I. Avlu (Alay Meydanı)

The first (outer) courtyard called the Birun is the largest of the three. The Ottoman sultans passed through this gate with great pomp when they went out on a campaign and on their return, as well as when going to Friday prayers and for ceremonies. This courtyard was also used as a waiting area preceding important events such as the receiving of foreign ambassadors, Janissaries, servants and horses. This was the only section of the Palace open to the public.