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

Situated between Bursa Grand Mosque and Orhan Mosque, Kozahan was built by the great architect Abdul Ula Bin Pulat Sah as a foundation for historical works in Istanbul by the order of Ottoman Sultan Bayezid II in 1491.

Once upon a time, it was a place where pod (silkworm cocoon) was sold. The silk fabrics obtained the cocoons played the first role to be a textile centre of Bursa. Approximately, having lived around Bursa for a thousand-year and called as ‘‘Greengrocers’’, Turks have made the production of the pod for centuries. That tradition, sericulture comes from Central Asia.

Being a masterpiece of Bursa, the heritage of Ottoman, the deep tissues of history, the taste of natural, the grace of silk and indispensable place for the photographer, Silk Market (Koza Han in Turkish) is two-storey han located on the rectangle yard.

There is found a sadirvan (water-tank with a fountain) with 95 rooms in the middle of that magnificent structure. The stores of Silk Bazaar contains high quality and cheap productions such as silk fabrics, silk scarfs, shawls, outfit materials, artistic goods, dowery, home textile products, underwear, silver, and the other valuable souvenirs. In the east of the Han, there is placed the second yard named Dıs (Out) Koza Han. It is opened to Long Bazaar with its portal ornamented the blue charming tiles. In the past, it was named as Cedid-I Evvel, Simseh Hani, Beylik Caravansary, Beylik Han, Cedid-I Amire and New Caravansary.

Right behind it is the doorway to Koza Han. The structure composes of two breathtaking floors in the typical Ottoman architecture with a courtyard in the middle. All is covered and arched and despite silk trade as such is no longer organized here, the shops selling silk garments, scarves and also some table silver are a glamour granny’s paradise.

Except for those features, there are also found many modern cafes, restaurants, taverns for the visitors in order to entertain. People come here to sit either in the cafe under centuries-old oak trees in the courtyard or on one of the tables and low sofas in niches opposite the shops where you can see the action below.

Today, it provides service for visitors with its smiling and experienced tradesmen. Koza Han has been visited by domestic and foreign politicians, businessmen, governors, mayors, and famous artists.