Dolmabahçe Palace

Dolmabahçe Palace, the magnificent palace of the Bosphorus, is one of the most opulent symbolic systems of the Ottoman Empire`s converting nineteenth century identity.

It was the principal administrative center of the Ottoman Empire, located in the Besiktas district of Istanbul, Turkey, on the European coast of the Bosphorus.

The area where the palace stands today has always been used as a residence since ancient times. Although its function as a port has been transformed into gardens and gazebos, the area has not lost its charm. Home to the palace of Ayia Mamas in Byzantine times, this area was a strategically popular place where states and monarchs focused their attention on location, function and natural beauty. The cost of construction is 5 million Ottoman gold coins, equivalent to about $1.5 billion in 2022 prices. The strain on the empire’s resources contributed to its financial deterioration.

The palace was built by renowned Ottoman architects Karabet and Nikogos Balian. The main block of the palace consists of three parts. Mabeini Humayun (Selamlik), Muayedeh (the wedding hall) and Haremi Humayun (harem). Mabeini Humayun is where state affairs take place, and Haremi Humayun is a private part of the sultan and his family.

The harem part makes up two-thirds of the Dolmabahce Palace. The passage from Mabein and Muayede Hall to the harem is via a corridor with iron and heavy wooden doors representing traditional separation. In this part there is a large hall illuminated by reflections of the Bosphorus, the Sultan’s bedroom, his wife, concubine, son and daughter, study and living room. Valide Sultan Apartments (Sultan’s Mothers), blue and pink halls, rooms of Sultans Abdulmecid, Abdulaziz and Resada, concubine’s quarters, ladies’ rooms, study and bedrooms and furniture of the Great Atatürk, carpets and many valuable crafts such as  kilims, inscriptions, vases , chandeliers, oil paintings – the most interesting and impressive features of the harem.

  • The women of the harem had to watch the grand ceremony held in the hall through a bar hidden behind them. The founder of the Republic of Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, died in this palace, and the clock is still set at 9:05 AM on November 10, 1938, the time of his death. At this time of year every year, Turkey as a whole comes to a standstill in the memory of Atatürk.
  • If you are a musician or love music then the crystal piano is a must see located in the Glass Kiosk section of the Palace. The Gaveau piano here is made of crystal, as well as its chair, which is a very unique example of the glass art.
  • Dolmabahce Palace is open from 9:00 to 18:00 every day except Mondays. Tickets to Dolmabahce cost 150TL per person, and a guided tour is required to fully understand the history of Dolmabahce Palace.

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