Beylerbeyi Palace was the only palace built by the Ottoman Empire on the Asian side of Istanbul. The palace, which hosted the royal guests coming to Istanbul, was “the guest house” of the empire.
Today, Beylerbeyi Palace offers great photo frames for those who visit the Bosphorus. Since tourists visiting Istanbul do not go to the Asian Side very often, Beylerbeyi is less visited than Topkapi and Dolmabahce palaces.
In this article, you can find information about the history and architecture of Beylerbeyi Palace. In addition, you can find information about Beylerbeyi Palace entrance fee and opening hours.
In order to provide easy access to Beylerbeyi Palace, you can join Dentur Bosphorus tours departing from Kabatas. Dentur’s boats pick up and drop off passengers in front of Ottoman palaces and pavilions on the Bosphorus.
The History of Beylerbeyi Palace
The history of Beylerbeyi Palace dates back to the 19th century. Ottoman rulers had lived in the traditional Topkapi Palace for nearly 400 years. After the 1800s, they settled on the Bosphorus shore.
Beylerbeyi Palace was built by Sultan Abdulaziz as a summer palace. Until then, there was no imperial project of this size on the Asian side except for several mosques.
Sultan Abdulaziz used the palace as a summer resort for a while. Afterwards, it was allocated as a place to stay for high-profile guests coming to Istanbul. Eugénie de Montijo, wife of the French emperor Napoleon III, is known as the most famous person who stayed in this palace.
Architecture of Beylerbeyi Palace
The architecture of Beylerbeyi Palace is eclectic like other Bosphorus palaces built at that time. Ottomans began to be interested in baroque and neo-classical architecture in the 19th century with the influence of Westernization.
The architects who left their mark on the 19th century came from the Balyan family, Armenian citizens of the Ottoman Empire. The Balyans, who were educated in France, were the palace architects of the Ottoman Empire for several generations.
The Balyan family, who built Dolmabahce and Beylerbeyi Palaces, made some contributions to Topkapi and Yildiz Palaces. In addition, they also built many mosques along the Bosphorus.
The architectural style used by the Balyan family was a new generation of Ottoman architecture using Baroque and Neo-Classical elements. Beylerbeyi Palace is also a work of this late period architecture.
Things to See in Beylerbeyi Palace
Among the things to see in Beylerbeyi Palace are items with fine craftsmanship. Especially the main hall overlooking the Bosphorus attracts with its magnificent decoration. The most defining thing that distinguishes Beylerbeyi from other Bosphorus palaces is the blue columns used in the palace.
Yellow Pavilion is one of the three important mansions to be seen in the Palace. This pavilion, which attracts attention with its elegant structure, was used for recreation. The Marble Pavilion takes its name from the large marble slabs covering the building.
The third pavilion in the garden symbolizes the importance given to horses in the empire. There is a barn with twenty sections in Ahır Pavilion, which was built for the care of sultanate horses.
When you look at the Palace from the sea, two octagonal structures at the seaside draw attention. One of these small mansions with Bosphorus view was belong to the sultan and the other to the Valide Sultan (sultan’s mother).
There was a sultan named Abdulhamid II, who ruled for a long time in the last period of the Ottoman Empire. During the reign of Abdulhamid II, he lived in the Yildiz Palace on the European Side.
The Sultan spent the years after his abdication in Beylerbeyi Palace on the Asian side. Sultan Abdulhamid was also a carpenter. His original workshop is located in Yildiz Palace. Some wooden works of Abdulhamid II decorate the Beylerbeyi Palace.
Beylerbeyi Palace Entrance Fee 2021
Beylerbeyi Palace entrance fee is 50 Turkish Liras as of 2021. Istanbul Museum Pass is not valid at the entrance to the museum. The ticket price includes the audio guide.
Audio guide is included in the ticket you will buy at the entrance to Beylerbeyi Palace. After you get your ticket from the box office, you can borrow an audio guide by showing your ID from the ticket office.
Beylerbeyi Palace Opening Hours 2021
Beylerbeyi Palace opening hours are between 09:00 in the morning and 17:00 in the evening. Please note that the palace is closed on Mondays.
Visiting times of museums in Istanbul may change due to events and renovations. Before going to the museum, I suggest you visit the official website of the Palace and review the latest situation.
How to Get to The Palace?
Beylerbeyi Palace is located in Uskudar district on the Asian side of Istanbul. Uskudar can be easily reached from Istanbul’s touristic centers, Sultanahmet and Taksim Square.
In order to go from Sultanahmet to Uskudar, you can take the public ferry from Eminonu, the transportation hub of the Old City. The ferry you will take from Eminonu will take you to Uskudar in 15 minutes.
In order to go to Uskudar from Taksim Square, you must first take the Funicular F1 to Kabatas. You can reach Uskudar in 20 minutes by boats departing from Kabatas.
You can reach the palace in 20 minutes by taking yellow minibuses (also known as dolmush) from Uskudar.
Alternatively, you can take Marmaray from Sirkeci Marmaray Station in Old City to Uskudar in minutes. Marmaray is a rail public transportation vehicle that passes under the Bosphorus.
However, as an insider, I can say that the ferry ride will be more enjoyable than the metro. Although Marmaray goes to Uskudar faster, it is much more fun to cross the Bosphorus by ferry.
After the Palace Visit
After visiting the palace, you can go to Kuzguncuk neighborhood within walking distance. Kuzguncuk is one of the districts in Istanbul that still preserves the neighborhood culture.
Kuzguncuk, which is an old district, was a place where non-Muslims mostly lived during the Ottoman period. In Kuzguncuk, it is possible to see an Armenian Church, Synagogue, Greek Orthodox Church and a Mosque on the same street.
During the Kuzguncuk walking tour, which is the most popular activity of recent years, you can see streets full of colorful houses from the Ottoman period and delicious new generation cafes.
Written by Serhat Engul