The Ottoman Empire's
   Topkapi Palace
Istanbul, Turkey
This sprawling complex, the Topkapi Palace, was home
to Ottoman Empire Sultans for nearly 300 years.  It's
more attractive on the inside.
No need to hunt for decorative art in Topkapi.  There is
also a gallery of fabulous treasures, and many paintings
of the Ottoman Empire during its days of glory.  These
can best be seen by watching my video.
When it came to couches, the Sultans have left us with the
word ottoman, which can include the furniture shown
above from Topkapi.  But a true ottoman has no backrest.
Here is the Sultan's distinctive throne.  The Ottoman Sultans
who sat here presided over an empire that once included the
middle east and much of Europe.  Ottoman armies made it to
the gates of Vienna, Austria in 1529, during the celebrated
reign of Sultan Suleyman the Magnificent.  But even
Suleyman, at the height of Ottoman power, could not take
Vienna.  He had to make do with rebuilding Jerusalem,
including new city walls which stand to the present day.  In
Istanbul, Suleyman constructed a mosque bearing his name
that is even larger than the Blue Mosque.

Then it was downhill for the Ottomans following Suleyman.  
Labeled "the sick man of Europe", the Ottoman Empire lost  
territory over the next several centuries.  Greece won its
freedom from Ottoman rule in 1830.   Allying with the World
War I losers would spell doom for the Ottoman Empire.     
If you have a high speed internet connection, watch the
Intrepid Berkeley Explorer's free video of Turkey by clicking
What the Sultan Saw