Empire and Desire: The Ottoman Palace in Western Imagination

COURSE

Course description

Topkapı Palace served as the seat of Ottoman imperial power for 400 years. Built in the 15th century following the conquest of Constantinople by the Ottomans, the Palace was not only the focus of political power, intrigues and riots. In Western imagination, it was the materialization of an Oriental desire. The Harem occupied the fantasy of the travelers, authors, artists and musicians most of whom have never been inside. The Palace, now a museum, welcomes more than 3 million visitors each year. The stories of its past inhabitants still enthuse tourists and filmmakers! Inspired by art, architecture, history, music and popular culture, this lecture invites you on a short visit to the courtyards, chambers and secret passages of the palace to explore its past and present.

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