This park was royal hunting grounds in the past. Today it’s a public park with lots of seasonal flowers, including huge patches of tulips in early April, and huge plane trees (platanus)-which means lots of shade as well. The high walls on one side of the park seperates it from Topkapı Palace. At one end of the park are a group of nice outdoor cafés-all of which basically serve the same drinks and snacks-with a view of Bosphorus, a view that is as charming as the view from the Palace situated right above. Those cafés sell tea by teapot (which equals to well over 5 glasses of tea), and a teapot of tea costs 6 TL, or 8 TL for two persons for which you will get a slightly bigger teapot (note that while tea in each teapot is enough for two persons, they only serve one glass if you order one-person-teapots which cost 6 TL). On your way to the cafés, don't forget to check out the Column of the Goths (Gotlar Sütunu), a Corinthian-style marble pillar dating back to Roman times, located just behind the entrances of cafés. It was erected in honour of victory over Goths of either Claudius II Gothicus (r. 268-270) or Constantine the Great (r. 306-337), and it likely is the oldest artifact dating back to Roman era that is still intact in the city and possibly predates foundation of Constantinople, with some badly deformed Latin inscriptions on its pedestal. Also near the café is the ruins of a monastery dating back to Byzantine times. The park has two gates, one near Sultanahmet (on the street between Sultanahmet Sq and Sirkeci, the street on which tram runs), and the other on the avenue lying on the coastline. To get to Sirkeci/Eminönü from the latter, turn left after exiting the park.
Cankurtaran Mh., 34122 Fatih/Istanbul Province, Turkey
Gülhane Park and Nearby Attractions on Map
Hagia Sophia(0.3 km)
Hagia Sophia is a 6th century Orthodox patriarchal basilica that was later used as a mosque, and is today a museum.
Topkapi Palace(0.6 km)
TheTopkapi Palace was the primary residence of the Ottoman Sultans for approximately 400 years of their 624-year reign.
Galata Tower(1.7 km)
It was built by the Genoese on the city walls of Galata, then a western (Genoese/Venetian) stronghold beside eastern (Byzantine/Ottoman) Constantinople.
Soğukçeşme Street(0.4 km)
A car-free downhill cobbled street just behind Hagia Sophia, with renovated (or totally re-built) traditional wooden houses two- or three-storeys tall typical of Ottoman era, leaning against the outer wall of Topkapi Palace grounds/Gülhane Park.
Museum of Turkish and Islamic Art(0.6 km)
Carpets, rugs, calligraphy, pottery.
While this partially intact marble pillar dating back to 4th century AD may seem unremarkable, it was the starting point of any distance measured within the empire during the Byzantine era, so it may be nice to think that you are in the centre of where all the roads lead to (or, rather, start from).
The Museum of Archeology(0.3 km)
A must see! One of the best, including a great collection of Sumerian tablets, pieces of the wall of Babylon and Roman marble statues.
Basilica Cistern(0.3 km)
The Basilica Cistern, also known as ‘Yerebatan Cistern’ or Sunken Cistern, is the largest of the several hundred ancient cisterns that lie beneath Istanbul, with a holding capacity of 80,000 m3.
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