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
Santorini is the largest island of a small, circular archipelago, which bears the same name and is the remnant of a volcanic caldera. It’s part of the Cyclades islands. It is also one of the most beautiful islands in Greece. We stayed in the village of Imerovigli, the highest point of the caldera edge, but visited other villages on the island: Fira, the capital: Oia, and Megalochori. All stunning in their own way.
I’ve been photographing the L.A. Marathon every year since I moved to Los Angeles.That’s eight years! This year, for a change, I decided to photograph most of it using the Intentional Camera Movement technique. Worked for me. What do you think? 😉
I’ve visited quite a few historic sites in my travels, but as impressive and important as they were, none spoke to me with quite the intensity expected. I must confess I’m not a big history buff so my excitement is somewhat limited. So I’ve decided to focus on something closer to home and to the issues of the day. I am sharing photos I took at the National Museum of African American History and Culture, in Washington, D.C. The museum opened in September of 2016, several years after we left D.C. to Los Angeles. But we got to visit it in 2017 during our first visit to D.C. since moving. Everybody had been raving about it and it lived up to all the built up expectations. It’s not only an architectural wonder, the exhibitions are impressive and all done with such sensitivity and good taste! Their photo and video collections are out of this world. You start your self-guided tour on the ground level and work your way through history, floor by floor. I’m only sharing photos of the historic part of the museum, which looks at African American history from slavery to the struggles of the civil rights movement and more recent events. The images are very powerful and beautiful. This part of American history is still especially relevant now, given the racial divide Americans have been witnessing in the past couple of years.