The Courtyard of Concubines and Favorite Wives of the Sultan

The Courtyard of the Concubines and Chief Consorts was built mid-16th century at the same time with the Courtyard of the Black Eunuchs, but renovated after the fire of 1665. It is the smallest among the Harem’s courtyards.  The courtyard is surrounded, behind porticoes, by the service units such as the concubines’ baths (hamam), the laundry fountain, the kitchen, the laundry room, dormitories, coffee kitchen and the apartments of the Chief Consorts. The entrance to the apartments of the Queen Mother (Valide Sultan Dairesi) was decorated in the 18th century with paintwork depicting panoramic landscape views in the Western European style. The oldest bath of the Harem situated on the courtyard’s left hand side was converted into the baroque style in the mid-18th century.  The wards of the head servants and dormitories of the concubines were located on the upper floor. On the courtyard’s right hand side we find the ward historically referred to as the “long room”, which was heated with a large stove. The arched doorway next to the long room leads to the Harem hospital through a monumental stairway called the “40 steps”.