Gulhane Park is a historical urban park in the Eminönü district of Istanbul, Turkey; it is located adjacent to and on the grounds of the Topkapı Palace. The south entrance of the park sports one of the larger gates of the palace. It is the oldest and one of the most expansive public parks in Istanbul.
Originally this area would have been the lower town of the ancient Greek city of Byzantium, whose defence walls followed the same line as the outer walls of Topkapi Palace. The acropolis of ancient Byzantium was on the present site of the Topkapi Palace.
Through the Outer Gardens of Topkapi Palace whose high retaining wall on the right. The kiosk just above the retaining wall is that of Osman III, built in the mid-eighteenth century in a baroque style. In the park below the kiosk there is an ancient structure that has been restored and is now open to the public. This is a Roman cistern dated to the early fourth century, its brick roof supported by 12 columns in three rows of four each. On the left side of the park Museum of Islamic Science and Technology is located, which opened in 2008. The museum, which was conceived by the Turkish historian of science Fuat Sezgin, is devoted to the history of Islamic science and technology from the ninth through the sixteenth century. The instruments and other objects on display here were reconstructed by the Institute for the History of Arabic-Islamic Science at Goethe University in Frankfurt, based predominately on illustrations and descriptions found in original sources and, to a lesser extent, on surviving originals. Once past the walls of the inner palace, we follow the path leading uphill to the right and come to one of the very oldest monuments in the city. This is the so-called Goth’s Column, a granite monolith 15 metres high surmounted by a Corinthian capital. The name of the column comes from the laconic inscription on its base: FORTUNAE REDUCI OB DEVICTOS GOTHOS, which means: “To Fortune, who returns by reason of the defeat of the Goths.” The column has been variously ascribed to Claudius II Gothicus (A.D. 268–70) or to Constantine the Great, but there is no firm evidence either way. According to the Byzantine historian Nicephorus Gregoras, this column was once surmounted by a statue of Byzas the Megarian, the eponymous founder of Byzantium. Taking a path leading of from the column towards the park exit, we pass the ruins of what appears to be an early Byzantine structure, consisting of a series of small rooms fronted by a rather irregular colonnade. These ruins have never been thoroughly investigated and their date and identity have not been established. Passing through the park exit we cross the highway and walk out to Topkapi Palace Point. As we do so we pass a large bronze statue of Kemal Ataturk, the father of modern Turkey and the first President of the Turkish Republic. This monument, which was made in 1926 by the Austrian sculptor Kripple, was the first statue of a Turk ever to be erected in this country. Walking out onto Topkapi Palace Point itself, we find ourselves at the confluence of the Bosphorus and the Golden Horn, as they flow together into the Sea of Marmara. Seated here at one of the seaside cafés, we command one of the most sweeping views in the city. From Topkapi Palace Point we can stroll back to the Galata Bridge along the shore road. Along the way, we pass on our right the recently-reconstructed Basketmakers’ Kiosk, a rather handsome Ottoman structure standing on the seashore. The kiosk was built in 1647 by the guild of the Basketmakers, or Basket-Weavers, for Sultan Ibrahim the Mad, and served as a seapavilion and boat-house of Topkapi Palace. In Ottoman times there was a line of such pavilions stretching from Topkapi Palace Point to where the outer walls of the palace came down to the Golden Horn, but now only the Basketmakers’ Kiosk remains.