Istanbul is one of the busiest tourist cities in Turkey throughout the year. Due to the many shopping centers, various and attractive festivals, as well as historical tourist areas, which give this city a great popularity around the world, in addition to the geographical location and good weather of this beautiful city, the Dolmabahçe Palace in Istanbul is one of the most important of these exciting historical monuments.
The palace was built on an area of 45,000 square meters, within a privileged location on the banks of the Bosphorus, in the European part of Istanbul, The Palace was used as the main administrative center of the Ottoman Empire between 1889 and 1909.
Dolmabahçe Palace in Istanbul offers local guided tours. These tours are done on average every 25 minutes and once every 5 minutes on a crowded day. The tour in this palace takes about two hours. You must wear blue nylon shoes when entering, to keep the palace clean. Visiting hours are from 9 AM until 5 PM, and these tours are open to visitors on all days of the week, except for Mondays and Tuesdays.
Dolmabahçe Palace was built in Istanbul in the mid-nineteenth century, as it was the alternative to Topkapi Palace in Istanbul. The palace was built in a high standards by a senior architect at the Ottoman court, between 1843 and 1856 by orders from Sultan Abdulmejid I, the thirty-first Ottoman Sultan, and this palace was the last royal residence of the Ottoman sultans, where six sultans lived.
Dolmabahçe Palace consists of 285 rooms, 43 bathrooms and 6 Turkish baths. However, what makes the palace look unique, is the 4,000 kg crystal chandelier, which is located in the palace hall at a height of 26 meters.
It is interesting to know that this palace was home to other rulers of Turkey after the Ottoman Empire, in which the founder of the Turkish Republic Mustafa Kemal Ataturk lived, and died in the same palace. However, today the palace is used as a museum and tourist attraction.
The main rooms of Dolmabahçe Palace are in Istanbul
Dolmabahçe Palace in Istanbul is a large and impressive castle on the Bosphorus strait due to its area of more than 110,000 square meters.
Dolmabahçe Palace in Istanbul consists of three main parts:
- Entrance Hall
- Crystal Hall The Secretariat’s Rooms
- Atatürk’s room
Before it was built, the palace area was a shallow port in which the Ottoman fleet was anchored. in the seventeenth century, then the port was turned into a beautiful garden with several palaces called the Besiktas Palace Complex, where it was a place where the Sultan rested and enjoyed the natural scenery.
In 1843, the Dolmabahçe Palace in Istanbul was built by order of Sultan Abdulmejid I, and the old buildings in the area were demolished. After the death of Abdulmejid, his successor used the joy of the palace as a secondary palace, so it became a winter residence of the Sultan, while Beylerbeyi Palace was a summer residence.
Of course, apart from the main sections mentioned above, there are other sections in this palace, such as:
Royal kitchens, crown rooms, barracks, stables, pharmacies, flour mills, poultry farms, glass production, foundry, houseplants, greenhouses, carpet workshops, clock tower, etc.
After the end of the sultans era, the imperial family moved with Sultan Mehmed V to the Garden of Eden and remained there until the declaration of the Turkish Republic at the end of the War of Independence. Parliament decided to use Dolmabahçe Palace as a presidential palace, so when Ataturk came to Istanbul, he stayed there in the palace. Until he died on November 10, 1938 in the palace, and later in 1952 the palace was declared as a museum.
The offices in Dolmabahçe Palace
Inside the palace there are apartments for office use, and they are among the most important parts of Dolmabahçe Palace in Istanbul in terms of functionality and magnificence. When you enter this section, you will encounter a large foyer with a crystal staircase.
Important decorative elements were used to construct this section. Other notable parts of the office at Dolmabahçe Palace in Istanbul include a number of halls decorated with carpets on the top floor, crystal chandeliers, fireplaces and a beautiful royal bathroom decorated with Egyptian plaster.
The ballroom in Dolmabahçe Palace
One of the largest halls in Dolmabahçe Palace in Istanbul is the ceremonial hall, which covers an area of more than 2,000 square meters, with a ceiling height of about 36 meters. The hall is decorated with a large carpet and a crystal chandelier weighing 4.5 tons as a gift from Queen Victoria I.
The upper floors of the galleries were also used by foreign ambassadors who were invited to the palace for religious ceremonies, although in addition to religious ceremonies, the hall was used for other ceremonies by the palace orchestra.
Women were not allowed to attend the ceremony at the time, so women watched the ceremony from the windows of the long corridor above the ballroom.
The architecture of this palace is so interesting and complex that all the parts are connected, so you must visit it several times to find out the ways.
The main hall in the Dolmabahçe delight palace
The visit to the palace starts from the main hall. The rooms in the hallway face the sea and the land, and the rooms facing the sea are reserved for Ottoman officials, the interior minister and other ministers, while the rooms overlooking the ground were occupied by other managers with another small palace in the garden.
The guests who came to the Dolmabahçe palace had to wait in the hallway for the palace officials to guide them on time.
The main hall of the palace has an English chandelier hanging in the middle of this room and is divided into 60 branches. The fabric used in the carpet is royal red.
The office rooms are in Dolmabahçe Palace
After the main hall, on the right side, you’ll find the staff hall, also known as the tiled room. On the left wall of the hallway, there is a large collection of paintings of famous painters still in the palace as souvenirs. On the right wall, there is a painting by artist Rudolf Ernst depicting the fire of the Paris City Theater, and another painting of a Dutch rural girl, is installed on the wall. Decorated with French-style furniture, with valuable ceramic vases.
As we said, the Dolmabahçe Palace in Istanbul was the residence of many Turkish kings and sultans. According to history, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk spent the last days of his life in this palace in Istanbul, and he died on November 10, 1938. At 9:05, after his death, all hours of the palace were stopped at 09:05. After a while, the hours outside Ataturk’s room were set to the correct time in Turkey, but the hour in the room where Ataturk died is still showing 09:05.
How to go to Dolmabahçe Palace in Istanbul?
To visit the Dolmabahçe Palace, if you are in Taksim Square, take the Metro line and go to Kabataş. The palace is 300 meters from Kabataş Station.
If you are in the Sultanahmet area, take the tram line directly to Kabataş station.
Address: Dolmabahçe Cd, 34357 Beşiktaş / Istanbul, Turkey