Harem

The three independent tiled units, equipped with fireplaces, located on the courtyard section facing the Golden Horn were the living spaces of the Sultan’s Chief Consorts. These quarters were erected at the end of the 16th century contemporaneously with the transfer of the whole Harem population into the Topkapı Palace. The porticoes of the three units were merged together in the 17th century so as to form an entrance section. The apartments are two-storey structures featuring main halls with a... ...More
Women whose sons ascended the throne as a monarch acquired the title of  “Queen Mother /Sultana” (Valide Sultan) and moved from the Old Palace in Bayezit to the Topkapı Palace by means of a grand ceremony called the Queen Mother Procession (Valide Alayı). The powers of the Queen Mothers, considered the highest authority in charge of the Harem, rose significantly, in particular during the 17th century where many of the Sultans ascended the throne at very young age; thus leading to the... ...More
 The Baths of the Sultan and the Queen Mother (Hünkâr ve Vâlide Hamamları) are believed to have been built by Court Architect Mimar Sinan in the 1580’s and underwent several repairs. The main section of this double bath consisting of multiple rooms was reserved to the Sultan while the other parts were for the use of the Harem ladies.  It was redecorated in the rococo style in the middle of the 18th century. Heated from the bottom up like the Roman baths through a hypocaust system,... ...More
The construction of the Courtyard and Kiosk of Osman III, started in the 1750s under Mahmud I. The construction which divided the Harem garden was completed by Osman III as a terrace resting on high pillars. This construction which linked the Harem’s main wall to the façade is the only structure of Harem protruding toward the Hasbahçe. This courtyard marking the beginning of the 18th century construction style and going beyond classical architectural standards because of the narrow space... ...More
This domed space in the Harem, where ceremonies and receptions were held, is believed to have been constructed toward the end of the 16th century. Entertainment, weddings and exchange of Bayram felicitations took place in this Hall. The faience inscription on the wall dates from the 18th century revetted with blue and white Delft tiles decorated in the rococo style after the 1665 Harem fire. The dome, the arches and the pendentives are ornamented with classical patterns traced by... ...More