The Gate of Carts - entrance to the Harem Apartments from the Second Courtyard

The Gate of Carts - entrance to the Harem Apartments from the Second Courtyard

The Hall of the Fountain - this is an entrance hall under the control of the Harem eunuchs

The Hall of the Fountain - this is an entrance hall under the control of the Harem eunuchs

Decorated areas above the gate - seen from inside the Harem

Decorated areas above the gate - seen from inside the Harem

Opposite side of the gate and this door leads to a courtyard  - The walls of the Hall are covered with 17th century Kutahya tiles

Opposite side of the gate and this door leads to a courtyard - The walls of the Hall are covered with 17th century Kutahya tiles

A design on a wall

A design on a wall

The Court of Eunuchs - their main functions were to guard the gates and control access to the Harem, accompany the carriages and let no one from the outside enter the Harem

The Court of Eunuchs - their main functions were to guard the gates and control access to the Harem, accompany the carriages and let no one from the outside enter the Harem

A beautiful ceiling of the Court of Eunuchs

A beautiful ceiling of the Court of Eunuchs

A black eunuchs is behind the glass window - myself is also seen in the glass due to reflection

A black eunuchs is behind the glass window - myself is also seen in the glass due to reflection

Beautilful decorative patterns inside the Hall of the Eunuchs

Beautilful decorative patterns inside the Hall of the Eunuchs

Koranic verses above a wooden door

Koranic verses above a wooden door

Courtyard of the Black Eunuchs and the buildings around it were probably erected during the institutionalization phase of the Harem in the mid-16th century

Courtyard of the Black Eunuchs and the buildings around it were probably erected during the institutionalization phase of the Harem in the mid-16th century

The main entrance (Cümle Kapisi) separates the harem in which the family and the concubines of the Sultan resided from the Courtyard of the Eunuchs

The main entrance (Cümle Kapisi) separates the harem in which the family and the concubines of the Sultan resided from the Courtyard of the Eunuchs

These holes in the ceiling allow natural light to reach the covered area of the Harem

These holes in the ceiling allow natural light to reach the covered area of the Harem

The Courtyard of Concubines - these quarters were erected at the end of the 16th century

The Courtyard of Concubines - these quarters were erected at the end of the 16th century

Corridor of the concubines' quarter - The three independent tiled apartments with fireplaces overlooking the Golden Horn were the quarters where the consorts of the Sultan lived

Corridor of the concubines' quarter - The three independent tiled apartments with fireplaces overlooking the Golden Horn were the quarters where the consorts of the Sultan lived

The Quarters of Concubine - opposite side of the corridor

The Quarters of Concubine - opposite side of the corridor

A ceiling with sky lights

A ceiling with sky lights

A door leading to the apartment of the Valide Sultan

A door leading to the apartment of the Valide Sultan

A door of the Apartments of the Queen Mother

A door of the Apartments of the Queen Mother

A wall of the Vailde Sultan's apartment - Women whose sons ascended the throne as a monarch acquired the title of  “Queen Mother /Sultana” (Valide Sultan) and moved from the Old Palace in Bayezit to the Topkapi Palace

A wall of the Vailde Sultan's apartment - Women whose sons ascended the throne as a monarch acquired the title of “Queen Mother /Sultana” (Valide Sultan) and moved from the Old Palace in Bayezit to the Topkapi Palace

Beautiful designs of the apartment of Valide Sultan

Beautiful designs of the apartment of Valide Sultan

Decorations beside the chimney - The Queen Mother’s Apartments initially commissioned by Sultan Murat III  for his mother Sultana Nurbanu

Decorations beside the chimney - The Queen Mother’s Apartments initially commissioned by Sultan Murat III for his mother Sultana Nurbanu

Ceiling of the apartment of Valide Sultan - this part of the Harem was built by Court Architects Mimar Sinan

Ceiling of the apartment of Valide Sultan - this part of the Harem was built by Court Architects Mimar Sinan

