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The Palace of Bucoleon & the Great Palace Istanbul

The Palace of Bucoleon & the Great Palace Istanbul
Sited between Small Hagia Sophia Mosque ( Kucuk Ayasofya Camii) and the Cankurtaran train station is the façade of the Palace of Bucoleon. This seaside annexe to the Great Palace of the Byzantine Emperors, is a rather sad and moving survivor of Constantinople. The immense structure of the Great Palace covered nearly 5sq.km from Sultanahmet to the sea walls.

It once consisted of 5 separate palaces, including the Palace of Bucoleon and the Magnaura Palace and substantial sections of which survive today.  The palace was taken over by Crusaders in 1204 and one of them gave a description of what was found; “Within the palace there were fully 500 halls all connected with one another and all made with gold mosaic. And in it were fully 30 chapels, great and small, and there was one of them that was called the Holy Chapel, which was so rich and noble that there was not a hinge or a band nor any other small part that was not all of silver, and there was no column that was not of jasper or porphyry or some other precious stone.”  When they departed in 1261 the palace was almost destroyed and funds were never found to restore it.

The Palace of Bucoleon has three huge marble framed windows set high in a wall that offer a glimpse of the remains of the vaulted room behind. Under the windows, marble corbels mark the support of a balcony that once jutted out over a marble quay when the waters of the Marmara almost reached as far as the palace walls.
Other fragments of the ancient palace are spread about the nearby streets and back alleys with parts under land belonging to the Four Seasons Hotel where it’s said to have a vaulted chapel with frescoes still intact.

Location

It is located in Catladikapi district of Sultanahmet Fatih .

   

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