Residence of the Agha of Janissaries

Antoine - Ignace MellingEnd of 18th century

İstanbul Research Institute

İstanbul Research Institute
İstanbul, Türkiye

Built during the reign of Bayezid II (1481-1512) at the turn of the 16th century, the “Ağa Kapısı” was the administrative centre of the Janissary Corps and also served as the residence of the Aghas of the Janissaries. Surrounded by high walls, this structural complex was comprised of the selâmlık unit, in which official business was run, as well as the harem section that housed the Agha of the Janissaries and his family. Not only was the law and order of İstanbul was governed from this building, but janissaries who committed crimes were questioned at the residence. They were subsequently sent from there to the Çardak Pier along the Golden Horn shore and were taken by way of sea to a place where they would be executed or incarcerated. Destroyed and rebuilt several times in a number of fires, the Residence of the Agha of Janissaries was transferred to Bâb-ı Meşihat in 1827, in the aftermath of the Vak’a-i Hayriye incident (1826) during which the Janissary Corps were abolished. While the rich architectural plan of the Residence is identified in various documents, the layout and architectural features of the structure remain unknown to this day. In this panorama, the Residence of the Agha of the Janissaries resembles a gigantic wooden mansion (konak) that expands parallel to the Golden Horn shore (in the east-west direction).


  • Title: Residence of the Agha of Janissaries
  • Creator: Antoine - Ignace Melling
  • Date Created: End of 18th century
  • Physical Dimensions: 23,5 x 180 cm.

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