuchs who served this large family lived. Unique collections of the sultans' wardrobes are displayed in the costumes section. Besides these, the Sacred Relics Section, The Portraits of the Sultans, Revan and exquisitely decorated Baghdad Pavillions are also in the list of the favorites of the palace. Topkapi was the official residence of the Sultan until the completion of the Dolmabahce Palace.

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