Currency / Language


NEWS Concubines' Quarters of Topkapı Palace Welcomes Visitors for the First Time

1 Jul 2024

The Concubines' Quarters, located in Topkapı Palace, where concubines of the Ottoman Empire once resided, has been opened to visitors for the first time. This special section has been restored and made accessible to allow visitors to gain a closer understanding of the harem life of the Ottoman Empire.

The Concubines' Quarters is known as one of the important and intriguing parts of Topkapı Palace. This section, where the wives and concubines of the sultans lived during the Ottoman period, draws attention with its rich historical texture.

Following restoration work, this area, now open to visitors, provides significant insights into the harem life of the Ottoman Empire and offers a new exploration point for history enthusiasts.


Topkapı Palace, located in Istanbul's Sarayburnu, served as the Ottoman Empire's administrative centre and the residence of the sultans for 400 of its 600 years of history. At one time, nearly 4,000 people lived within its walls.

Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror started the construction of Topkapı Palace in 1465. The palace was completed in 1478 and served as the Ottoman sultans' administrative centre and official residence for approximately 380 years until Sultan Abdulmejid built the Dolmabahçe Palace. Initially, the palace covered an area of approximately 700,000 square meters, but today it spans 80,000 square meters.

Topkapı Palace was vacated as the palace residents began to live in Dolmabahçe Palace, Yıldız Palace, and other palaces. Despite being abandoned by the sultans, Topkapı Palace never lost its importance, and many officials continued to live there. The palace was periodically repaired. Special care was given to the maintenance of the Chamber of the Holy Mantle, where the Holy Relics visited by the sultan and his family during the month of Ramadan were kept.

The first time Topkapı Palace was opened to visitors, almost like a museum, was during the reign of Sultan Abdulmejid. The belongings in the Treasury of Topkapı Palace were shown to the British ambassador of the time. Subsequently, it became a tradition to show the old artefacts in the Topkapı Palace Treasury to foreigners, and during the reign of Sultan Abdulaziz, showcases in the Empire style with glass windows were built, and the old artefacts in the treasury began to be displayed to foreigners. During the period when Sultan Abdulhamid II was deposed, there were plans to open the Treasury of Topkapı Palace to the public on Sundays and Tuesdays, but this did not materialize.

Download Turkey Homes Mobile Application