DOLMABAHCE PALACE

The Dolmabahce Palace was built during the reign of Sultan I Abdulmecit during the 19th century; this over-ornated palace lies along the European coast of the Bosphorus. Dolmabahce Palace was constructed between 1843 and 1856, mixing different European artistic influences and built by Abdulmecit’s architect, Karabet Balyan. It was built over three levels and symmetrically planned, with 285 chambers and 43 halls. It has a 600m long pier along the river, with two huge monumental gates.

The palace is surrounded by well-maintained and immaculate gardens, with an immense 56-columned greeting hall, with 750 lights illuminated from 4,5 tones of the crystal chandelier. The entrance was used for meeting and greeting the sultans, and opposite the ceremonial hall was the harem. The interior decoration, furniture, silk carpets, and curtains all exist with little defect.

The palace has a luxury level not present in most other palaces, with walls and ceilings decorated with gold and European art from the period. Top-quality silk and wool carpets, southeast Asian hand-made artifacts, and crystal candlesticks adorn every room. The men’s Hamam (public bath) is adorned with alabaster marble, and the harem also contains the Sultan’s bedrooms and the women and servants’ divisions. Dolmabahce Palace has another special place in Turkish history; the Republic of Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, passed away in Dolmabahce Palace on 10 November 1938. His room is open to the visitors as he left.

The east wing is home to the Museum of Fine Arts.

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