It stands on a promontory jutting into the Bosphorus, a pleasure palace of sultans and their harem. Its tiled walls, fountains and pools are sumptuous legacies of the Ottoman Empire.
1453 marks the final fall of the Roman Empire and the ascendency of the Ottomans, led by Mehmet the Conqueror, the 21 year old who took the city with an audacious military strategy.
Rosa Hayes of the History of the Ottoman Empire joins us to talk about Mehmet and Constantine IX, the final Byzantine Emperor. And listener Roberto Cancel returns to discuss visiting the palace and Mehmet's Grand Bazaar. Plus baklava!
Duducu, Jem. The Sultans: the Rise and Fall of the Ottoman Rulers and Their World
Herrin, Judith. Byzantium: the Surprising Life of a Medieval Empire
Hughes, Bettany. Istanbul: a Tale of Three Cities
Maxwell, Virginia. Lonely Planet Istanbul
Norwich, John Julius. Byzantium: the Decline and Fall
Wheatcroft, Andrew. The Ottomans
Photograph © A.Savin, WikiCommons