Privy Stables / Imperial Stables

The Imperial Stables begin beside the Beşir Ağa Mosque and extend as far as the Halberdiers’ Barracks. They were used to keep the horses belonging to the sultan and to officials of the Inner Palace. In the single-domed space on the building’s north side, as well as in the adjacent rooms, was kept the Treasury of the Royal Tack (Raht-ı Hümâyûn, Raht Hazînesi), the riding equipment used by the sultan. Gold and silver saddles, riding crops, stirrups, bits, and bridles, all decorated with jewelry, would be registered in the records of this treasury, affixed with the Royal Seal (Mühr-i Hümâyûn), and stored here. This structure also contained the offices of the Chief Stable Steward (Baş İmrahor) and the other stable managers. The section of the stable containing the horse stalls is long and narrow. The inscription above the stable door states that, in 1736, the stable underwent restoration, while the mosque and bathhouse on the courtyard were rebuilt. The watering troughs found in the courtyard date back to the reigns of Sultan Mehmed II and Sultan Murad III.

The current appearance of the Imperial Stables dates back to the restoration carried out in 1939-42. The ceiling of the Chief Stable Steward’s office was placed here in 1942 having been brought from the Köçeoğlu mansion in the Bebek neighborhood of Istanbul. The stables are currently used to house temporary exhibitions.