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Topkapi Palace’s Cariyeler and Kadınefendiler Hammam was opened to visitors for the first time in its history

The Cariyeler and Kadınefendiler Hammam, one of the oldest buildings of Topkapi Palace, was opened to visitors for the first time in its history after meticulous restoration works.

Topkapi Palace was started to be built in 1465 after Mehmed the Conqueror conquered Constantinople in 1453 and was completed in 1481.

Topkapi Palace is a historical palace in Istanbul, which was the political and administrative center of the Ottoman Empire for 400 years. The palace is located in Sarayburnu at the intersection of the Marmara Sea, the Bosphorus and the Golden Horn.

The palace was used as the residence of the Ottoman sultans until the 19th century.

The most mysterious structure of Topkapi Palace, which has a large complex of four main courtyards, has always been the Harem section.

In the Ottoman Empire, the harem was a special part of the palace where the sultan’s wives, concubines, children and servants lived. The harem was one of the most important parts of the palace and was closed to outsiders.

Cariyeler Hammam_Topkapi Palace
Photo: IHA

The harem was a large complex consisting of many rooms, a hammam, a garden and a masjid.

After the restoration works planned by the Presidency of National Palaces in stages in the Harem section of Topkapi Palace, the mysterious Cariyeler and Kadınefendiler Hammam of the palace was opened to visitors for the first time in its history.

Hamamda ibrik, leğen ve su kabı kullanılmıştır. Fotoğraf: IHA

Nearly 120 artifacts reflecting the characteristics of the period and the bath culture are exhibited in the restored bath.

Topkapi Palace

Following the bath, the other sections of the Cariyeler and Kadınefendiler stone, whose restorations are nearing completion, are planned to be opened to visitors within the year.

Topkapi Palace-Harem
Concubines living in the harem of the Topkapi palace. The harem was the sultan’s most intimate place.

İlhan Kocaman, Head of National Palaces Topkapı Palace Department, said the following about the Kadınefendiler Stone. “The living spaces of concubines are usually the areas around that stone. They carry out their services there, they sleep there. They come there at a young age.They first receive an education here, and some of the concubines who pass this education are selected as favorites. Then they become ikbal and women’s mistresses for the sultan. Since they are given to the Sultan as children, some of them end up in the Valide Sultan’s household. Some of them are later married off to pashas and other state administrators in line with the education they receive, and some of them stay in the palace.”

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