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Sultans, Tiles and Circumcision

My favourite part of the Topkapi Palace is the area known as the Fourth Courtyard.  Here the lovely gardens and terraces are home to a number of kiosks and pavilions and there are views down to the Bosphorus.

The kiosks have gorgeous stained glass windows and highly decorative cupboard doors and window panels.


Kiosk window

It is the beautiful blue and white tiling, however, that really stands out in my mind.  The Circumcision Room, in particular, has exquisite and rare tiles both inside and outside.


Circumcision Room tiuled facade to right

This pavilion was initially planned as the Sultan’s summer kiosk and is now referred to as the Circumcision Room, as it was the venue of the circumcision ceremony of the sons of Sultan Ahmet III.  Circumcision is a ritual of cleanliness and purity, part of the Islamic faith.  Its importance is clear from the beautiful location here in a central area of the Palace.


Examples of the tilingDSC03241



Linked to Photo a Week: Blue/White and Daily Prompt: Ritual.

14 replies »

  1. Lovely tiles to belie such exquisite pain of skinning half the penis. AKA a happy and beautiful spiritual ceremony to some. Obviously not seen by me by today’s standards.


  2. Words are scarcely adequate to describe the exquisite beauty of these tiles. They’re clearly designed for contemplation, mood enhancing, spiritual solace and inspiring awe, and I could spend ages immersing myself in them rather than the quick perusal that our over-saturated media seems to demand. Thanks so much for sharing, Debbie.


    • This area of the Palace was all like that, gorgeous tiles, peaceful views. I could have stayed much longer had it not been closing time! I will be back and will allow more time. And although I’d like slightly better weather I’ll be avoiding summer when there’ll be no peace or contemplation time to be had.

      On Fri, Mar 7, 2014 at 9:44 AM, Travel with Intent wrote:



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