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PALACES      


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The Big Palace does not presently exist, however it is possible to see the Mangana Palaces facade, which is located beside Istanbul’s sea walls and the walls of what remain from the Tekfur Palace which is located between Edirnekapi and Golden Horn. It is known that there was a magnificent palace found in Uskudar during the Byzantine era. Furthermore; the Braias Palace ruins that are in Kuchukyali, which are located on the Anatolian side, have been presently organized and turned into a cultural area.


The Topkapi Palace


This palace which has survived to the present day is one of the Ottomans most magnificent palaces. Topkapi is located on a hill dominant to the Marmara and Bosporus that are in the Historical Peninsula. It has been the residence of Ottoman Sultans and a political center for 400 years. The first section of the Topkapi Place which was used as the Ottoman Empire ruling palace and a dynasty residence was completed in 1473 a short time after Fatih conquered Istanbul. The Ottoman dynasty used Topkapi Palace until they moved into the Bosphorus modern palaces in the 19th century. The palace was turned into a museum after the Ataturk announced the proclamation of republic on April 3rd 1924.

It is a reflection of the institutionalized Ottoman Empire, with its glamorous past and several dramatic events which are an addition to the design of the palace. It has gained a magnificent dimension and function multiplicity by additional structures and renewals ordered to be made by different sultans in different periods of time. The Ottoman palace protocol and the magnificence that the hierarchy has been gained with time has effected the architecture of the Topkapi Palace with its many structured units

Topkapi palace is constructed on the Byzantium acropolis in Sarayburnu which is in the Istanbul peninsula between the Marmara Sea, Bosphorus, and Golden Horn. The palace is separated from the city by the ramparts (Sur-u Sutani) that was 1400 meters long and ordered to be constructed on the land side by Sultan (Fatih) Mehmet II and Byzantium ramparts on the sea side. The entrance is provided with the monumental Bab-i Humayun (Dynasty Gate) located behind Hagia Sophia. All details of magnificence and the palace protocol that have taken place in the palace and the functional simplicity that was gained by the intelligence of the secure empire has been reflected on the design of the palace and starts at the gate. The appearance of the gate is suitable for the castle-palace look of the 15th century. On this gate there is villa which remained until the late 19th century and it is known that regiments were watched and that special treasures were kept here.

The largest court, which was named, I court, that was separated from Hasbahche only by being on the main axes which was directed to the Golden Horn and the Marmara. The two big sections of the palace that were located in the area between Bab-i Humayun and Bab-us Selam which the inner palace began are not present. The Hagia Eirene Church is one of the buildings remained today. The Hagia Eirene Church’s enlarged mint structures that were renovated in the 18th century still presently remains. The petition office that was called the Deavi House and the granary (Ebniye-i Hassa) were lined up in front of the courtyard which the horses of the invited guests and foreign ambassadors’ horses were tied up. The Gulhane Hospital, Has Firin, and the water disperse system which form the cabinet range are the limite structures of the first courtyard.

The Hasbahche that surrounded the palace during all periods of time was full of several villas. The first of these are Alay Villa which was raised on a polygon tower across from the Bab-I Ali. This structure which witnessed the regiments of several sultans, was renovated in the 19th century appropriate to the empirical design. The padishahs watched the navy sail out to sea every year from the polygon open progress kiosk, the Yali Kiosk which was directed to the Golden Horn and existed in Sirkeci. It was demolished in the late 19th century because of the railway passing through the garden. It is believed that the harem public watched the ceremonies from the Sepetchiler Summer Palace. The first courtyard consists of structures, several wards that belonged to the farmers and the Chinili Kiosk that (Fatih) Sultan Mehmet II had ordered to be constructed along with the palace. The Museum of Archeology that was placed on the large lot that this pleasure kiosk which carries the effects of the ceramic and terrace plan of Timur architect lines exists, during the era of Abdulhamit. The arched Marble Villa remaining from the 16th century and several wooden and summer villas on the Marmara shores are located in front of the Topkapi Palaces which named by Saray-I Cedit, due to the towered and knobbed door located on the side of Sarayburnu. Ahead of this palace that was burned down in a fire in 1860 and was destructed for the construction of a railway the substruction of Incili Villa is seen from the city walls. The grand vizier Koca Mustafa Pasha had this magnificent Summer Kiosk built and presented it to Murat III. The Marmara rampart surrounding the palace had been completed with two gates, the Balikhane and Ahirkapi. In this part of the Hasbahce where Gulhane Hatt-i Humayun, the remains of Manganlar Palace of the Byzante such as; Cirit Area, Ishak Pasha and Gulhane Summer Palace have seen to be found.

