Really Old Stuff

There’s a lot to see at Topkapi Palace and a lot of people were there seeing it.

And there’s a lot of pictures in this post, so it could take awhile to load. If pictures come up blank, hit refresh and they should load.

After leaving the Harem we went to see the “Chamber of Petitions”. This was used exactly for what its name describes–petitions to the Sultan, as well as formal affairs.


Again, the ceiling was the best part of the room


The fancy “bed” where the Sultan would entertain the petitioners. Not intimidating at all, right? DSC09456

The building in the distance was maybe the library where they kept documents.


This hollow tree reminded me of a story I read as a kid, about town in a hollowed out log.


Remember how I said it was crowded? This is the line to get into the building with the national treasures. It was one of the shorter ones.


We weren’t allowed to take pictures in those exhibits, but I did sneak a picture of the windows from the door.


Besides these windows, we saw many jewel encrusted items, like chalices and crowns and swords. One room had holy relics, like the the staff of Abraham and items that were Muhammed’s


We couldn’t take pictures, but I can buy postcards and take pictures of the postcards! These are a few of the most famous pieces because of the size of the jewels.




Really, really big diamond.


The palace was located on the Bosphorus, the sliver of water that separates the Asian side of Istanbul from the European side.


I think you can tell what a wretched day it was! Cold, windy and rainy.


Lunch was apple tea and flaky pastries with cheese.


The Imperial Divan where Imperial Council meetings were held.

Leaving the palace, we headed over to the National Archeology museum which was located next door


We were greeted by this rather quirky statue.


And then there was a room of coffins.


Wow, a real mummy! That’s Sidonian King Tabnit from about 500BC (I’ve never heard of him either.)

There were a lot of sarcophagus’ in this museum, which were old, and beautiful.


Lycian Sarcophagus from the end of the 5th century BC.


Look at how these horses seem to be jumping from the background.


The Alexander Sarcophagus from the late 4th century BC


Mighty lions guard the top


Sarcophagus of mourning women from 4th century BC. This was my favorite. It captured so well the grief of these women.


Anthropoid Sarcophagus from 5BC. This one was particularly stunning.


Ancient women, modern woman


It’s Zeus!


Fabulous mosaic floor from the Roman period


The Sidamara Sarcophagus from 5BC. This had the most exquisite detailing of all of them.


Looking out onto the Tiled Kiosk which was built as a pleasure palace in 1472.


As is usually the case in archeology museums, there were a lot o’ pots!


Big pots too.


Big columns


Ooh! Something a knitter would be interested in, even if I don’t spin my own wool!


Ancient buttons (sort of)! Also know as fibulae or pins to fasten clothes. DSC09516 Hordes of school children chased us through the museum.


Lovely painting of the Bosphorus


A piece of the Golden Horn Chain which was strung in the water of the Bosphorus to keep invaders out for many years, until someone had the idea to destroy the buildings it was attached to.


This guy makes me laugh every time I see him–he looks so surprised and stressed by the fact that he’s lost his nose!


This was once covered with green and blue gems.

After the archeology museum we walked over to the Tiled Kiosk to see what was in it.


The front door.


These are beautiful plates from the 16th century.


Beautiful tile work, 1575AD


A tiled niche


Meredith and I had quite the laugh with this plate–it looks so much like something a 5 year old girl would draw.


More beautiful tile work


That is a big head!


Cats are everywhere in Istanbul


The stairs of the Museum of Ancient Orient.


Really old head from about 3BC

DSC09541The Ishtar Gate was the eighth gate to the inner city of Babylon. It was constructed in about 575 BC by order of King Nebuchadnezzar II on the north side of the city. (from Wikipedia). It’s made of glazed brick. We thought it was really cool.


Now we know how much a talent was!


Another part of the gate.DSC09550

Scarab amulets (dung beetle). Scarabs were the symbol of the Sun God who was worshipped in ancient Egypt. DSC09552

Cats were a big deal, back in the day, as they represented the goddess Bastet.


Back outside the palace. Kind of reminds you of Disney World, doesn’t it?


Leaving the palace you see the back of the Hagia Sophia–it’s impressively huge.


And in the distance is the Blue Mosque which is conveniently located down the street from our hotel.


Tons of pigeons in Istanbul. This little girl was having a blast making them fly.


The street our hotel (Hotel Ibrahim Pasha) was on–it’s the brown bays that are sticking out just past the green hotel.


We had a lovely couch for our lovely daughter to sit on.

DSC09568Trying to get internet. We especially liked the large painting on the wall. We failed in our attempts to discover the painter. Any ideas?

Elevator FLowers

Elevator FLowers


About DECRYPTKNIT: knitter on the loose in Shanghai

Hi, I'm Marisa Newhouse, a former pharmacist (for a brief time during the Reagan administration) who's real calling was probably anything that has to do with cooking, plants, literature and especially knitting; hence my last and favorite job, working at Woolyminded, a wonderful yarn store. But now, I have moved half a world away to Shanghai where my husband will be working. Lots of people are interested in what we will be doing here and I have always kept journals of our travels, so I thought I'd do it the modern way and keep a blog.
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5 Responses to Really Old Stuff

  1. Deb says:

    Another most enjoyable tour with you! I especially loved all the tile work! Thank you for your lovely pictures and your writings. It’s so good to see the pictures of you and Meredith as well.

  2. Heidi says:

    Amazing as always. I’m hungry now so I like the pastry the best:)

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