Harem

Persons close to the Sultan who were his confidants and intimates were referred to as musahib (companion). These gentlemen-in-waiting were usually chosen by the Sultan, from among knowledgeable and courteous people, skilled in making sharp witty remarks and conversation.  The quarters built to accommodate these Gentlemen-in-waiting consisted of multi-level cut stone structures. It is known that the Treasurer and the dwarf aghas in charge of the financial affairs of the Harem also utilized... ...More
The dormitories date to the 16th century. They are arranged around an inner courtyard in three storeys. The decorated rooms on the upper stories were for novices and those below overlooking the courtyard were occupied by the eunuchs who had administrative functions. The third floor was added in the 18th century. The rooms are decorated with floral motifs and depictions of landscape. The portico in front of the ward was raised after the 1660 repairs.
Built in the late 16th century, the unit features a tiled main room with a fireplace, a bath (hamam), a coffee kitchen and service rooms.  The fireplace in the main room is covered with 18th century Baroque European tiles. The compound includes on its upper floor tiled rooms with fireplace and the School of Princes, which was under the responsibility of the Chief Harem Eunuch.   The school space is a double-fronted hall with a centrally domed and vaulted ceiling. The upper level... ...More
The main entrance (Cümle Kapısı) separates the harem in which the family and the concubines of the Sultan resided from the Courtyard of the Eunuchs. This gate, an open platform with domes and arches leads out into the sentry post (Nöbet Yeri) to which the three main sections of the harem are connected.  The lateral wall of the platform is covered with panels using the famous cypress-dotted tiles typical of the Topkapı Harem. The access to this space is provided through a crowned archway... ...More
The courtyard of the Queen Mother is situated directly at the core centre of the Harem as if it was put there to emphasize the queen mothers’ importance within the hierarchical order of the Harem. The Apartments of the Queen Mother (Valide Sultan Dairesi) facing the Golden Horn and the Baths of the Sultan were constructed after the Queen Mothers moved into the Topkapı Palace in the late 16th century from the Old Palace (Eski Saray). The hall with the fireplace (Ocaklı Sofa) situated next to the... ...More