The Harem has a highly complex plan, consisting of buildings constructed over a long period of time, this adding to the apparent complexity of the several hundred rooms layout. Lived in throughout the Ottoman Age, and presenting the best of each of the periods of the Age, the harem is the ideal location for a full taste of the Ottoman Empires life.
Construction began under S’leyman the Magnificent, continuing through the time of Mahmut II. Extending over 6720 square meters, it consists of three to five story buildings, totaling 259 rooms, 46 toilets, 12 storage rooms for non-food items. 8 baths, 8 entry halls, a hospital, 2 dormitories, 4 kitchens, six food store rooms, and one swimming pool. In addition, a School for Princes was annexed, and in the basement were located the harem prisons.
Today we enter the harem through a small door which in the past served as the Carriage Gate entrance to the harem, and is located behind the chamber of the Divan. This was the entrance of the eunuchs and the Sultans wives when using carriages. From the Carriage Gate we enter a small rectangular - shaped room. The second room we next enter, walls sheathed in tiles, was the palace guard room, this was the Eunuchs Guard room, and is decorated in K’tahya tiles. To the left of this room, we enter the mosque of the black eunuchs, walls again sheathed in tile work, and the pulpit finished in mother - of - pearly inlay.
Following the stone pathway outside the mosque, we reach the barracks of the Black Eunuchs.