The Ottoman Sultans

Contributor: Brian Anthony. Lesson ID: 12294

What's an "ottoman"? If you're thinking furniture, it's a footstool. In history Ottoman was a great empire with great sultans who lived in the great Topkapi palace. Put your feet up and join the tour!



learning style
personality style
Otter, Golden Retriever
Grade Level
Intermediate (3-5)
Lesson Type
Dig Deeper

Lesson Plan - Get It!


In which country do you think this fellow was ruler? What kind of house might he have lived in?

The man pictured in the picture at the beginning of this lesson was named Mehmet II.

He was one of the most important sultans of the Ottoman Empire. The word "sultan" means “emperor” or “king.” While there were 36 Ottoman sultans in all, Mehmet II is revered as “Fatih,” or conqueror of Constantinople. It was under his leadership that the Ottoman Turks claimed the city in 1453 and ended the Eastern Roman Empire.

Find the city of Constantinople on the map below. You can see how the Ottoman Empire spread over time:

Ottoman Empire map

Learn more about the Ottoman Empire. As you read the series of four pages linked below,* write down answers to the following questions:

  • Why were the Ottomans called the Ottomans?
  • Who was Suleiman I and what were his great accomplishments?
  • What was life like under the Ottomans?
  • When did the empire end?

*Now, read the four-part series below:

Share the information you collected with your parent or teacher, then discuss the following questions:

  • Where is the city of Istanbul, the former Constantinople? Can you find it on the map?
  • What do you think was the lifestyle of a Sultan or other emperor living centuries ago?
  • What do you imagine their homes looked like? What were their daily activities?

The modern capital of Turkey is Ankara, but for all the centuries of Ottoman rule, Constantinople was the capital of the empire. The city was later renamed Istanbul.

In the Got It? section, learn more about the beautiful home of the Ottoman sultans in Istanbul, the amazing Topkapi Palace.

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