17/50.- Istanbul, Imperial Gate to Topkapi Palace
As we enter the first courtyard at Topkapi Palace we turn around to admire once more the Imperial gate. This photo of the Gate was taken from the interior. The Gate wall carries the royal seal of Mehmet II and according to the inscription this is the original gate from 1478. It was used throughout the Ottoman Empire for ceremonial purposes and stayed opened to the public from early morning prayer until the last call for prayer in the evening.
In the first courtyard, where once stood a hospital, a bakery, a mint, an armory, now we find the Byzantine Basilica of Hagia Eirini, which actually predates the palace.
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