Today I bring you doors from The Imperial Harem, at Topkapi Palace and Museum, in Istanbul, Turkey. The Ottoman sultan’s harem occupied a secluded portion of the Palace. “The harem was the ultimate symbol of the Sultan’s power. His ownership of women, mostly slaves, was a sign of wealth, power, and sexual prowess. Not all members of the Harem were slaves. The main wives, especially those taken into marriage to consolidate personal and dynastic alliances were free women. The utmost authority in the Imperial Harem was the Valide Sultan, who ruled over the other women in the household and was often of slave origin herself.The imperial harem also served as a parallel institution to the sultan’s household of male servants. The women were provided with an education roughly on par with that provided to male pages, and at the end of their respective educations they would be married off to one another, as the latter graduated from the palace to occupy administrative posts in the empire’s provinces. Consequently, only a small fraction of the women in the harem actually engaged in sexual relations with the sultan, as most were destined to marry members of the Ottoman political elite, or else to continue service to the Valide Sultan. The court ladies with whom the sultan shared his bed became members of the dynasty and rose in rank to attain the status of Gözde, or the Favorite. (Wikipedia)
The first three pictures show the Imperial Room of the Harem, where musical entertainment, celebrations, and ceremonies were held. For Norm’s Thursday Doors
Wow – such ornate doors and more- the lock looks so tiny on that very last door
Such rich decoration, very ornate
Those Ottoman sultans really treated themselves well. The degree of opulence is amazing.
Amazing artistry, beautifully captured!
Wow what a visit. You go to some pretty cool places.
The ornate detailing on some of these is masterful. I’m blown away by the intricate inlay work, and some of the ceramics are just stunning. This must have been quite something to see in-person.
Thanks, Norm! Visiting Istanbul, it’s palaces and mosques was indeed an exquisite experience. I’ll have many posts about the amazing places we visited.
Beautifully decorated and ornate door!
Beautiful! All about wealth in the details. Nice shots.
So much exquisite detail! Istanbul has long been a place I’ve wanted to visit!
It is a beautiful city with so much to see and learn. It’s the most interesting city I’ve visited, with the mixture of European and Asian, religious and secular cultures. Busy and chaotic, but full of wonders.
Its history is deep, wide, and rich. Someday!!
Oh my! These are spectacular!!
wonderful impressions, Angela.