Istanbul Dolmabahce Palace History
Dolmabahce Palace Entrance Fee, Opening Hours, History, Architecture
Towards the end of the Ottoman Empire’s reign, in the 19th Century, the Westernization movement was powerful. For the Ottoman people who lived in Istanbul, “Europe” was in the northern bank of the Golden Horn.
Life quality in the other part of the city surpassed the Historical Peninsula after Ottoman Sultan Abdulmecid left Topkapı Palace in 1856 and moved into Dolmabahçe Palace, which was built in the western architectural style.
While Muslim population in the Historical Peninsula was living a modest and conservative life, Pera quarter was regarded as Paris of the East due to parties, balls and art events held there.
Grand Rue De Pera (Beyoglu, Istiklal Avenue)
In this period, luxurious hotels like Pera Palace, gorgeous mansions and banks were built and elegant shops and restaurants opened. The cultural richness of this period can best be seen in Grand Rue De Pera, today known as Istiklal Avenue. Beautiful consulate buildings, mansions, hotels and restaurants are still there.
Pera began to be occupied by foreign settlers. Italian, French, Orthodox Greek, Armenian and Jewish people settled there. Eventually Istanbuliers began to call the “Pera” as Constantinople due to its western lifestyle.
Dolmabahce Palace Photos Inside Chandelier & Crystal Staircase
Dolmabahce Palace History And Architecture
“Dolma” means filled or stuffed and “Bahçe” means garden in Turkish lenguage. The site of the Dolmabahçe Palace was obtained by filling the small bay on the Bosphorus giving the palace its name.
Chief architect Garabet Balyan managed to combine the Oriental and European styles. The lifestyle and protocol were Oriental but the architectural plan was taken from European palaces. Balyan also combined various architectural styles forming the eclectic architectural outcome.
Imperial Dolmabahçe Palace consists of 285 rooms and 46 halls. The massive building covers an area of 25 hectares / 62 acres. There are nearly 600 unique paintings and very beautiful huge Turkish carpets specially woven for this elegant court.
Dolmabahce Palace Interior Photos Chandeliers And Turkish Hereke Carpets
From the very beginning, the palace’s equipment implemented the highest technical standards. Gas lighting and water-closets were imported from Great Britain, whereas the palaces in continental Europe were still lacking these features at that time. Later, electricity, a central heating system and an elevator were installed.
Mustafa Kemal Atatürk’s Room
During the Turkish Republic time, the palace was used for foreign statesmen and democratic cultural activities.
Founder of the nation, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, occupied a room at the palace on his visits to Istanbul and died there in 1938. His room is visited by millions of Turkish people annually.
Dolmabahce Palace Mustafa Kemal Ataturk Room Founder of Turkey
Financial Crisis In The Ottoman Empire
The construction of the palace was at a time when the economy of the Ottoman Empire was not at all good. This difficult situation was not taken into consideration and all the materials used at the palace were very expensive, of top quality and brought from different countries.
Among the valuable items were vases from Sévres, Lyon silk, Baccarat crystals, English candelabra, Venetian glasses, German and Czech Bohemian chandeliers and furniture in the rococo style.
The reception hall with its five and a half-ton English chandelier, the hamam and the crystal banisters are of outstanding importance in the palace.
Dolmabahce Palace Architecture, Photo from Bosphorus Tour Boats
Great View From The Bosphorus
The Dolmabahçe Palace is an impressive building facing the sea with very high walls on the side facing inland. The main building is surrounded by magnificent palace gardens. There are nine gates on the inland side, two of which are monumental. On the front facing the sea there are five gates.
The palace was intended to be symmetrical in plan and decoration which was not something new. However with this palace the focal point is the sea. The building was constructed to be seen from the sea and it is this feature which is new and unique in Ottoman Architecture.
Dolmabahce Palace Monumental Entrance Gate
Dolmabahçe Palace Entrance Fee 2018
Admission fee for a regular palace visit is 40 Turkish Lira. Harem Section entrance cost is 30 TL. There is combined ticket for Palace, Harem, Clock Museum everything included 60 TL.
Dolmabahce Palace Opening Hours 2018
Dolmabahce Palace is open to visit from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Please note that Dolmabahçe Palace is closed on Mondays and Thursdays.
How To Get Dolmabahce Palace from Sultanahmet Istanbul Old City?
If you are staying in the Old City (Beyazıt, Sultanahmet, Sirkeci, Eminönü). You can take the tram from one of these tram stops in the direction of Kabataş. Please check the instructions below map.
First You Need To Find The Tram Stop In Sultanahmet
Tram Stop List From Sultanahmet To Kabataş (Then Walk To Dolmabahçe Palace)
Beyazıt (Grand Bazaar) > Çemberlitaş > Sultanahmet (Blue Mosque) > Gülhane >Sirkeci (Train Station) > Eminönü (Bosphorus Ferry) > Karaköy (Tunnel) > Tophane> Fındıklı (Cruise Pier) > Kabataş (Funicular)
The Dolmabahçe Palace is within 5 minutes walking distance from Kabataş Tram Station (Terminal Tram Stop)
Further Recommended Reading:
- Istanbul Topkapı Palace Entrance Fee
- Istanbul Topkapi Palace Harem Rooms
- Grand Rue De Pera Istiklal Avenue
- Brief History Of Ottoman Empire
Dolmabahce Palace Entrance Fee, Opening Hours, History, Architecture Blog Post By Serhat Engul