The Court of Eunuchs

The Paved Courtyard of the Black Eunuchs was named after the Black Eunuchs.  Their main duty was to guard the Harem entrance, checking whoever went in and out and making sure that no one unwanted was allowed in. It is surrounded by the Treasurer’s Chamber; the Chamber of the Courtiers; the Dormitory of the Black Eunuchs and the School of the Princes, which had an educational function like that of the dormitories found in the Inner Palace Courtyard the Schools of the Princes. It is known that the sultan would ride on horseback along the road, paved with podima stones. The Harem Eunuchs And The Black Eunuchs Assigning the task of guarding the women’s section of a royal palace to eunuchs is a very ancient Mesopotamian tradition going back to the Assyrians and was subsequently adopted in palaces as distant as China and Rome. This tradition was also practiced in the Harem of the Ottoman sultans. By the end of the 16th century, the duty of guarding the concubines had fallen exclusively to the Black Eunuchs who held this power until the very end of the empire, increasing their power all the while. Black children from Central Africa, and from Abyssinia in particular, would be chosen for this position, and then, having been introduced into the harems of the Old Palace and Topkapı Palace, would be educated according to a strict regimen.