Dolmabahçe Palace Museum

Commissioned by Sultan Abdülmecid, Dolmabahçe Palace’s construction began in 1846 in the province of Beşiktaş, and was completed in 1856.

The palace is comprised of a main unit, Heir Section, Furniture and Guards’ Room, Operational Mansions, Glass Mansion and other small pavilions. Dolmabahçe Palace has eight spacious saloons and 200 rooms, as well as two main and seven side gates, with five gates on the sea front.

While the gardens are arranged in four sections, the main building is comprised of three sections, namely the State Office (Mabeyn-i Hümayun), Auction Hall and Private Office. The front of the palace overlooks the sea, and the Private Office is a two-storey building.

The Süfera (envoy) Saloon on the upper floor of the palace is one of its most impressive sections. The Auction Hall rises between the State and Private Offices as a monumental structure. It is built on a square-like surface, covered with a dome from the inside and a roof from the outside. It is adorned with rich decorations.

The Private Office is made up of Sultan’s Office and harem. The Harem is a plain section with grand common-use areas and closed private rooms.

The Western Palace of Istanbul: Dolmabahçe

The Western Palace of Istanbul: Dolmabahçe

European Architecture in Ottoman Style: Dolmabahce Palace

Istanbul... The heart of gigantic empires... It has been the residence of emperors and sultans for thousands of years. And ordinary dwellings would not do for them, would they? That’s how Istanbul came to boast so many palaces through the centuries. One of these, the latest, the most “Western”, is the Dolmabahçe Palace.
When the history of a city is so long, the names of its neighborhoods can be very interesting. Each name has either a very old story behind it or a strange etymological basis. That’s why the origins of neighborhood names have always fascinated me. Before going on to the Dolmabahçe Palace, if you don’t mind, let’s first see where its strange name, which means “filled garden”, comes from.
Let’s visualize today’s Dolmabahçe: it is between Kabataş and Besiktaş. Coming from Kabataş, the road curves in front of the Inönü Stadium on your left and the palace on your right as you reach Beşiktaş. Once the place was an extensive cove frequented by ships for shelter. Even the Ottoman navy once anchored there, during the siege of Constantinople. In time, however, due to the alluvium brought by streams and the absence of undersea currents, it gradually filled up and turned into a marsh.
This gulf once extended from the valley between the Gümüşsuyu and Maçka ridges to the location where the Küçük Levent Farm was, which is now a fairground opposite the Şişli Registry Office. From the reign of Sultan Ahmed I (1603-1617) it was filled in various periods. The landfill area was made into the royal gardens and the sultans started spending their holidays in this place, which had become a summer residence. The fact that there was a royal garden on the landfill explains why it is called Dolmabahçe. The building of significant pavilions and villas in the area, however, started during the reign of Sultan Ahmed II (1691-1695) and was continued by of his successors.


 

New Sultans, new palaces...


Known also as the Beşiktaş Garden in those times, the area saw the building of important structures at various periods. The palace once located there and known as Cağaloğlu Waterside Mansion was demolished in 1680 and a new palace was built the following year. This new building, known as Dolmabahçe Villa or Beşiktaş Palace, started being repaired and extended during the reign of Sultan Ahmed III (1703-1730), at the cost of 2046 pouches of gold. However, it was only after the Patrona Halil Rebellion and the deposition of Ahmed III, during the reign of Sultan Mahmud I, that it could be completed.
Sultan Mahmud I loved the Dolmabahçe area, always spending his summers there. So much so that today there is a shrine in the backyard of the palace for his three wives and daughter. Damaged in the earthquake on May 22, 1766, the Beşiktaş Palace was repaired by Sultan Mustafa III (1750-1774). Sultan Abdulhamid I (1774-1789) had another section of the shore filled up and extended the palace. During the reign of Sultan Selim III (1789-1807), the buildings in the area were again demolished. The Sultan had the architect Melling demolish all the buildings in Dolmabahçe, with the exception of the Tiled Kiosk (Çinili Pavilion), and had a new palace built in the area. Beşiktaş or Dolmabahçe Palace remained in that state until 1815. Unfortunately, in that year the palace was damaged in a fire that started in the furnace room of the harem bath, and was immediately rebuilt by Sultan Mahmud II.
The construction of the Dolmabahçe Palace that stands today, however, was during the era that started by the enthroning of Sultan Abdulmecid in 1839, when the westernization process gained a new momentum. Feeling the need to shape a building in accordance with his requirements, the new sultan chose the Beşiktaş Palace, and had the palace that stands today built. 


