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Harem in Dolmabahce Palace Istanbul

Harem in Dolmabahce Palace Istanbul
The entrance of the Harem is at the rear through a separate entrance and although the outside of the palace resembles something from Western Europe the inside remained the same as it had always been at Topkapi Palace where the women and Queen Mother (Valide Sultan), who was at the top of the Harem’s hierarchy, remained guarded by the black and white eunuchs.  
The tour commences from the Entrance Hall where the ceiling cornices are wonderfully painted with scenes of Istanbul .

Hall and Hamam of the Royal Women

Moving up to the first floor and passing several rooms you come to the Hall of the Royal Women that was used for celebrating religious occasions and where the decoration, although ornate, is slightly toned down in comparison to the Selamlık, and you find the same with the Hamam of the Royal Women, which in no way compares to the Sultan’s private bath.  

Japanese Salon

Next on the tour is the Japanese Salon which would be used by the Queen Mother and has beautiful fabrics decorated with sunflowers and Japanese designs.

Bedroom of Valide Sultan

Then the Bedroom of the Sultan’s Mother with its French-style cream lacquer bedroom suite made for Pernevniyal Valide Sultan, who was the mother of Sultan Abdulaziz .  

Guestrooms and Older Women Rooms

Following along you see a succession of guestrooms
that have throne type and iron bed frames and all in different styles. Next is a suite of rooms that were used by the older women of the Harem that has a small lobby with a piano and a sitting area that opens into a small bedroom, sitting room and bathroom. In here is the beautiful painting by Osman Hamdi Bey “A Young Lady Having Her Hair Combed”.  
You then pass a room that would have been used by the head maid before reaching a second similar suite of rooms.

Circumcision Room

The tour returns to the main Hall of the Royal Women and here you get a quick look into the Circumcision Room where royal princes would rest and greet well-wishers after their circumcision (sunnet).

Children's Playroom

The children’s Playroom is another room you only get to glance at and on the wall here is a photo of Ibrahim Tevfik Efendi who was the grandson of Sultan Abdulmecid , and this leads you back into the Entrance Hall and the end of the tour.

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