Turkey - Istanbul - Topkapi Palace 02
Ottoman Sultans ruled their empire from this Istanbul palace from the 15-19th century. One of the highlights is a tour of the harem. Harem means "private" and was the living quarters of the Sultan, his family, and concubines. Ornate hand-painted Iznik tiles decorate almost every surface inside. Frescoes decorate non-tiled surfaces. Depending on which version you believe, sultans enjoyed the pleasures of between 4-300 wives and concubines. All the concubines were foreigners, as law prohibited those of the same God (Muslims, Jews, Christians) from serving.