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Portraits of the Sultans

Portraits of the Sultans The crush is likely to be less in the Chamber of the Royal Pages, a lovely dormitory for the young men studying in the palace that had been created by closing…

The Treasury

The Treasury Continuing round the courtyard you come to one of the oldest remaining parts of the palace, a suite of rooms including a bathhouse used by Sultan Mehmed II where Sultan Selim II later…

Imperial Kaftans

Imperial Kaftans Turning right from the gate you will come to the Seferli Odasi, which is now used to house a splendid collection of kaftans worn by sultans right back to Sultan Mehmed II, their…

Third courtyard

Third courtyard Pause now to consider the unlikely purpose once served by the third courtyard which was primarily a large school for civil servants when it was first built. The teenage boys who studied here…

The Sultanate of Women

The Sultanate of Women Forget any idea that all the members of the harem were downtrodden females subject to their husband's every whim! For a period of around 130 years in the 16* and i7'"centuries…

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Imperial Hall

Imperial Hall The Sultan's own suite of rooms was centered on the huge if faded and ecleltically decorated Hunkar Sofasi (Imperial Hall), the largest room in the harem. Tall and light, this room has sometimes…

The Harem

The Harem Approached through the Carriage Gate, an inconspicuous doorway beyond the Divan, the harem, also known as the House of Felicity, is the part of the palace that has most gripped the imagination of…