It has been see that during ceremonial passing like Cuma Selamliks, of the big magnificent departures and arrivals to and from war, that the wooded road located in the first courtyard, which connects Bab-u Humayun to Bab-us Selam was used. It is also known that the Janissaries used this courtyard and opened its doors during the commotions against the palace. The palaces second knobbed door which is called Bab-us Selam, which locates the main section of the palace, forms the inner castle of the Sur-u Sultani. Several structures with rampart reassembled straight strong walls have been limited and this courtyard area that consists of bastion like arches, three lined up courtyards and the structures that surround it complete the palace. No one except the Sultan was allowed to enter the Divan Square named courtyard upon their horses. This courtyard along with its structures was the empire rulers point local of the palace. In a period of time in this courtyard, the most important axes where several animals wandered between the back garden divisions is the Bab-u Sade axes which symbolizes the sultan. The body is consiste of a three domed and arched Divan-I Humayun under the Justice (Adalet) Tower which remains from the (Fatih) Sultan Mehme era and is located in the left wing. In this official place in which the grand vizier and vizier meet 4 days a week to make decisions interesting the empire, and cabin meetings took place, foreign ambassadors were also accepted. This place consists of a courthouse, office and revenue office. Behind this structure, a multi domed and massive walled Foreign Treasury structure which was constructed to store the empires official treasures. Every three months tips “ulufe” was given to the janissary from this treasury that the Grand Vizier was allowed to use. Therefore magnificent Victory (Galebe) Divans were made while the foreign ambassadors were found in the courtyard. After the palace gained the function of a museum, this section, was divided for the display of armed weapons which belonged to the periods between the m the early Islamic period and the early 20th century. Weapons that were unique to the Islamic Turkish and Middle East are found here. It is divided by the small and barely perceptible Arabalar Gate directed from the Golden Horn to the mysterious Harem Flat under the dome. This gate connects the Divan Square to to Hasbahche in the direction of the Golden Horn, it is the Has Ahir system which the sultans used as a exit. The lower courtyard that is in it and the Has Stable that limit the palace are known to be one of the first constructed structures. Sultans put their selected horses in this stable. It also consisted of an individual horse racing team that was under the responsibility of the imrahor and horse set treasury. It was especially important that the treasured horseracing team sets that were gifted to official regiments and foreign countries were valuable. Another structure which draws attention in this field is the Besir Aga Mosque. Another functional structure group in Divan Square is the Baltaci Wards. This staff of strong youths that was brought to the palace in ply style , bbesides the formality in the palace, they served in all kind of carrying of the Harram and Selam sections. The Baltacilar Ward took its last shape after the enlargement in the 16th century; it resembled a neighborhood consisting of Divan Square, harem, a Turkish bath in the area of the courtyard directed in Hasahir, ward, mosque and stick room. In the right wing of the courtyard monumental kitchen structures are located in the rear of an arch. These monumental kitchen structures which are located in a narrow long courtyard on the Marmara Sea side of the courtyard are being presently used consists of palace archives, the oil house (yağhane) and pantry which are used as a fabric warehouse, wooden Chef Mesjid and finally the chimneys which are the most attention drawing part of the outer palace appearance. Along with the Chief Vizier and Endurun public this enormous structure that also serves the sultans and harem and food was continuously given out to about no less than five thousand people on normal days. These kitchens that were filled with a variety of quality exampled foods that were produced in the empires field have a special place in the Ottoman culture. Rare and precious Chinese and Japanese ceramic art pieces that were valued in the Ottoman Palace and were bought or received as a gift, are displayed in these structures. In the Helva house and sherbert house sections, Turkish kitchen accessories along with Ottoman Star porcelain and glass works are being displayed. European porcelains and silverware are located in he buildings across which were once the chef’s ward.

The Bab-us Saade (gate) connects the Enderun courtyard which consists of the places of the inner palace organization, where the padishahs spend time in the selam section of the palace, to the Divan Square. Accessions, obeisance, the exchange of greetings on holidays, foot divan, and funeral ceremonies were done at the door that represented the sultan. Besides these events the sultans never used the door and Divan Square. To enter the door of the padishahs homes without permission was counted as the biggest law crime that could be made to the mighty. This baldaken formed passageway that was under the control of a palace staff member called the Bab-us Saade Aga, is present in our day with rococo effects of the 18th century. The selam section Enderun, which was in the leadership of the padishah, is also named “Harem-I Humayun”. This section consists of the “Selamlik” the area that days were lived in and “Haramlik” where the nights were spent. The empires high bureaucrat and military leader cultivators have an important role in the shape of the Enderun courtyard.

