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The harem was home to the sultan's mother, the Valide Sultan; the concubines and wives of the sultan; and the rest of his family, including children; and their servants.

The harem consists of a series of buildings and structures, connected through hallways and courtyards.

Several other sacred objects are on display, such as the swords of the first four Caliphs, the staff of Moses, the turban of Joseph and a carpet of the daughter of Mohammed.

Topkapı Palace gradually lost its importance at the end of the 17th century, as the Sultans preferred to spend more time in their new palaces along the Bosporus.

In 1856, Sultan Abdül Mecid I decided to move the court to the newly built Dolmabahçe Palace, the first European-style palace in the city.

Now any visitor can see these items, although in very dim light to protect the relics.

The Arcade of the Chamber of the Holy Mantle was added in the reign of Murad III, but was altered when the Circumcision Room was added.

The palace was a setting for state occasions and royal entertainments and is a major tourist attraction today, containing the most holy relics of the Muslim world such as the prophet Muhammed's cloak and sword.

Last modified 06-Nov-2020 11:52