Gardens of Topkapi Palace

The Sur-i Sultani within the Royal Walls includes not only the buildings that have stood witness to important episodes in world history but also beautifully landscaped gardens. The first of those gardens is Gulhane (Rosehouse) Park. Today, the tulip is a flower mainly associated with other countries. Perhaps in your mind to tulips are identified with other countries. However, you should know that the first tulip bulbs were sent abroad from Istanbul in the Ottoman Period. The tulip has even lent its name to the most controversial era of Ottoman history.

If you visit Istanbul in season, you will find tulips in bloom in Gulhane Park – a wonderful haven for those trying to escape from the summer heat, a place where you can enjoy sea breezes under the cool shade of centuries-old trees. The park also has a panoramic view of the Sea of Marmara, the Golden Horn and the Istanbul Strait, as it is situated on the tip of the historical peninsula. The park is also associated with the Tanzimat (reorganization of the state) reforms since the Rescript of Gulhane was proclaimed here.

The Has Ahirlar (Royal Stables) is a part of Gulhane Park, and at present, they house the Islamic Science and Technology Museum. The museum exhibits replicas, built according to written records, of various devices and tools invented and developed by Islamic scientists between the 8th and 16th centuries. Among them are the world map designed by 70 geographers and astronomers in a thirty-year period in the 9th century, and the oldest clock of the world that works in accordance with the time system which is still in use. We recommend a visit to the museum for an insight into the contribution of scientists from the Islamic world to the world history of science.

The Column of the Goths is a Roman victory column that stands in Gulhane Park. This column is the oldest monument of the Roman era that survived to our days almost intact. The dating and original dedication of the column are uncertain.

The free-standing marble pillar 18.5 meters high which is surmounted with a Corinthian capital was supposedly erected in the third or fourth century AD commemorating a Roman victory over the invading Goths. Most likely, the column was erected to honor the victories of either Claudius II Gothicus (268-270) or Constantine the Great (306-337), both of whom are noted for achieving victories over the Goths. During the reign of Claudius II, goths were exiled from the Roman Empire while Claudius was thus called the Cothicus. At the same time, Constantine the Great also carried out the successful war campaign against the goths in the 330s. The inscription at the base of the column reads: FORTUNAE REDUCI OB DEVICTUS GOTHOS (“To Fortuna, who returns by reason of victory over the Goths”). Other sources have an opinion that the column was erected much earlier in the history by the Greeks next to Athene’s altar to commemorate the victory over the Thracians who attempted to prevent the foundation of the city.

The Museum of the History of Science and Technology in Islam