Harem

The literal meaning of the word harem in Arabic language is, “a holy place that everyone is not allowed to enter”. In  Muslim societies, it is a notion which defines intimate family life. In Ottoman tradition, the word "Harem" was used in two different senses. First, "the sultan's harem" i.e. his family, and the second meaning would have referred to the space where his family lived. Besides constituting the core of the dynasty, the palace harem forming a wing of the cadre of sultan’s... ...More
This place was built as a vestibule to the Harem in 1587 by Sultan Murat III (1574-95). The Harem treasury worked here. In its cupboards, records of deeds of trust were kept, administered by the Chief Harem Eunuch. This treasury stored money from the pious foundations of the Harem and other foundations, and financial records of the Sultans and the imperial family as well as the valuable presents sent annually by the Ottoman Sultan to Mecca and Medina during the period of pilgrimage.
The double space room at the entrance of the Harem was called the Hall with the Fountain due to the marble fountain which was under its dome. It reached our present-day in its remodelled form after the 1665 Harem fire. It was conceived as an entrance hall under the control of the Harem eunuchs. This space is connected through a series of doorways to the Great (Horse) Mounting and Curtain Gate connecting the Harem to the Privy Garden (Has Bahçe); andto the Masjid (Mescit) of the Eunuchs and to... ...More
The mosque was restored following the Harem fire of 1665. Its two entrances bear the names of the Şadırvanlı Sofa (hall with fountain) and the Karaağalar Taşlığı (courtyard of the black eunuchs). The inscription above the Şadırvanlı Sofa entrance bears the date 1666/67 (Hegira 1077). It leads to an arched corridor with windows. The date 1667/68 appears also in the inscription above the inside of the other entrance. The mosque is set on a square plan with a flat wooden ceiling. The door of the... ...More
Black Eunuchs also called Eunuchs of the Harem were mostly chosen from the Central African territories of the Empire and in particular among those of Abyssinian origin. They were taught the rules of the Palace and Harem and trained and educated in a strict discipline. 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 Head of the Black Eunuchs, Chief Harem Eunuch (Darü’s-saâde Ağası) also... ...More