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The Relic Hunters

Member Since Jan 20, 2008
548 Images, Last upload Apr 28, 2015

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The Palace Privy Chamber and the Pavilion of the Blessed Mantle at Topkapi Palace houses the Chamber of the Sacred Relics. These were originally the private rooms of the Sultan Murad III (1546-1595). They house the most sacred relics of the Muslim world including the cloak of Muhammed, his swords and sabres, a bow, a tooth and some of his beard plus a letter written by him. There are also objects from his family and contemporary followers including an ancient copy of the Koran.

They were brought to the palace sometime after the Ottoman Sultan Selim I conquered the Abbasid Arabs in 1517. After this time the center of the Islamic faith moved from Mamluk Egypt to Istanbul.

Murad III was an interesting character in that he corresponded with Elizabeth I of England and proposed an alliance of Muslim and Protestants faiths against Catholic Europe. He saw much in common with Protestants including the exclusion of idolatry. He almost went to war with England against Spain in 1585.

Understandably line ups are huge both with Muslims and others queing up. You can easily stand in line for an hour in the baking sun just to get in. Make sure you pee before you get in line! The relics themselves are not overly visually impressive but they certainly held people's attention. Not that you had much time at any one post as the guards kept you moving along in a single file that weaved its way through the pavilion.

I went through the first time I was at the palace but a year later I opted just to kick back and photograph the site and the people. What a riot of colors, shapes and forms there were.
January 10, 2013
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Image Comments

Jan 10, 2013 11:40:50 pm
Very cool photo and even cooler history....think of what the world would be like if the alliance had been in fact formed......

by Faemike55 Homepage »

Jan 11, 2013 12:06:50 am
Indeed Mike, probably completley different. I'm always amazed how much history can be shifted as the result of a single event or a one-off alliance. Maybe one of the most critical events being the battle of the Tiber on 28 October 312 where Constantine won victory over the pagan Maxentius and with that brought Christianity to power within the Roman Empire.

by brewgirlca Homepage »

Jan 11, 2013 12:07:02 am
just love your photo works dear Roxy and your detailed info..

by eekdog Homepage »

Jan 11, 2013 12:22:19 am
Beautiful shot Roxy... gorgeous in fact. And yeah so many things of great importance could have well been changed, for better or worse, if different choices had been made.

by barryjeffer Homepage »

Jan 11, 2013 12:29:27 am
It looks like Sultan Murad III lived quite opulently here. This is quite the image and crowd and a fantastic image.

Did you know that the 'Donation of Constantine' in which he supposedly gave the Church the right to pick his successor (not necessarily his eldest son but whomever they deemed 'fit' in their eyes) has been proven to be a who? No doubt the story of his miraculus vision at the battle was (in his mind anyway) Sol Invictus and not the cross, for he previously was a devotee of Sol Invictus. Yes, indeed - how things might be different. Then again, they could be worse. But we shall never know unless we find some way to tap into 'alternate versions of reality'. An interesing thought ;)

by SidheRoseGraphics Homepage »

Jan 11, 2013 1:11:57 am
Excellent image and thanks for the info as well

by Blush Homepage »

Jan 11, 2013 1:27:46 am
Very beautiful structure. It as a nice calming effect on one.

by Nuisum Homepage »

Jan 11, 2013 1:57:11 am
A very nice shot!When I went there ,it was closed to the public for some reasons but thanks to our guide we had a private visit,with no one around.:)

by odile Homepage »

Jan 11, 2013 2:34:49 am
That's a beautiful shot Roxy. Istanbul is a place I would love to visit one day.. but living at the bottom of the world makes it very hard to save to go. LOL So thank you..for the history and these great pictures.

by chaylastorm Homepage »

Jan 11, 2013 3:06:55 am
Fantastic Islamic architecture & your painterly photo-impressionist postwork shows it off beautifully...

by photosynthesis Homepage »

Jan 11, 2013 3:53:50 am
Amazing capture!

by fallen21 Homepage »

Jan 11, 2013 6:10:43 am

by Tracesl Homepage »

Jan 11, 2013 7:12:58 am
This really is an epic capture Roxy, and I very much enjoyed the background info you provided.

by magnus073 Homepage »

Jan 11, 2013 8:14:40 am
oh so elegant

by alanwilliams Homepage »

Jan 11, 2013 11:17:26 am
Fantastic image and thanks for the Info my friend!!!

by nefertiabet Homepage »

Jan 11, 2013 1:19:16 pm
Such vibrancy, beautiful :O-)

by 4udreamcatcher Homepage »

Jan 11, 2013 1:37:27 pm
Gorgeous building!!!!!

by drifterlee Homepage »

Jan 11, 2013 7:06:35 pm
LOL, I will take your advice about head call, Roxy. I've been to similar places where you have to wait in line, as it is more than a mile long. Such a nice shot of the Privy Chamber facade. Thank you for sharing and the info is something interesting to know.

by pixeluna Homepage »

Jan 11, 2013 10:34:42 pm
seems murad had brains he was not fighting all unbelievers hehehehe.

all religions have common grounds but its a delicate theme and i dont want to get involved in a religious discussion here,the only thing i must say .if you kill the next of kin in the name of god or in the name of allah thats a no go for me.

ist all about power.

by renecyberdoc Homepage »

Jan 11, 2013 11:35:57 pm
Indeed a very colorful shot, Roxy - and fascinating information as well! I really do enjoy your photography and knowledge, my friend!

by RodS Homepage »

Jan 12, 2013 10:27:57 am
Nice snapshot. Bravo!!

by 9002434 Homepage »

Jan 12, 2013 1:49:12 pm
Very interesting history. Alas I can no longer stand in lines to ever see such things, let alone travel. It is lovely that you share these with us.

by dragonmuse Homepage »

Jan 12, 2013 4:43:40 pm
Thanks for the advise "on line" lol
Superb shot.

by Nonsolum Homepage »

Jan 12, 2013 9:11:15 pm
Super shot and nice postwork, it really amplifies the already vibrant colors. That's an interesting bit of history as is Rayvn's additional info.

Ah, the old 'what if' line of posibillity. An endless trap and an endless source of serious discussion and thought. Does anyone learn from the past really? The domino effect of choices made or that could have been made are overwhelming.

With the alliance you speak, it makes you wonder if it had occurred and they lost. Would the Catholics be even more powerful or crumble from a war. Or if they won, would people have migrated sooner or later to the new world? Would people all be protestant or muslim or sone new hybrid religion? The possibillities seem endless.

by adorety Homepage »

Jan 12, 2013 10:13:54 pm
I like the architech...:)

by rhol_figament Homepage »


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