Topkapi Palace which functioned as the administrative center of the Ottoman Empire between the 15th and 19th centuries is situated on the acropolis, the site of the first settlement in Istanbul; it commands an impressive view of the Golden Horn, the Bosphorus and the Sea of Marmara. The construction of the palace began in 1466 and was completed in 1478, a few years before the death of Fatih Sultan Mehmet (The conqueror of Istanbul). Unlike the European palaces, Topkapi Palace does not consist of one single building, but consists of various pavilions and official buildings.
From the time of its construction, the palace developed constantly with alterations and additions made by each sultan. The Harem Section of the palace was built during the reign of Sultan Murat III between 1574- 1595. In time, educational institutions, health institutions and pavilions in the inner courtyards and summer pavilions at the Sarayburnu seafront were built, kitchens and barns were extended and new mosques and libraries were added.