Through the city gate Edirnekapı, the former Adrianople Gate, along the city walls towards the Golden Horn, you reach the well-preserved ruins of Tekfur Palace. It is believed that it was built between the 10th and 13th centuries.
The Tekfur Palace – also called Palace of the Porphyrogenitus and named after Constantin Palaiologos Porphyrogenitus, a son of Emperor Michael VIII – is the only significant example of the secular Byzantine architecture of Constantinople and was the residence of Byzantine emperors. Integrated into the Theodosian walls, it once was a part of the Blachernae Palace complex, whose area was an entire palace district in the north of Constantinople.
After the conquest of Constantinople by the Ottomans, the Tekfur Palace served as a menagerie, ceramic manufactory and glass factory until it was abandoned in the 17th century. The structure with decorated walls of white stone, red bricks and geometric patterns is very interesting because of its different construction techniques and are particularly typical of Late Byzantine architecture.
Since 2006 extensive restoration work has been carried out at the Tekfur Palace. For 10 years it belongs to the administration of the Hagia Sophia Museum.