Tekfur Palace or Porphyrogenitus Palace is one of the relatively unspoiled examples of late Byzantine architecture all over the world. It is located in the Edirnekapı district, within the borders of Fatih district in Istanbul.
It was built in the late 13th or early 14th century as part of the Blaherne palace complex. 10.-14. Discussions are ongoing about the building, which is estimated to have been built between the 3st century BC. However, the difference between the wall technique used on the ground floor and the first floor, as well as the fact that the space is divided into 4 and the south wall is divided into XNUMX, suggest that the building was built in two different periods. It is certain that the second of these periods is the Paleologos Dynasty period.
At first glance, the palace was built by the 10th century emperor VII. Although it looks like it was named after Constantine Porphyrogenitus, it was actually Emperor VIII. It is named after Konstantin Palaiologos, son of Michael Palaiologos. "Porphyrogenitus" whose name means "born purple" means that an emperor ruling in the country was born here.
Tekfur is the name given to the Byzantine local ruler. Correspondence means king in Armenian. This palace served as the imperial residence in the last years of the Byzantine Empire. During the Ottoman Empire's conquest of Istanbul in 1453, it suffered great damage due to its proximity to the outer walls.
The Ottomans did not use the tekfur palace as a palace. Jewish families were settled around Thessaloniki in the second half of the 15th century. The palace, which was partially destroyed in the 16th century, and an old cistern in its vicinity were used to house the sultan's animals for a period. It is seen that the building, which is frequently referred to as “Tekfur Palace” since the 17th century, is mentioned in detail in travel books. In 1719, by the decision of Grand Vizier İbrahim Pasha, a tile workshop was established in the courtyard of the palace, operated by Iznik masters. In 1721, workshops, a bakery and a mill were built by the Chief Architect Mehmed Ağa. The tiles produced in these workshops III. It was used in Ahmet Fountain, Kasım Pasha Mosque and Hekimoğlu Ali Pasha Mosque. However, the tile workshop closed after a short while. In the 19th century, the north of the palace functioned as a glass factory. It is thought that the name of the Şişhane Mosque, which was dedicated nearby by Adilşah Kadın in 1805, was taken from this factory. In fact, the name of the road that surrounds the palace from the east and south is called "bottling house street". In the fire that broke out in Jewish houses here in 1864, important parts of the palace, the interior equipment with marble building stones and the balcony in the southeast corner were severely damaged. Meanwhile, the glass factory still operates in the northern part of the palace courtyard. The courtyard's level has risen considerably due to the residues of the factory. In 1955, the location of this factory was changed and Tekfur Palace was attached to the Hagia Sophia Museum Directorate. The courtyard was cleared of rubble by the Hagia Sophia Museum management and its old level was unearthed.
In 1993, the survey studies to find the Tekfur Palace tile manufacturing furnaces started under the leadership of Filiz Yenişehirlioğlu. The research, which turned into participatory excavations under the supervision of the Ministry of Culture and the Museum of Turkish and Islamic Art, ended in 1995. After the restoration works between 2001-2005, Tekfur Palace was opened to visitors as the Ottoman Tile Museum affiliated to the IMM. In the museum, finds such as new ruins, tiles, glass, and pottery unearthed during the Tekfur Palace archaeological excavations are exhibited, as well as animations describing pottery making using hologram technology.
Tekfur Palace was built on the inner wall and the outer wall at the north end of the Old Theodosian Wall, between a sharp fortification and a rectangular thick tower built in the Middle Byzantine period (probably the 10th century). The palace has a rectangular plan and a structure with a courtyard. White limestone and brick were used as the building material in the wall of the palace. There are two more floors above the ground floor that opens to the courtyard with columnar arches. It is estimated that the floors are separated from each other by wooden floors. The second floor of the palace can be seen over the walls. Ground and 2nd floors are used by service personnel; If the emperor used this palace, it was thought to be located in the middle floor.
It is thought that the palace had a balcony on the eastern facade facing the city. In Piri Reis's map of Istanbul City, this palace is depicted with its double sloping roof and balcony on the adjacent bastion and the porch protecting it.