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Istanbul Byzantine Palaces
  • General view of the city of Constantine
    General view of the city of Constantine
  • Ruins of Great Palace
    Ruins of Great Palace
  •  Ground mosaic of Great Palace
    Ground mosaic of Great Palace
  • Blachernae Palace
    Blachernae Palace
  • A gravure which belongs to 17th century  describing Blachernae Palace.
    A gravure which belongs to 17th century describing Blachernae Palace.
  • Ruins of a Byzantine Palace near Topkapi Palace
    Ruins of a Byzantine Palace near Topkapi Palace

In the Byzantian era, there were two groups of palaces: Aya Sofia and Ayvansaray. The most important one was Great Palace. The Great Palace of Byzantium was a complex of several palaces, pavilions, churches, baths and administrative buildings constructed  one of the hills of Constantinopolis.

The Great Palace
The palace was located between the ancient Hippodrome,Hagia Sophia and the Marmara Sea, behind the Blue Mosque today. The Great Palace was first built by Constantine in the 4th century , than used by later emperors until the 12th century. The Great Palace palace was abandoned during Latin Occupation between 1204-1261 when the emperors moved to the Blachernai Palaces (also known as Tekfur Palace).

The Blachernai Palaces
The Blachernai Palaces, was built  in the 12th century and used as an imperial residence until the conquest of the city. The palace complex was built next to the city walls at Egrikapi. The area was one of the seven hills of Constantinople. During the Byzantine period, The Tekfur Palace was also known as Constantine Porphyrogenetus Palace. It was a pavilion of the Blakhernai Palace complex. The pavilion had three floors with a wooden roof and wooden floors. During the reign of Manuel Komnenos I it became a summer residence.

After the conquest of the city until today, it was named as Tekfur palace and was used as a storage, stable, bottle blowing factory, ceramics atelier. Today, one can see the facade of the  palace and the remains of four walls. It has a rectangular plan. Outer walls, arches and window frames of the palace are decorated with stones and bricks. It's not open to the public today.

As the Bucolean Palace was destroyed after the occupation by the Latins, the dynasty moved to the Blachernae Palace. Therefore, it was the residence of the last Byzantian emperors. Large ceremonies, such as placing the crown on the emperor’s head and sitting down on the throne were held in this palace. Until today, the Blachernai Palace has remained the most solid palace / the palace that has remained intact the most.

The Bucoleon Palace had five hundred rooms
The Bucoleon Palace one of the Byzantine palaces in the city and was built by Theodosius II in the 5th century.  The palace is located on the shore of the Marmara Sea. The name Bucoleon was probably attributed after the end of the 6th century under Justinian I, when the small harbour in front of the palace, was constructed. Emperor Theophilos rebuilt and expanded the palace, adding a large facade on top of the seaward walls. The ruins suggest a balcony looking out to the sea was present, accessible through three marble-framed doorways, still visible today. The Bucoleon Palace on the coast entailed Porfir Köşkü, where all the emperors were born. The Bucoleon Palace was enormous. It had five hundred rooms, that were all connected to each other.

 

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