Photo location: An abundance of tulips and other spring flowers in Gülhane Park, Istanbul.
The name Gülhane comes from Persian which means “house of flowers”. Gülhane Park was once a part of the Sultan’s Topkapi Palace grounds, and is now one of the largest parks in Istanbul. When we visited at the end of March, 2016, the park was covered with elaborately shaped flower beds, all of which were at peak bloom with hyacinths, tulips and grape hyacinths in a broad range of colors. It was one of the most beautiful spring flower displays I have ever seen.
It seemed appropriate to find such beautiful tulip displays throughout Istanbul since tulips originated in Persia in the 10th century, and were eventually highly prized and extensively cultivated by the Sultans of the Ottoman Empire. It was an ambassador to Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent that introduced the tulip bulb to the Netherlands where it has now become synonymous with windmills and wooden shoes.
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