Dolmabahce Palace located in the Besiktas district of Istanbul, Turkey, on the European coast of the Strait of Istanbul, served as the main administrative center of the Ottoman Empire from 1856 to 1887 and 1909 to 1922. Istanbul’s bustling waterside neighborhood of Ortakoy buzzes with the energy of bars, restaurants, cafés, and nightclubs. The main sight here is the Ortakoy Mosque (Ortaköy Cami), a 19th-century structure featuring a blend of baroque and neoclassical influences. Behind it, the Bosphorus Bridge ( 15 July Martyrs Bridge ) looms, connecting the old Istanbul with the new. Ortakoy is a must-visit for architecture and history buffs.
Skip the lines on this private guided tour and enjoy priority access to the Dolmabahce Palace.
Your tour begins at the magnificent palace, which in the 19th century was the principal residence and the administration center of the Turkish Ottoman Empire. With its splendid baroque exterior and mixture of traditional and European interior decor, it is a reminder of the days of formidable Ottoman Empire.
Dolmabahce Palace was built by Sultan Abdulmecid (1839-1861) who was the thirty first Ottoman Sultan.
After the 17th century the coast was filled in and converted into a nice garden with a couple of pavilions named as Besiktas Waterfront Palace complex, where the sultans used to relax enjoying the views. By the way, Dolmabahce literally means “filled garden” in Turkish language.
With over 110.000 square meters of construction on 250.000 square meters of land, it sure is an impressive palace on the Bosphorus. The palace is consisted of three main sections: Administrative apartments (Selamlik or Mabeyn-i Hümayun), Ceremonial Hall (Muayede Salonu), and Imperial Harem (Harem-i Hümayun). The impressive Ceremonial Hall was built between other two sections, where the sultan received his important guests and foreign statesmen. Besides the main palace, there are several other buildings in the complex such as imperial kitchens, Crown Prince rooms (Veliaht Dairesi), barracks, stables, pharmacy, flour mill, aviary (Kusluk), glass manufactory, foundry, plant house (Fidelik), greenhouse, carpet workshop, clock tower, etc. Some of the smaller buildings were destroyed or demolished during the years. There are two monumental gates giving access to the main garden (but only one is open today) of the administrative part; Treasury Gate (Hazine Kapisi) and Imperial Gate (Saltanat Kapisi).
Dolmabahce Palace rises on two floors above a basement. Local stone and some marble was used in its outer walls, brick in the inner walls, and parquet wood on the floors. It has a European design with neo-baroque style, typical of the Ottoman tradition of the mid-19th century. Even the interior furniture is of typical western design, with the exception of the plan (traditional Turkish house symmetrical plan) and Turkish rugs. Electricity and central heating system was introduced around 1910. The palace has 285 rooms, 46 reception halls and galleries, 6 Turkish baths (Hamam), and 68 toilets. There are over 600 oil paintings.
And finally see the room where Mustafa Kemal Ataturk the founder of modern Turkey died. The founder of this new country was Mustafa Kemal Ataturk and he used Dolmabahce palace as the new headquarters. This choice led to another iconic moment in it’s story because a few years later, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk passed away in a small bedroom of the Selanik. For many years after his death, every clock in the palace was set to the time of his passing.
After our visiting in Dolmabahce Palace we drive to Ortakoy is the neighbourhood of Istanbul located by the Bosphorus coastline on the European side resembles a string of villages, each with their own individual character and attractions.
With its narrow cobblestone streets, delicious food and magnificent landscape ground under the Bosphorus Strait which is the first bridge linking the European side of Istanbul to Asia, Ortakoy absolutely one of Istanbul’s sweetest shore suburbs, makes easily transportation and a dreamy tour.
Ortakoy was a little pretty town before; but today it’s a modern neighbourhood of Istanbul, which is one of the main place surrogated the many restaurants, bars, cafes and galleries. For example of that, maybe the best emphasized of these is Husrev Kethuda Hamam reflecting a 16th century Hamam built by the hero Ottoman architect Mimar Sinan, which has been turned into a restaurant, bar and cultural centre at present.
Another feature of Ortakoy; at the Ottoman period there were located many mansions and summerhouses belonging to the Sultans and Pashas along the seaside. Especially after Suleiman the Magnificent began to live here, the number of Turks increased in that district. Also built by genius architect Sinan in that period, ‘’Ortakoy Turkish Bath’’ is one of the most famous structures of him.
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