 

The Last Palace...


dolmabahce-palace-istanbul-clock-towerThe palace which was built by Abdulmecid between 1850 1856, covered an area of 110,000 m2 and consisted of; the main buildings of the men’s section (Selamlik), Reception Hall for Holidays, the Harem, a Crown Prince Suite, The Suite of the Sultana, Valide Sultan Mosque and the theatre, the royal stables for the horses, the Suite of the Minister of War, The Clock Tower, The Royal Treasury, the interior decoration department, The Birds Pavilion, The Glass Pavilion, Suites of Regular Concubines and Harem Aghas, Hareket Pavilions, Hereke Weaving Room, the suites of Baltacılar, Agavat, Bendegan and Musabihan, and a main kitchen that served the occupants of these suites.
The palace was not used during the long reign of Abdulhamid II and was neglected, and as a result of damage, the theatre, boat yard and the suite of the minister of war disappeared completely. The Royal Stables and the main kitchen were partially damaged and other sections of the palace started being used for other purposes.
The main structure of the palace was designed by Karabet and Nikogos Balyan, major architects of the period, and consists of three sections: Mabeyn-i Humayun (Imperial Men’s Section), Reception Hall for Holidays, and the Imperial Harem. Mabeyn-i Humayun was used for administrative purposes, while the Imperial Harem was the location for the private life of the Sultan and his family. In between the two sections is a Reception Hall where some important state ceremonies were held.


 

A palace that deserves the word!


dolmabahce-palace-chandelierOne of the most interesting aspects of the palace is that many of the newest technological devices of the time were installed in it. Central heating, electricity and a telephone are some of the luxurious new appointments of the time that were installed in the palace. The palace had a total living area of 45,000 m2, 285 rooms, 46 halls, 6 Turkish baths, 68 restrooms, and 4,454 m2 of valuable carpets covered its floors. The Mabeyn section where the Sultan worked during the day is the most important section of the Dolmabahçe palace in terms of its function and luxuriousness. At the entrance is the Medhal Hall, where visitors were first received, then comes the Crystal Staircase; the Ambassadors Hall where diplomats were entertained and the Red Room where they were received by the Sultan. Both are extravagantly decorated to reflect the splendor of the empire. On the upper floor is the Zulvecheyn Hall that leads to the private suite of the Sultan in the Men’s Section. In this private suite there is a splendid Turkish bath, whose alabaster had been brought from Egypt, besides a study and halls.
The Reception Hall, which is between the Harem and the Men’s Section, has the highest ceiling of the whole palace and is the most impressive. It has a total area that exceeds 2000 m2 and features 56 columns. The dome’s height reaches 36 m, and attached to this dome is a British-made chandelier weighing 4.5 tons. The heating solution for this huge hall is also interesting; the hot air from the furnaces in the cellar was let into the room from the bottom part of the columns. During the traditional ceremony of religious holiday greetings, the golden throne in the Topkapı Palace was also brought here and the sultan used to exchange holiday greeting with leading statesmen.
Of all the interesting buildings of the 19th century, the Dolmabahçe Palace is perhaps the leading one. This colossal sample of the aesthetic approaches of European architecture that prevailed in that period also presents many characteristics of the Ottoman tradition of palace architecture. Despite the Western influence on its details, in terms of both its layout, and the relations of rooms and halls, the palace was designed and built as a structure where the traditional Turkish home was reproduced in huge dimensions.


 

Dolmabahce and Mustafa Kemal Atatürk...


There is no doubt that the Dolmabahce Palace has significance for the Turkish nation. The fact that Mustafa Kemal Ataturk also used this place as a residence, and spent his last days here when his illness was at its worst, is perhaps the most important reason for us to visit the palace with a special feeling of awe. As a matter of fact, Mustafa Kemal did not like the palace much. Especially during his illness, he felt imprisoned and isolated from his people in the palace, as he disliked the idea of living in palaces. There is even a story that, one night, on the pretext of going to bed early, he escaped from the palace to a Greek restaurant on the Bosphorus!
With the concept of Turkey replacing that of the Ottoman, the reforms carried on by the young nation also aimed at giving the palaces to the whole nation.

