DOLMABAHÇE SARAYI PALACE (DOLMABAHÇE SARAYI)
Petit Futé's opinion on DOLMABAHÇE SARAYI PALACE (DOLMABAHÇE SARAYI)
If you like gilding and glitter, visit the Imperial Palace of Dolmabahçe, with its European and oriental influences.
In the 19th century, the Topkapı palace struggled to meet the expectations and requirements of the Sublime Porte. At the dawn of the industrial revolution, the great momentum of modernity is everywhere in Europe. Although politically and financially unhealthy, the sultans still want to be at the head of a powerful and influential state. So we need a new palace worthy of its rank. It all starts with the location. After some reflection, the banks of the Bosporus are unanimously agreed with the site of Dolmabahçe, which forms a small bay. The palace will therefore dominate the Bosphorus with a huge park at the back and quays at the front allowing easy access. The era of Abdülmecit I (1839-1861), the reformer who dissolved the Janissary order, came into being. He is interested in all issues and has a passion for the art world. He launched the work for the future residence of the sultans. The Armenian architect Garabed Balyan and his son are responsible for this. He ordered the redevelopment of the Dolmabahçe site starting in 1843. Thirteen years later, in 1856, the sumptuous palace appeared. The first assembly of deputies met there on 19 March 1877. Abdülmecit ends his life in the finished palace, but the empire goes from bad to worse. Also the successors, considering the building too large and especially dangerous, preferred the smaller palaces built on the banks of the Bosporus. By its magnificence and dimensions, it is used as an official reception place where ambassadors who regularly come to claim repayment of debts are received. It became a presidential residence when the republic was proclaimed in 1923 by Atatürk. It is here that the founder of modern Turkey died, following a long illness, on November 10, 1938, at 9:05 am, in room 71 overlooking the Bosporus (the clocks in museums display this time).
The palace is located on a 250,000 m² site, the rest being occupied by gardens. Its 600 m long waterfront façade has twelve gates. The most spectacular is the ceremonial gate, overlooking the back of the gardens along the current road. The second monumental gate is the one that serves as the entrance to the museum, the Treasury Gate. The palace has 285 rooms, 43 lounges, 6 balconies, 6 bathrooms and 1,427 windows. The interior has 156 clocks and 58 candlesticks. The furnishings and decoration were chosen by Séchan, the decorator of the Paris Opera.
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Opening time and information on DOLMABAHÇE SARAYI PALACE (DOLMABAHÇE SARAYI)
Open from 9am to 4pm. Closed on Mondays and Thursdays (gardens are accessible). Input: 60 TL. Harem 40 TL.
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