Flowery motifs on a wall

Flowery motifs on a wall

Photograph of the Imperial Reception Hall - it is also called the Throne Room

Photograph of the Imperial Reception Hall - it is also called the Throne Room

Motifs and Iznik porcelain are used on the walls of the Throne Room (Imperial Sofa)

Motifs and Iznik porcelain are used on the walls of the Throne Room (Imperial Sofa)

A stained glass window of the Throne Room - in this room ceremonies and receptions were held

A stained glass window of the Throne Room - in this room ceremonies and receptions were held

Ceiling and richly decorated walls of the Throne Room

Ceiling and richly decorated walls of the Throne Room

Inside of the dome of the Imperial Hall -  it has the largest dome in the palace

Inside of the dome of the Imperial Hall - it has the largest dome in the palace

Skylights in the middle of the dome of the Imperial Hall

Skylights in the middle of the dome of the Imperial Hall

All walls of this rooms were decorated with beautiful tiles

All walls of this rooms were decorated with beautiful tiles

A small door inside the Throne Room

A small door inside the Throne Room

Close up of a wall inside the Imperial Hall - After the Great Harem Fire of 1666, the hall was renovated in the rococo style during the reign of Sultan Osman III

Close up of a wall inside the Imperial Hall - After the Great Harem Fire of 1666, the hall was renovated in the rococo style during the reign of Sultan Osman III

Skylights in a small room next to the Imperial room

Skylights in a small room next to the Imperial room

Tile work on walls

Tile work on walls

Most of the walls in Harem Apartments are decorated with tiles and calligraphy

Most of the walls in Harem Apartments are decorated with tiles and calligraphy

Walls of a small room next to the Throne Room

Walls of a small room next to the Throne Room

Small arches like cabinets are made to enhance the beauty of this room

Small arches like cabinets are made to enhance the beauty of this room

Tiled passage to the Privy Chamber of Murat III

Tiled passage to the Privy Chamber of Murat III

An arch above a door inside the Harem

An arch above a door inside the Harem

Details of the room next to the Privy Chamber of Murat III

Details of the room next to the Privy Chamber of Murat III

Walls and ceiling of this beautifully decorated room

Walls and ceiling of this beautifully decorated room

Interior of the room

Interior of the room

Windows of the room

Windows of the room

A cabinet in the room

A cabinet in the room

Door of the Privy Chamber of Murat III - this room dates back to the 16th century

Door of the Privy Chamber of Murat III - this room dates back to the 16th century

The Privy Chamber of Murat III is the oldest and finest surviving room in the harem

The Privy Chamber of Murat III is the oldest and finest surviving room in the harem

Windows of the Privy Chamber of Murat III - it was  built by the master architect Sinan

Windows of the Privy Chamber of Murat III - it was built by the master architect Sinan

Ceiling of the Privy Chamber of Murat III  - The Harem of Topkapi Palace

Ceiling of the Privy Chamber of Murat III - The Harem of Topkapi Palace

Stained glass windows and tile work inside the room

Stained glass windows and tile work inside the room

Details above the throne chamber

Details above the throne chamber

The interior of the main hall is decorated with blue-and-white and coral-red 16th century Iznik tiles

The interior of the main hall is decorated with blue-and-white and coral-red 16th century Iznik tiles

A two-tiered fountain (çesme) inside the room with water still flowing in it

A two-tiered fountain (çesme) inside the room with water still flowing in it

The room is decorated with blue-and-white and coral-red Iznik tiles

The room is decorated with blue-and-white and coral-red Iznik tiles

Interior of the kiosk inside the Privy Chamber of Murat III

Interior of the kiosk inside the Privy Chamber of Murat III

White calligraphic characters on a blue background with the most verse of the Qur'an, the Throne Verse or Ayatul Kursi

White calligraphic characters on a blue background with the most verse of the Qur'an, the Throne Verse or Ayatul Kursi

A tap inside the room

A tap inside the room

Privy Chamber of Ahmed I - this room was built in 1608 in front of the Privy Chamber of Murat III