This section which was controlled by Bab-us Saade Chief the Arz Room which was the sultans first personal structure in the whole of Bab-u Saade. This arched and single volumed symbolic place was a symbol of Ottoman centralization and was located in the middle of the palace. This structure that was equipped in the 16th century and at the end of the same century, the baldakan throne that was used during the acceptance of the sultans’ divan members and foreign empire ambassadors, is a jewel covered throne. The sultans official acceptance room has a unique rich design and protocol. It is one of the rarely precious things that you were honored with along with seeing the sultans face. Behind this structure a 16th century remaining kiosk, the Havuzlu Kiosk is located. It consists of birds and hunting birds that were symbols of strength and were an interest to the palace. Another sultan structure, which was designed in classical style during the Ahmet II’s Tulip Era. He devoted this structure to the webs of Enderun as a library. Other structures in this courtyard that belonged to the sultans were the Enderun Treasury and Has Room (Holy Trust Office) that were located in the corners of the courtyard. The order of the construction was given altogether with the palace by (Fatih) Sultan Mehmet theII and even though it was designed in a classical Ottoman structure type freestone design that consists of a splendid landscape of Istanbul which is provided by a arched marble terrace and it has been understood that it has been used as the Ottoman palace treasury ever since. IBehind the lined up domed rooms, a monumental Turkish bath is known to be existing as a connection of to the Sultan and Enderun structures. It consists of large basement floors which were used to put treasury belongings in. This legendary treasury was used to put the sultans revenues and the profit of 1/5 from dependent countries and the belongings of the dynasty palaces revenues cash in. Also it consisted of collection of gifts and art works producted in the palace such as; firstly sovereign jewels and jewellery, gifted furs, hil horses, rich palace garments and fabrics, valuable handwritten clothes and holy trusts. This reserved treasury art work collections of which was separate from the empire treasury was used when the revenue of the empire was troubled. These structures are still presently used to display the Ottoman Treasury. The most famous treasures that it consists of are; numerous jewel works, four thrones (Bayramlashma-Culus, Iftariyye, Topkapi,Sefer and Nadir Shah thrones) hook and crest symbols of the Ottoman empire, the topkapi poniard and spoon diamond. Goods that were in this treasury and was in control of the head treasurer (hazinedarbashi), which only the sultans and the treasury ward personnel were admitted to go into, were released and tken back with a document. The usage benefit which belonged to the sultan dynasty. However, from time to time, the public were allowed in to see and analyze the treasures that were left from their ancestors. As valuable foreign empires gifts were received, gifts at the same value were sent back. Works that were sent to holy places formed one part of the treasure inventory.

Has Room is the most important structure that belonged to sultans and is located in the Enderun Courtyard. This valuable structure which a quarter of it was designed with a geometric plan in the 15th century, was a private residences for the sultans in the selam section of the palace. Sultans would meet with the chiefs of Enderun in this place that was divided into sections such as; the Arzhane, Aslanhane and Has rooms. This structure which is completely covered in ceramics which belonged to several periods has been used for the purpose of displaying Holy Trusts since the 19th century. After the destroyal of the Memluk Empire in the 16th century, Sultan Selim I had made the declaration of being the caliphate of Islam and had prophet Mohammed’s and his the holy belongings of the first caliphates and by the channel of the Abassi caliphs from Mekke and Medine to the Treasury and Has Room . As the rulers of the Prophit Mohammed believing empire, protecting these works and representing this ideal was the main ruling principle for of the sultans. These works consist of Prophit Mohammeds sweater (Hirka-I Saadet), swords, relic, the Banner of Sheriff (Sancak-i Sherif), swords belonging to the first caliph’s and several works that remained from celestial religions. These works were displayed with a ceremony on the fifteenth day of the month of Ramadan, to the palace residents, viziers, and harem public.

The corners of the wards that were located in the Enderun Courtyard in which the chiefs used as a training areas and resident were limited. These wards that consisted of a ward that had a small hall in it and opened to the arched courtyard and Turkish bath rooms, had a order of a sorting according to training echelons. On the sides of Bab-us Saade, Big and Small Roomed Wards that were peculiar to inexperienced chiefs were built after the Selim II Turkish Bath was destructed. Clothes which belonged to the Padishah’s and the dynasty are presently being displayed in this ward. Pantries and Treasure wards were found in the corner of the courtyard between the Treasury and Has Room . This ward which provided in the service of the Sultans meals and honoring, is presently used as the museums administrative office. Ottoman Islam miniature, scripture and line equipment are presently being displayed in the Treasury and Has room of these wards and the Treasury ward building that protected the Enderun Treasure.

The Agalar Mosque that remainswith its unique structure from the Sultan (Fatih) Mehmet II era is located in the Enderun Courtyard. Besides the Enderun chiefs, padishahs also prayed here. This three sectioned structure which is supposed to be remaining since the 18th century and consists of rich Ottoman ceramic works of the 17th century is presently used as a museum library. Among the Enderun Courtyard wards, the harem Kushhane Gate also opens to this courtyard along with the palaces IV section which is the inner garden and summer palace passages. A private kitchen organization was assembled for the padishah.

