Museum Piece

Francis Robinson on the collections and ornate palaces of the Top Kapi Saray museum in Istanbul.

What do we want of a museum? To be informed? Mentally stretched? Sensually ravished? Transported in the imagination! Yes, any one of these would do. But most of all we should be sorry to leave and eager to return.

Top Kapi Saray in Istanbul never fails to have this impact. Not only are many of its collections without rival but the building in which they are housed, the great palace of the Turkish sultans, offers some of the richest pastures in which the romantic imagination can browse. Its position overlooking both Bosphoros and Golden Horn is beyond compare.

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