Dolmabahçe Palace (Dolmabahçe Sarayı) is an Ottoman palace located in Beşiktaş, Istanbul, between Dolmabahçe Street extending from Kabataş to Beşiktaş and the Bosphorus, on an area of 250,000 m². It is located on the left bank at the sea entrance to the Bosphorus from the Marmara Sea, opposite Üsküdar and Kuzguncuk. The construction of the palace, built by Sultan Abdülmecid, started in 1843 and was completed in 1856. Today it is used as a museum.

Dolmabahçe is the largest palace in Turkey. It contains 285 rooms, 46 halls, 6 baths (hamam) and 68 toilets.

The design contains eclectic elements from the Baroque, Rococo and Neoclassical styles, blended with traditional Ottoman architecture to create a new synthesis. The palace layout and décor reflect the increasing influence of European styles and standards on Ottoman culture and art during the Tanzimat period. The exterior, in particular the view from the Bosporus, shows a classical European two-wing arrangement which is divided by a big avant-corps with two side avant-corps.

Dolmabahçe Palace was ordered by the Empire’s 31st Sultan, Abdülmecid I, and built between the years 1843 and 1856. Previously, the Sultan and his family had lived at the Topkapı Palace, but as the medieval Topkapı was lacking in contemporary style, luxury, and comfort, as compared to the palaces of the European monarchs, Abdülmecid decided to build a new modern palace near the site of the former Beşiktaş Sahil Palace, which was demolished. Hacı Said Ağa was responsible for the construction works, while the project was realized by architects Garabet Balyan, his son Nigoğayos Balyan and Evanis Kalfa (members of the Armenian Balyan family of Ottoman court architects).

The palace was home to six Sultans from 1856, when it was first inhabited, up until the abolition of the Caliphate in 1924: The last royal to live here was Caliph Abdülmecid Efendi. A law that went into effect on March 3, 1924, transferred the ownership of the palace to the national heritage of the new Turkish Republic. Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder and first President of the Republic of Turkey, used the palace as a presidential residence during the summers and enacted some of his most important works here.

See also Dolmabahçe Clock Tower.

Address: Vişnezade, Dolmabahçe Cd., 34357 Beşiktaş/İstanbul, Türkiye.

Architects: Garabet Balyan, Nigoğayos Balyan, Ohannes Serverian, Abdülhalim Bey, William James Smith.

Working hours:

Tuesday 9 AM–4 PM
Wednesday 9 AM–4 PM
Thursday 9 AM–4 PM
Friday 9 AM–4 PM
Saturday 9 AM–4 PM
Sunday 9 AM–4 PM
Monday Closed

Construction started: 1843
Architectural style: Baroque Revival architecture
Owner: Government of Turkey
Phone: +90 212 236 90 00

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