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Dolmabahce Palace Visit Istanbul

Dolmabahce Palace in Istanbul is located on the edge of the Bosphorus on the European side in the district of Beşiktaş – Dolmabahçe Palace Visit Istanbul

The history of the Dolmabahce Palace Istanbul:

Between 1842 and 1853 who had in mind to be able to create a palace with western style and comfort, also wanting to show that times had changed and that the empire wanted to westernize, unlike the very beautiful Topkapi Palace which is very oriental.

The location of the Dolmabahce Palace Istanbul

Natural harbor, the place was the anchor of many buildings of the fleet of Ottoman sultans and pashas until the end of the XVI. century.

From the 17th century, the cove was filled to become one of the gardens on the Bosphorus, the most prized of the sultans. The name Dolma means “filled” and Bahçe means “garden” (Dolma-Bahçe – the Dolmabahce Palace).

This name comes from the fact that the already existing imperial gardens had been made by encroaching on the Bosphorus and that the sultan had taken the decision to have the present houses razed and to build instead a palace in the middle of these magnificent gardens (In this garden then rises a castle “the coastal Palace of Besiktas” destroyed in 1843 during the reign of Sultan Abdülmecid on the pretext that the wooden building has become unusable). The result is quite successful, this man had good taste!

The construction of the Dolmabahce Palace in Istanbul was entrusted to two famous architects of the time, Karabet and Nikogos Balyan, a new building is immediately started under the direction of Haci Sait Aga responsible for the works. After 12 years of work, the palace is finished.

Dolmabahce Palace gardens – Dolmabahce Palace Visit Istanbul

Six large palace gardens, adorned with water jets, flower beds of all kinds and statues of various animals.

The Imperial Doors of the Palace

None of them open directly onto the entrance to the Dolmabahce Palace in Istanbul, they invite you to enter the gardens first. There are 10 of them (6 on the land side and 4 on the sea side).

The two monumental doors are one of the peculiarities of the Dolmabahce Palace in Istanbul, they symbolize the magnificence of the Empire. The Treasure Door opposite the Clock Tower and the Royal Door are the main entrances. Each column door joins a central arch surrounded by smaller arcs in a graceful oval. The towers on each side accentuate this oval. Heavy ornamentation dominates, with colonnades, rosettes, shells, leaves, branches and pearl necklaces.

 Besides the main building, Selamlik and the harem, the entire estate is made up of 16 independent parts intended for various functions: stables, mills, pharmacies, kitchens, aviaries, workshops, forges, pastries …

The cost of building the Dolmabahce Palace in Istanbul is 5,000,000 pounds of gold, the equivalent of 35 tonnes of this metal.

For 68 years, six sultans will succeed one another at the Dolmabahce Palace in Istanbul until the abolition of the caliphate and the departure of Abdulmecit II in March 1924. On March 3 of that same year, the new Turkish Republic became owner of the Palace and its management is entrusted to the Directorate of the National Palace (Milli Saraylar Daire Başkanlığı), under the responsibility of the National Assembly.

Dolmabahce Palace – Dolmabahçe Sarayı (nowadays):

The Dolmabahce Palace in Istanbul also has the largest collection in the world of crystal chandeliers from Bohemia and Baccarat and a famous and monumental staircase with balustrade in Baccarat crystal.

In the palace is an impressive quantity of carpets from the imperial factory of Hereke, Sultan Abdulmecid founded the Imperial Factory of Hereke in 1841 in order to supply all the textiles necessary for the decoration of his new palace. He gathered the best artists and weavers from all over the Empire in this city, where they began to produce large and very high quality carpets with unique patterns.

Dolmabahce Palace in Istanbul has a very old bear skin rug, a gift from the Tsar of Russia to the Ottoman Sultan.

Traditionally, we pass by the room where Atatürk died and where the clock is now stopped at the time of his death.

Recognized as the largest palace in Turkey, it conceals many other treasures that a single visit does not allow to discover.

The 278-meter white marble facade of the Palace offers a magnificent view of the Bosphorus in a splendid garden with ponds and fountains, enclosed by an impressive gate 600 meters long.

The family of the architect Balyan, carried out practically all the large houses (Yali), the palaces of the pashas and sultans during two centuries, on the two banks of the Bosphorus.

He produced this masterpiece Dolmabahce Palace in Istanbul in style, rare in its genre given the mix of baroque, rococo and neo-classical styles, while also subtly absorbing the traditions of Ottoman art.

The Dolmabahce Palace Visit Istanbul has an area of: 45,000 m2 with 285 rooms, 44 rooms, 6 hammams and 68 toilets.

 Dolmabahce Palace in Istanbul counts three distinct parts:

1 / Selamlik (reserved to men)

2 / Ceremony halls

3 / Harem and Sultan’s family apartments

In the Dolmabahce Palace complex and outside the gardens and the palace, you can find a 27-meter high clock tower with 94 steps, don’t forget your baskets!

With a French clock from the PAUL GARNIER brand on the 4 corners of the facade.

Dolmabahce Mosque

A Mosque called Dolmabahçe (in which today the faithful can go and pray). The Dolmabahce Mosque built near the Dolmabahce Palace is of neoclassical style, particularly rich in rococo style ornaments and decorations. The mosques of Nusretiye in Tophane, Selimiye in Üsküdar and the Ortaköy Mosque are similar.

The Luster of Dolmabahce Palace Istanbul

One of the largest collection of baccarat and bohemian crystal chandeliers can be found in Dolmabahce Palace (10 employees cannot do enough for these jewels of light). There are 36 crystal chandeliers and 581 şamdan (crystal lamps on legs) decorating Dolmabahce Palace.

* The largest chandelier in the world in bohemian crystal, is in the large ceremonial hall, weighing 4500 kg and needs 750 bulbs. We can say that he saw the Sultan big, unless he was visually impaired!

The interior decoration of the palace, the ceilings, the walls, and the parquet floors were made by French and Italian artists “hand in hand with Latin artists”!

The chief interior decorator is of French origin is named: Séchan, renowned Opera decorator under Napoleon III. ha !! these French are everywhere in all the good shots!

14,000 kg of gold was applied, 600 paintings painted by 120 different artists, 280 limoges and Turkish porcelain vases, 158 silver and tortoise clocks, 141 living room rugs and 115 prayer rugs which cover a total of 4,452 m², the marble comes from the island of Marmara (all colors are used there: white, blue, pink, yellow, black) the styles of the furniture are: regency, Louis XV, Louis XVI and Viyana – Thonet.

Mustafa KEMAL ATATÜRK founder of modern TURKEY died in one of the palace rooms on November 10, 1938 at 9:05 am, the time at which all the palace clocks were stopped.

Nowadays, despite the fact that it is a museum, we always receive presidents at Dolmabahce Palace and we organize meals there on the gardens by the Bosphorus, there is worse as a decor!

Dolmabahce Palace Address

Dolmahçe cad . Beşiktaş  34.357

Phone number: 0212 236 35 77

Dolmabahce Palace Visit Istanbul entrance fees

Selamlik (60 tl)

Harem (40 TL)

Selamlik + Harem (90 tl)

Free for children under 12 YO

Dolmabahce Palace closing days 

Monday and Thursday closed, others days from 9 AM until 17 PM, the number of visitors is limited to 3000 so we advise you to come earlier

Dolmabahce Palace visit is only possible with a guide or a palace guardian (in small groups)

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