Topkapı Palace Harem Walking Tour – 4 hours in Istanbul.
Topkapı Palace in Istanbul is a place of opulence, complexity and mystery that inspires awe. It was the home of the Ottomans for nearly 400 years and their greatest achievement as a dynasty.
Our guided tour of Topkapi Palace and its Harem is a fascinating immersion to the heart of the great Ottoman Empire which was ruled by the Sultans. They lived in Topkapı’s hundreds of rooms with a huge family and servants.
Today Topkapı Palace Harem is a romantic scene with the views of the Bosporus in Istanbul and with many sections open for visits; it takes a few hours enjoying the palace and its Harem.
Topkapi is not a palace in the traditional European sense but a complex of low buildings and pavilions, kiosks and courtyards. It’s a self-contained city that most of the inhabitants rarely left.
We do include the outer terraced gardens, (no other tour does this part) where flowerbeds blaze with tulips of many colors and we climb the high terrace to admire the view over the Golden Horn.
As we walk we filter myth from reality, stories from official archives; visiting Topkapı Palace and Harem will take a good few hours.
Our Topkapi Palace Harem visit includes the Holy Relics and Treasury sections,too.
Harem in Topkapı Palace
The very seat of the Ottoman Sultan’s power in Topkapi Palace lies within the deepest reaches of the Harem- the famous house of the Monarchy.
The Harem in Topkapı Palace was ruled by the Queen Mother who wielded both domestic and political power: there was no Queen in the Ottoman Court.
The Harem housed hundreds of women-mostly war captives- and family members as well as hundreds of eunuchs, who performed a whole range of administrative and personal duties. We walk through the sections where the eunuchs lived and were educated; then through the hallway to the courtyard of the concubines and to the Queen Mother’s Rooms.
We see cupboard doors inlaid with mother-of-pearl and tortoise shell.
Our walk through the Harem is the only way you can see the very early exceptional Iznik tiles with verses from the Kuran and beautiful floral designs.
You can choose to have a private tour or share the experience with a maximum of 8 people. Topkapi Palace Harem tour is a great way to get to understand the royal Ottoman family.