Fountain of Ahmed III Overview
The Fountain of Sultan Ahmet III (Turkish: Ahmet Cesmesi) can be found in the Sultanahmet district, in front of the Imperial Gate of Topkapi Palace. It was constructed in the place of a Byzantine fountain known as Perayton. The Ottoman fountain was built under its namesake, Sultan Ahmet III, in 1728, in the style of the Tulip period. The architecture and ornamentation are a fusion of contemporary Western and traditional Ottoman styles.
For the Ottomans, it was a popular social center and gathering place. The fountain is a square shaped block, built with five smaller domes. Each side contains a drinking fountain and is decorated in low relief with floral and plant designs. There is a triple-grilled sebil on each corner, from which an attendant would give free cups of water to passersby.
You’ll see large calligraphic plates above the drinking fountains and niches on each side. These plates display stanzas of a 14 line poem praising the fountain and its donor. It’s read clockwise around the fountain, beginning at the northern side and ending with a chronogram composed by Sultan Ahmet III. Take a few moments to look at this often overlooked attraction, which you will undoubtedly pass on your way to Topkapi Palace.