Yildiz Palace Istanbul
Yildiz Palace Entrance Fee, Opening Hours and Short History
The History of the Ottoman Places in Istanbul
Ottoman Empire built its first palace in today’s Beyazit district after the conquest of Istanbul in 1453. Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror lived in this palace temporarily and the construction of Topkapi Palace began in 1461.
Topkapi Palace was originally planned to be a military quarters where the sultan would attend to state affairs, train for wars and exercise as well as hosting foreign ambassadors. Moreover, the Enderun School, which is known as the highest educational institute in the state, was inside the palace too. Topkapi Palace served this function for a long period after Sultan Mehmed II’s death.
However, under Suleiman the Magnificent’s reign, Harem Rooms moved from the Old Palace in Beyazit to Topkapi Palace (New Palace) due to Hurrem Sultan’s influence. 25 sultans of the Ottoman Empire lived in Topkapi Palace that is in the heart of Sultanahmet area.
Traditional Topkapi Palace in Istanbul Old City
The Sultanate’s Separation from Topkapi Palace
When Sultan Mahmud II was a little kid, he had a close brush with death at Topkapi Palace and he was saved just in time by a woman named Cevri Kalfa, one of the attendants in charge at Harem, from the rebellious janissaries’ (ottoman soldiers) hand. Therefore, Sultan Mahmud II wanted to stay away from those bad memories and became one of the first sultans who chose not to reside at Topkapi Palace. He resided at a coastal place in Besiktas that doesn’t survive today.
Sultan Abdulmecid era witnessed a tremendous architectural movement. Balyan Family, the architects of the palace, built mosques, palaces, towers, and mansions during this period.
Topkapi Palace became inadequate to the requirements of the state. Therefore, Sultan Abdulmecid commanded the construction of Dolmabahce Palace and lived there.
Even though the sultans resided there in Ottoman Empire’s last years, Sultan Abdulhamid II (who lived in Yildiz Palace) is an exception.
Yildiz Palace Interior Decoration
History of Yildiz Palace
The first pavillion in Yildiz Palace was built for Sultan Selim III’s mother Mihrisah Sultan. It’s also in the official records that sports such as archery and riding horse were practiced in its garden during Sultan Mahmud II era.
The additions to Yildiz Palace by sultans like Sultan Abdulmecid and Sultan Abdulaziz resulted in a bigger palace. However, the only sultan who resided at Yildiz Palace fulltime and put it in its final shape was Sultan Abdulhamid II.
Abdulhamid II came to the throne and remained as the Sultan for 33 years. The Ottoman Empire was in decline and he thought Dolmabahce Palace would be defenseless in the event of a riot. Therefore, he preferred to live at Yildiz Palace.
Shale Pavillion and Malta Pavillion are the two pavillions that attract the biggest interest from visitors. The theatre of the palace and Sultan Abdulhamid II’s workshop are among other additional buildings. Yildiz Porcelain Factory inside Yildiz Palace still carries on its activities.
Yildiz Palace and Park Ticket Price and Hours
Things to See at Yildiz Palace
Yildiz Palace occupies an area of 500,000 square meters and it’s composed of pavillions, museums, palaces, park, and gardens. Apart from the pavillions inside Yildiz Palace, you can also visit: Yildiz Palace Museum, Performing Arts Museum, Istanbul Metropolitan City Museum and Yildiz Palace Theater.
Şale Pavillion (Shale)
Sale Kiosk (Shale) is one of the pavillions in Yildiz Palace. The word Sale derives from the French word ‘chalet’ which means also “chalet” as in English.
Sale Pavillion is one of the most striking buildings in Yildiz Palace as it’s one of the finest examples of the 19th-century Ottoman architecture. The kiosk is located in a garden surrounded by high walls. Sale Pavillion served as a guest house for foreign statesmen.
Sale Pavillion is worth visiting due to its gold bronze panels, inlaid pearl doors brought from Ciragan Palace and the furniture some of which Sultan Abdulhamit II made himself (he is also a skilled carpenter).
Great and Small Pavillions
Great Kiosk was built by Sultan Abdulaziz and served as the administrative headquarters of the state. The building of Great Kiosk boasts a majestic architecture and it was also used for balls during the early years of Turkish Republic.
Small Kiosk, on the other hand, was built by Sultan Abdulhamid II as a resting place.
Malta Pavillion stands out as one of the most elegant kiosks in Yildiz Park. You should note that it’s forbidden to take photos in most of the places inside Yildiz Palace complex and it’s forbidden to take photos inside Sale Pavillion as in Dolmabahce Palace and Beylerbeyi Palace.
However, as Malta Pavillion serves as a small café today, it’s one of the important spot to take photos in Istanbul.
Malta Pavillion is Located in Yildiz Park
Yildiz Palace Theater and the Workshop
You can visit the Theater of the palace and Sultan Abdulhamit II’s workshop at Yildiz Palace Museum.
Yildiz Palace Theater and Opera House was built for Kaiser Wilhelm II’s visit in 1889 and it housed a lot of important shows in the past.
Yildiz Park is in Yildiz Palace Complex
Yildiz Palace Entrance Fee 2020
The entrance fee to Yildiz Palace’s Shale Pavillion is 20 Turkish Liras as of 2020. Yildiz Tile and Porcelain Factory ticket price is 30 Turkish Lira. Istanbul Museum Pass is not valid at the entrance of the palace. The ticket price includes the audio guide.
Istanbul Museum Pass is not valid for Yildiz Palace
Yıldız Palace is Closed for Restoration!
Yildiz Palace and Shale Pavillion are still closed as of 01 January 2020, when I updated this post. The text will be updated when the renovation is finished.
Yildiz Palace Opening Hours 2020
Yildiz Palace is open to visitors between 09:00 and 17:00. Yildiz Palace, like the other palaces operated by the Directorate of National Palaces (Dolmabahce Palace and Beylerbeyi 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 Yildiz Sarayi and review the latest situation.
Where is Yildiz Palace and How to Get There?
In order to find Yildiz Palace, you just need to find Ciragan Palace Kempinski Hotel. The entrance to Yildiz Park, which leads to the pavillions in the palace, is directly opposite the Kempinski Hotel.