This site was the most disappointing of the places we visited in Istanbul. The buildings were beautiful and the museum pieces encrusted with jewels and gold were spectacular. But there was no photography permitted inside the buildings. I was disappointed at the time but even more so when showing by photos to friends and family. I had to keep trying to describe what we saw but had to keep saying, "but we couldn't take inside pictures." This was not true of other sites such as the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sofia. We visited on a walking tour and our guide had us there early.. This was wise. By the time we were leaving (around 11AM) the lines into the buildings were extremely long. Also, there were no bathrooms for the visitors unless you could walk down a long flights of stairs to an adjacent restaurant.
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