Second Courtyard

Divan Meydanı

When the Gate of Greeting is behind you a magnificent park comes to your sight. From the very gate the lanes lead the visitors to the kitchens of the palace, sultan’s stables, the Imperial Divan, the harem and to the Gate of the Third Courtyard (this passage could only be used by the sultan). Next to the entrance to the former sultan’s stables a collection of carriages built by European and Turkish specialists for sultans and members of their family are on display.

The Second Courtyard was the administrative and ceremonial center of the Empire, including in the times when a new sultan was to be enthroned. The Second Courtyard is also called the Divan Square or Courtyard of Justice, for the Imperial Divan and the Tower of Justice (a place to discuss state matters) are located here.

The Tower of Justice with is high pyramidal rooftop is the highest building of the palace (15th-16th centuries). The Tower is a symbolic image of the struggle between the sultan and injustice. Not to be seen, the sultan could observe what happened outside the palace though the bars of the tower windows. And his servants, in sight of the high tower, always felt his unseen presence. The golden window (the so-called "Sultan’s eye") in the Imperial Divan is accessible through the Tower of Justice.

Address: Topkapı Sarayı Müzesi, Sultanahmet, Fatih
Opening hours: Mon, Wed-Sun 26 Oct – 15 Apr 9 am – 4.45 pm, 15 Apr – 26 Oct 9 am – 6.45 pm, Tue closed
How to reach: Gülhane (TR1)
Coordinates: 41.011947, 28.983746