Bab-us Selam (Gate of Salutations)
After buying your ticket you proceed through the Bab-us Selam (Gate of Salutations, also known as the Middle Gate) into the second courtyard. Flanked by octagonal towers topped with conical roofs, this is a far grander gate than the Imperial Gate and designed to leave a lasting impression on foreign visitors. Its exact date of construction is unknown although it must have been in existence by 1493 when the towers appear in pictures of the palace. An inscription above the gate records the Islamic creed: “There is no god but Allah, and Mohammed is his prophet.” (SalAllahu Aleyhi va Sallam)
In the past visitors would have had to leave their horses here since no one but the sultan could ride through the gate. At this entrance to the inner palace enemies of the sultan were sometimes beheaded and their heads displayed on “example stones”.