Topkapi Palace was more than just the private residence of the Sultan and his court. It was the seat of the supreme executive and judiciary council, the Divan and the training school, the Palace School. In the First Courtyard, there were a hospital, bakery,arsenal, a state mint, a part of the treasury and the Outer Service. It was open to public. The Second Courtyard was open to people who had business with the council. The Third Courtyard was reserved to the Sultan’s household and palace children. The Fourth Courtyard was exclusively reserved for the Sultan’s use.
Topkapi Palace continued to be the principal residence for four centuries until in 1853, Sultan Abdul Mecid Imoved into the new palace of Dolmabahce on the Bosphorus. The old palace was used as house for the women of the departed sultans and their servants until the Harem was officially disbanded in 1909. In 1924,Topkapi Palace was converted to a museum with the order of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. The final step was the opening of the Harem to the public in 1960.
posted by Pavel Drapal