Magnificent Palaces of Istanbul

Istanbul hosts many historical places such as palaces, mosques, bridges, avenues and many others. It can be seen that these historical places reflect the features of their era and make us understand different cultures. For instance, the palaces of Istanbul reflect the richness of culture. There are many great palaces surrounded by beautiful gardens and venues. If you are fond of history, here are some examples that you should definitely visit!

Dolmabahçe Palace was built in 1856 during the reign of Sultan Abdülmecid I. The sultan and his family lived in Topkapı Palace at that time, but the palace was old-fashioned, so he decided to build something new, contemporary, luxury and comfort. The construction cost tonnes of Ottoman gold, and the expenses placed an enormous burden on the state purse which deteriorated financial situation of Ottoman Empire.

Located in Besiktas, Dolmabahçe Palace is the largest palace in Turkey with its 45.000 m2 area, 285 rooms, 46 halls, 6 hamams and 68 toilets. Its design combines Rococo, Neoclassical and Baroque styles as well as Ottoman style synthesis. It was home to 6 sultans and their families; the founder and first president of Turkish Republic, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk used the palace as a presidential residence and spent the last days of his medical treatment and died on November 10, 1938. Today, the palace is managed by Directorate of National Palaces.
You can visit Dolmabahçe Palace from Tuesday to Sunday 9 am to 4 pm, it is closed on Mondays.


Another magnificent palace is Çırağan Palace Kempinski which is located on the European shore of Bosphorus, between Besiktas and Ortakoy. It was formerly an Ottoman Palace, today it is a five-star hotel in the Kempinski Hotel chains.

Çırağan Palace was ordered by Sultan Abdülaziz, and built in 1867. Its roof and inner walls were made of wood, and its outer walls were made of colorful marbles. There is a bridge connecting the palace to the another one called Yıldız Palace on the hill behind. In 1910, a great fire destroyed the palace and only outer walls left. The structure served many years as football stadium called ‘’Şeref Stadı’’ for Besiktas J.K. In 1989, it was bought by a Japanese corporation and restored as a modern hotel complex. In the first quarter of 2007, it was renovated and now it resembles the authentic palace with its baroque style.


One of the greatest palaces in Asian side of Bosphorus is Beylerbeyi Palace, which means ‘’Lord of the Lords’’. It was built in 1865 by the order of Sultan Abdülaziz as a summer residence and a place for resting and entertaining. It is as large as Dolmabahçe Palace, however it hosted many royal visitors include Empress Eugenie of France, and the Duchess and Duke of Windsor.
The palace looks attractive from the Bosphorus, it has two bath pavilions for men and women that can be seen. The reception hall, rooms, furnitures, pool and fountain are other attractive parts of the palace. It was also the last place of the captivity of the deposed Sultan Abdülhamid II until his death in 1918.

You can visit Beylerbeyi Palace from 9 am to 5 pm during summer season, from 9 am to 4.30 pm during winter season. The palace is closed on Monday and Thursday.
There are some other palaces such as Adile Sultan Palace, Tekfur Palace, Küçüksu Pavilion, Topkapı Palace, Aynalıkavak Pavilion, Yıldız Palace and so on worth visiting! You will be definitely impressed by the beauty of palaces of Istanbul and their history!

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