Thus the related articles of Act 431 of March 3, 1924 states:

Article 8 - The registered real estate and landed property within the land of the Turkish Republic belonging to persons who have been Sultans of the Ottoman Empire have been nationalized.
Article 9 - Abolished imperial palaces, villas, and other properties, together with the upholstery, furniture, pictures, works of fine arts and all similar objects in them, have been nationalized.
Article 10 – Together with previously nationalized properties bearing the title of the Sultans’ properties, all and former Imperial Treasure, with all its contents, and Palaces, Villas and other buildings, have been nationalized.
Article 11 – A regulation will be prepared concerning the nationalized landed property and real estates.


 You don’t have to be a Sultan!

dolmabahce-palace-interior
The first attempt to turn the Dolmabahçe Palace into a museum was again Mustafa Kemal’s. The first fine arts museum of Turkey, Istanbul State Museum of Painting and Fine Arts, was opened on September 20, 1927 on the order of Ataturk in the Suite of the Crown Prince in the Dolmabahçe Palace. And today, the palace is a museum that not only statesmen but also the citizens of all countries in the world can explore. 

Dolmabahce Palace is only one of the marvelous places of Istanbul. Why not see the palace with your own eyes? Istanbul is only one flight away!


 

Visiting hours of Dolmabahce Palace

 

Except for Mondays and Thursdays, you can visit the palace everyday of the week from 09.00 to 16.00. Entrance fee for the tourists is 30try.

Address: Dolmabahçe, Beşiktaş 
Ph: + 90 212 236 90 00

Dolmabahçe Palace

Dolmabahçe Palace

Dolmabahce Palace is one of the most fascinating palaces in the world. It was built in the 19th century. The construction of the palace was during the period in which westernization had entered a new phase when Sultan Abdulmecid came to the throne in 1839. The palace was built by Abdulmecid between 1850 and 1856 and was situated in an area of 110 thousand square meters.

As you wander the palace, you will feel the magnificence of the empire. And you will recognize that it consists of three main structures named Selâmlık, Muayede Saloon and Harem.

A perfect palace

The most important architects of the period, Karabet and Nikoğos Balyan designed the plans for the palace. “Luxurious Technologies” such as central heating installment, electricity, and telephone were included in the design.

Dolmabahçe Palace, with these appointments, became one of the most western and modern buildings of that period. In the palace, there is 45 thousand square meters of usable floor area; there are 285 rooms, 46 halls, 6 Turkish baths and 68 toilets and carpets covering a floor of 4,454 square meters.

The most splendid part of the palace is the Mabeyn, where the sultans carried out state issues. At the entrance, the Medhal Salon welcomes visitors, Kristal Merdiven (Crystal Stairs) provides as a connection to the upper floor, and Süfera Salon is where ambassadors were entertained. They were then admitted to the sultan in the Kırmızı Oda (Red Room).

They all emphasize the magnificence of the Ottoman Empire. Zülvecheyn Saloon on the upper floor has a passage to a special room of the sultan in the Mabeyn. In this special room, there is a splendid Turkish bath for the sultan, the marbles of which were brought from Egypt, and a study room and saloons.

The most splendid place of the palace…

In the Muayede Saloon, between the harem and Mabeyn, there is most splendid place with the highest ceiling in the Dolmabahçe Palace. The Reception Hall has the highest ceiling of the whole palace and is the most impressive. It has a total area that exceeds 2000 m2 and features 56 columns. The dome’s height reaches 36 m, and attached to this dome is a British-made chandelier weighing 4.5 tons.

On the traditional greeting days in religious feasts, the golden throne in Topkapı Palace was brought there and situated for the sultan to admit state officers for greetings.

Of all the interesting buildings of the 19th century, the Dolmabahçe Palace is perhaps the leading one. This colossal sample of the aesthetic approaches of European architecture that prevailed in that period also presents many characteristics of the Ottoman tradition of palace architecture. Despite the Western influence on its details, in terms of both its layout, and the relations of rooms and halls, the palace was designed and built as a structure where the traditional Turkish home was reproduced in huge dimensions.

Dolmabahçe and Mustafa Kemal...

Dolmabahçe Palace has great significance for the Turkish people… Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the supreme leader, had used the palace as a residence and eventually passed away there. This is why visitors wander the palace with a special “sense of respect”. Mustafa Kemal Atatürk had initiated the process to make Dolmabahçe Palace into a museum.