Privy Chamber of Ahmed I - this room was built in 1608 in front of the Privy Chamber of Murat III

Windows of the Privy Chamber of Ahmed I

Windows of the Privy Chamber of Ahmed I

Ceiling of the Privy Chamber of Ahmed I

Ceiling of the Privy Chamber of Ahmed I

Green and blue tiles are used in some parts of the Privy Chamber of Ahmed I

Green and blue tiles are used in some parts of the Privy Chamber of Ahmed I

Details of the walls above the kiosk

Details of the walls above the kiosk

Interior of the dome of the the Twin Pavilions, which is also known as the Chamber of Crown Princes

Interior of the dome of the the Twin Pavilions, which is also known as the Chamber of Crown Princes

Apartments of the Crown Prince - consist of two privy chambers both with classical fireplaces, built in the 17th century

Apartments of the Crown Prince - consist of two privy chambers both with classical fireplaces, built in the 17th century

Windows of the apartments of the Crown Prince

Windows of the apartments of the Crown Prince

The ceiling of the apartments of the Crown Prince

The ceiling of the apartments of the Crown Prince

Islamic calligraphy and tile work inside the Twin Kiosk

Islamic calligraphy and tile work inside the Twin Kiosk

Floral motifs on a wall - The Twin Kiosk has been used as the privy chamber of the Crown Princes from the 18th century onwards

Floral motifs on a wall - The Twin Kiosk has been used as the privy chamber of the Crown Princes from the 18th century onwards

Stained glass windows of the Twin Kiosk - the Harem of Topkapi Palace

Stained glass windows of the Twin Kiosk - the Harem of Topkapi Palace

Apartments of the Crown Prince

Apartments of the Crown Prince

Interior of the Apartments of the Crown Prince

Interior of the Apartments of the Crown Prince

The wooden ceiling of the second room of the Twin Kiosk

The wooden ceiling of the second room of the Twin Kiosk

Stained-glass windows decorate the interior of this beautiful room

Stained-glass windows decorate the interior of this beautiful room

A tap beside a wall decorated with floral motifs

A tap beside a wall decorated with floral motifs

Courtyard of the Apartments of the Sultan’s Favorites and the Mabeyn

Courtyard of the Apartments of the Sultan’s Favorites and the Mabeyn

The Cage next to the Cortyard of the Favorites

The Cage next to the Cortyard of the Favorites

A balcony of the apartments - The Interval (Mabeyn) unit was built for the Sultans during the reign of Sultan Osman III

A balcony of the apartments - The Interval (Mabeyn) unit was built for the Sultans during the reign of Sultan Osman III

The Cage - The Harem

The Cage - The Harem

The Harem Apartments overlooking the Sea of Marmara

The Harem Apartments overlooking the Sea of Marmara

Exterior and dome of the Sultan's room is visible in this photo

Exterior and dome of the Sultan's room is visible in this photo

Lower end of the Sultan's room - next to this the boundary wall of the Topkapi Palace is visible

Lower end of the Sultan's room - next to this the boundary wall of the Topkapi Palace is visible

Windows of one of the rooms seen from outside

Windows of one of the rooms seen from outside

This door leads to the Harem Mosque

This door leads to the Harem Mosque

Stairs leading to the upper area but access to this part of the Harem wasn't allowed

Stairs leading to the upper area but access to this part of the Harem wasn't allowed

The Golden Road - the sultan used this passage to pass to the Harem

The Golden Road - the sultan used this passage to pass to the Harem

A sign on wall of the Golden Road -  It is believed that the attribute

A sign on wall of the Golden Road - It is believed that the attribute "golden" is due to the sultan's throwing of golden coins to be picked up by the concubines at festive days

Far end of the Golden Road

Far end of the Golden Road

Floor design next to the Golden Road - this small corridor brings visitors out in the Third Courtyard

Floor design next to the Golden Road - this small corridor brings visitors out in the Third Courtyard