First Cortyard / Parade Grounds
The First Courtyard is reached through the Imperial Gate. This courtyard, where various ceremonies and processions were held, was really the only part of the palace offered to everyone. The De`âvî Pavilion, which just the foundation has survived to the present day, was located close to the Gate of Salutation (Bâbü’s-Selâm or “Middle Gate”) and was where the public conveyed their written petitions towards the palace.
About the left side on the courtyard stand the church of Hagia Eirene (Aya Irini) plus the Royal Mint (Darphâne-i Âmire). It seemed to be here how the Firewood Storehouse, the Wickerworkers’ Headquarters, plus the Patriarchate were located; the remains with the latter is visible behind the administrative building and sentry station, built at the end in the 19th century. Around the right side with the courtyard stood the Ministry of Finance; the Palace Hospital; bakeries producing bread and simit for that palace; the Mosque on the Royal Bakery; and employees’ residences. There were and a water tower that contained a fountain and was built in time of Sultan Mahmud II (r. 1808–39). Essentially the most interesting structures remaining from the First Courtyard will be the Executioners’ Fountain, which can be seen within the right from the Gate of Salutation; here, purportedly, executioners would wash their hands following an execution. It was also in this area of the courtyard which the palace woodsheds were located.
In this courtyard, there’s 2 small gates opening onto the Royal Garden: for the Golden Horn side would be the Kozbekçileri Gate; around the Sea of Marmara side may be the Gate with the Boot. The key plus the oldest structure from the courtyard could be the Byzantine church of Hagia Eirene, integrated the 6th century to work as the church with the Patriarchate. Following construction of Topkapi Palace, Hagia Eirene was adopted for armory. Later, during the time of Fethi Ahmed Pasha (1802–58), it turned out changed into the Archaeology Museum, serving therein capacity until 1894, when the Archaeology Museum was chosen the building it currently occupies and Hagia Eirene became a military museum.
The palace workshops located near the church reflect a tradition that originated in the Roman Empire and was continued underneath the Ottomans. In these workshops, fine crafts including carpentry, leather working, bookbinding, and manuscript illumination were executed; it was also here that gifts to be sent to foreign states were prepared. İn the event the court moved from Topkapi Palace within the 1800s, the workshops were became the Royal Mint, where imperial coins were pressed.