Please do not miss out on seeing Dolmabahçe if you come Istanbul, the city of palaces. After your feel the breezes in the halls of the palace, it will be a great pleasure for you to rest in a garden cafe and have a cup of tea, gazing at the amazing Bosphorus scene.

Except for Mondays and Thursdays, you can visit the palace everyday of the week from 09.00 to 16.00. Entrance fee for the tourists is 20tl, for Turkish citizens 10tl Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and other days it is 20tl. For students single section is 75 kr, two sections 1.5tl.

Address: Dolmabahçe, Beşiktaş
Ph: + 90 212 236 90 00

Bosphorus Bridge, Çamlıca Hill and Dolmabahçe Palace

Bosphorus Bridge, Çamlıca Hill and Dolmabahçe Palace

Number of Travelers Select Travel Date  

 

 

Highlights

  • A half-day tour of Istanbul's unique sightseeing places. 
  • A drive over intercontinental bridge that connects Europe and Asia. 
  • Watch Istanbul from its highest peak: Camlica Hill.
  • See Dolmabahce Palace, a magnificient 19th century building with an excellent guide.

Overview

Your trip will start with a drive over intercontinental bridge between Eurpe and Asia. While you change the continental you will be amazed by watching the city its landscapes, buildings and Marmara Sea. You will be learning about its history and culture from your guide in a unique way. Camlıca Hill as the highest peak of the city will offer you a bird’s-eye view of the city, a breath taking panorama of the Bosphorus Strait. And at last when you arrive to Dolmabahce Palace even though this historical 19th century building speaks for itself your guide will explain everything there is to know about the building. 

bosphorus-bridgebosphorus-bridgedolmabahce-palacedolmabahce-palacedolmabahce-palace

 

Half
Day
Tour

Hours
Start: 13.30am End: 17.00



Meeting
Pick-up from hotel.

Price Includes
Guiding, Transportation, Entrance Fees.


Remarks
On Monday's and Thursday's Dolmabahce Palace will be replaced by Chora Museum

Istanbul Cruise & Asian Side with Bosphorus Bridge, Çamlıca Hill and Dolmabahçe Palace

Istanbul Cruise & Asian Side with Bosphorus Bridge, Çamlıca Hill and Dolmabahçe Palace

Number of Travelers Select Travel Date  

 

 

 

Highlights

  • A full-day tour of Istanbul sightseeing including Bosphorus Bridge, Rustem Pasha Mosque, Spice Bazaar, Çamlıca Hill and Dolmabahçe Palace.
  • Experience the best views that Istanbul offers. Enjoy the Bosphorus and Goldem Horn.
  • See Dolmabahce Palace and ancient Walls of Constantine.
  • Watch Istanbul from its highest peak: Çamlıca Hill. Walk around Spice Bazaar with the attendance of your guide. 
  • This tour a combination of Istanbul Cruise with Private Boat Golden Horn & Bosphorus and Bosphorus Bridge, Çamlıca Hill and Dolmabahçe Palace tours. 

Overview

Your trip will start with you watching Istanbul from your wonderfull cruise and learning about its history and culture from your guide in a unique way. You will be watching Byzantine Walls of Constantinople, Jewish quarter of Balat, Golden Horn and Bosphorus Bridge. As you walk through Spice Bazaar (also known as the Egyptian Bazaar) you will be amazed by the smell and the view of all the products that are waiting for you. You will also see the Rustem Pasha mosque which was designed by Ottoman imperial architect Mimar Sinan. Camlıca Hill as the highest peak of the city will offer you a bird’s-eye view of the city, a breath taking panorama of the Bosphorus Strait. And at last when you arrive to Dolmabahce Palace even though this historical 19th century building speaks for itself your guide will explain everything there is to know about the building. 

dolmabahce-sarayidolmabahce-sarayidolmabahce-sarayiemınonu-istanbuleminonu-istanbul

bosphorus-bridgebosphorus-bridgedolmabahce-palacedolmabahce-palacedolmabahce-palace

 

Full
Day
Tour

Hours
Start: 09.00am End: 17.00



Meeting
Pick-up from hotel.

