It is not completely sure as to when the Tekfur Palace was built, but it is mentioned that the palace was built by the Byzantine Emperor, Porfirogenetos. Other sources write that it was built as an extension to the Blakhernai Palace during the 13th and 14th centuries.It is located between Edirnekapi and Egrikapi next to the city walls.
The palace remained in a state of disarray after the Ottomans conquered Istanbul. Towards the end of the 17th century, a zoo was established. John Sanderson, who visited Istanbul during the 16th century, natares that Busbecq, who was appointed as ambassador 40 years before Sanderson’s arrival, visited the zoo to see a giraffe. After being told that the giraffe had died three days before, he had the grave of the giraffe excavated in order to satisfy his curiosity of an animal which he had never seen in Europe. During the 18th century, the palace was used as a ceramic workshop but was later transformed into a glass production atelier in the 19th century. Furthermore, the world renowned, Kasikci Diamond, was found in the garbage of the premise.
Archeological excavations still continue today.
Translated by Mr. Irfan KOKSAL