Courtyard of the Queen Mother

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 baths, opens, through a gate referred to as the Sultanate or Throne Gate (Saltanat/Taht Kapısı), onto the living spaces of the dynasty.  These are the quarters of the Sultan, the Head Woman’s (Baş Haseki) and the Crown Princes’.   Ottoman tiles of various eras adorn the walls of the courtyard. The fountain in the courtyard was erected during the reign of Sultan Mehmet IV in the 17th century.