Price Includes
Guiding, Transportation, Entrance Fees and Lunch


Remarks
On Mondays and Thursdays Dolmabahce Palace will be replaced by Chora Museum

Dolmabahçe Palace

Dolmabahçe Palace

Here is the latest striking, the newest, the most west-origin object of the Ottoman: Dolmabahçe Palace

The construction of the Dolmabahçe Palace coincides with the era where the period of Westernization was driven into a new dimension accompanied with Sultan Abdulmecid’s ascending the throne in 1839. The Beşiktaş Waterfront Palace, standing among one of the buildings along this coastline that turned out to be the administrative headquarter of the government for a long period of time was demolished in 1843 under the edict of the new Sultan Abdulmecid on the grounds that it was in the need of a reformatting in line with new requirements, and the palace today was then constructed in place of it.

The Last Palace of Ottoman Empire

Construction of the new palace and its periphery walls was completed in 1850-1856. Dolmabahçe Palace had a total area of over 110.000 square metres and consisted of sixteen separate sections apart from the palace proper. These included stables, a flour mill, pharmacy, kitchens, aviary, glass manufactory and foundry. Sultan Abdülhamid II (1876-1909) added a clock tower and the Veliahd Dairesi (apartments for the heir apparent), and the Hareket Köşks in the gardens behind.

The main palace was built by the leading Ottoman architects of the era, Karabet and Nikoğos Balyan, and consists of three parts: The Imperial Mabeyn (State Apartments), Muayede Salon (Ceremonial Hall) and the Imperial Harem, where the sultan and his family led their private lives. The Ceremonial Hall placed centrally between the other two sections is where the sultan received statesman and dignitaries on state occasions and religious festivals.

The Last Palace of Ottoman Empire

The Real Palace Like Its Name

Modern technology in the form of electricity and a central heating system was introduced in 1910-12. The palace has a total floor area of 45.000 square metres, with 285 small rooms, 46 reception rooms and galleries, 6 hamams (Turkish baths) and 68 lavatories. The finely made parquet floors are laid with 4454 square metres of carpets, the earliest made at the palace carpet weaving mill and those of later date at the mill in Hereke.

The Mabeyn where the sultan conducted affairs of state is the most important section in terms of function and splendor. The entrance hall known as the Medhal Salon, the Crystal Staircase, and the Süfera Salon where foreign ambassadors were entertained prior to audience with the sultan in the Red Room are all decorated and furnished in a style reflecting the historical magnificence of the empire. The Zülvecheyn Salon on the upper floor serves as an entrance hall leading to the apartments reserved for the sultan in the Mabeyn. These apartments include a magnificent hamam faced with Egyptian marble, a study and drawing rooms.

The Ceremonial Hall situated between the Harem and the Mabeyn is the highest and most imposing section of Dolmabahçe Palace. With an area of over 2000 square metres, 56 columns, a dome 36 metres high at the apex, and a 4.5 ton English chandelier, this room stands out as the focal point of the palace. In cold weather this vast room was heated by hot air blown out at the bases of the columns from a heating system in the basement. On ceremonial occasions the gold throne would be carried here from Topkapı Palace, and seated here the sultan would exchange congratulations on religious festivals with hundreds of statesmen and other official guests. On such traditional occasions foreign ambassadors and guests would sit in one of the upper galleries, another being reserved for the palace orchestra.

Dolmabahçe Palace, one of the most interesting structures of the 19 th century Ottoman Architecture, has the conspicuous western style of decoration tends to overshadow the decidedly Ottoman interpretation evident most of all in the interpretation evident most of all in the interior plan. This follows the traditional layout and relations between private rooms and central galleries of the Turkish house, implemented here on a large scale.

The Real Palace Like Its Name

Dolmabahçe and Mustafa Kemal...

The Dolmabahçe Palace has undoubtedly a distinctive meaning for the Turkish Nation…What constitutes the core reason for visiting the palace along with a different sense of respect is that Our Great Leader Mustafa Kemal Ataturk employed here as its place of domicile, spent the severest period of his illness, and passed away in here…

First attempts for turning the Dolmabahçe Palace into a museum were initiated by Mustafa Kemal. The first fine-arts museum of our country, the Istanbul State Museum of Painting and Sculpture, was opened in the Veliahd Dairesi in the Dolmabahçe Palace under the command of Ataturk on September 20, 1937. And Dolmabahçe, was transformed into a museum that can be visited not only by the high officials of the palace but all people all around of the world.

The Palace is closed on Monday and Thursday. You can visit the palace in other days of the week between 09.00 and 16.00.

Address: Dolmabahçe, Beşiktaş

Telephone: 0212 236 90 00


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