Dolmabahce Palace

This is the grand palace built by Sultan Abdulmecid who decided the Ottoman royal family needed something more modem than
the old Topkapi Palace. The Ottomans incurred substantial debts during its construction at a time the Empire was in its decline. With the dissolution of the Empire at the formation of the Modern Turkish Republic it was used sporadically by the founder of the republic, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk and he died here in 1938. Today this palace is one of the “not to be missed” museums of the city.


Dolmabahce Palace was built between 1843- 1856 on the order of Sultan Abdulmecid I. The three-storied palace built on a symmetrical plan has 285 rooms and 43 halls. The ballroom is the largest of its kind in the world. With 56 columns, a dome of 36 meters high at the apex, and a 4.5 ton English chandelier, this room amazes the visitors. The entrance section of the palace was used for the receptions and meetings of the sultan, and the section behind the ballroom was used as harem. The palace has survived intact with its original decorations, furniture, and the silk carpets and curtains. It surpasses all other palaces in the world in wealth and magnificence. The walls and the ceilings are covered with paintings by the famous artists of the age and decorations made using tons of gold. The ornate wooden floors have different designs in each room, and they are covered with the famous silk and wool carpets of Hereke, some of the finest examples of Turkish art. Long hallways lead to the harem, where the bedrooms of the sultan and the quarters of his mother, other ladies of the court and the servants were located.
In the Republican era, Ataturk (The founder of the Turkish Republic) used to reside in this palace when he visited Istanbul and his death here in 1938 was the most important incident of the palace history.


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