Through the residence of the Sultan’s eunuchs, follow me to the most hidden part of the Topkapi palace: the Sultan’s Harem. A labyrinth of marble doors, pools, bedrooms, libraries and narrow passages awaits behind the houses of the eunuchs, guards of the harem.

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The most beautiful and clever women of the kingdom were forced here to serve as concubine to the Sultan. A maximum of four women, chosen by the Sultan’s mother for health, manners and smartness, were educated to the rank of mother of the Sultan’s children. The Sultan, his Queen mother, the eunuchs and the concubines,  lived in several of the 400 rooms of this secret city.


The Sultan used to reach the entrance to the Harem by horse. He then dismounted from his horse on the left marble stair visible on the picture above, and suddenly stepped into the first corridor. Isolated from the noise and the eyes of Istanbul, each of the inhabitants of the Imperial Harem were looking here for domination, pleasure, revenge, competition or pregnancy. Fascinating indeed, do not miss the additional entry ticket for the Harem when visiting the Topkapi Palace





Here, you finally reached the apartment of the princess: is she staring at you from behind this windows?


All pictures shot with Nikon 16-35 mm f/4 on D800 in a very lucky late afternoon of December 2013, devoid of tourists, about closing-time. Click to magnify.