There were kiosks reseved for the sultan and his family on the part of the palace which faced Sarayburnu. The marble pool that was located on the Sofa-I Humayun Terrace divides these kiosks and was a private section of the palace peculiar to the palace dynasty like the Has Room and Harem. These Observation kiosks were also used for chatting, dressing and library rooms, and a Circumcision Room that draws attention especially with its colorful glazed existing facade. The domed and terraced polygon structures that Murat IV had built in dedication of the Revan and Bagdad conquers are the last example of the classical Ottoman palace architecture. The facades of these kiosks that open with a terrace to the courtyard are ceramic covered. The terrace cedars, the braziers located in the center domed area and the magnificent ceramic ornamented stoves are the factual evidence of the sultans’ palace lifestyle. It is also known that in the terrace that Sultan Ibrahim ate his iftar meal on summer nights that was detailed with a tobac, baldaken pergola and the marble area that opened to the pool the meshveret committee was established.

The Hekimbashi Room (Bashlali Tower) is located in IV section of the palaceon the side of the Tulip (Lale) Garden that faces the Marmara and Sarayburnu. This was a office and ware house under the control of the chief physician. There are many remaining palace and medication bottles in this tower, that were in the control of the chief physicians during the healing of the sultans health problems. The decorated Sofa Kiosk that was structured is a divan house that opened to the garden in the 18th century. The kiosk that was open to the public during the “Hilvan” declaration ceremonies that were magical night and day entertainments had a substructure of a corner bastion and is connected to the Bagdad Kiosk with hisarperche. A stone throne belonging to Murat IV, that is positioned against the Chiefphysician Tower shows that sultans watched games on these garden fields. The Mecidiye Kiosk had been constructed in the early 1850’s on the gardens marble terrace which is in the direction of the Marmara. The kiosks Esvap Room that freely rises in the same design of the kiosk is also an interesting detail. It is supposed that this kiosks’ brick arched substructure history relies to and before the (Fatih) Mehmet Sultan II era. Another structure that belongs to the garden is the Sofa Mosque that was designed in a neo-classical style in the middle of the 19th century. The garden is connected to Balyan designed two towered gate in the direction of Sarayburnu in Hasbahche.

At the end of the 16th century the Harem Institution was completed as Ottoman system in the palace. The real and stable vision of traditional matriarchal Turkish-Islam configuration was Valide Sultan.


Harem


Bab-us-Saade wall which separates administration and private sections in the Topkapi Palace are also conventional in the Harem. On the continuous of this walls axis, the structure is directed to the Divan square which is formed by the residences of external services, which were under the order of the Chief of Girls (Kizlaragasi), and control of the Chief of Harem (Haremagasi) or the internal services of the concubine. The Cumle gate, which opens to Karagalar stone paving and the gate pointed at issue; is opened to the original Harem section where the dynasty and the high level women of the palace lived and to the Selamlik section of Harem which is connected to this section by Altinyol (Golden road) and sided to Hunkar hall the residential of the Sultans and Princes. Putting out Harem's structure chronology isn't as easy as other parts which have developed as the sections of Karaaga-Concubine, Harem, and Selamlik. The tradition of Islam, which gained holiness and secrecy to family, showed one of the inaccessible examples in Ottoman palace along with submitting sources of the architecture and installation of Harem. But historical events, such as turning into an institution affected the architectural styles and topography of the palace show that the construction of the Harem came true during four main periods.

The First Period:The era during the Sultan Mehmet II (The Conqueror) and (the Magnificient)Sultan Suleiman I. which is the end of 15th century and the era among the middle of the16th century is the era that the core of Harem was shaped. The Harems of the first Ottoman Palace, Old Palace, which was located in Beyazit and Topkapi Palaces, consisted of a part called the Women Palace (Sarayi-Duhteran). Harem; brings up ordered settlements with overhangs beginning from the Adalet Tower, Cumle Gate, and Bas Haseki sections. The tower of Sultan Selim I. , Bagdat Pavilion and Hekimbashi Towers along with tower kiosks on top of Hisarpeche, were styled as middle age tower palaces . The Harem structures in this period had concinnity with residence architecture and external sofa. In the end of 16th century the first period areas there were constricted garden walls, on which Sultans, Valide Sultans (Mother of the Sultan) sections, and concubine wards were going to be constructed.

It’s understood that Arabalar gate and Justice way was free zone out from Harem that a large cariye and hadimagasi which were not in the need of combining their staffs in this first period. The horse ramp axle which was called big riding and which connects the tower to the tiled kiosk and the under work of the structure supports the idea of that the tower raised independent. The other important group of structure must be the Selamlik section which is next to Harems exit next to Has Room.

Tower Kiosk which is also named as Hamamli and the tower of Selim I. is known that it’s reserved for the education surveillance under prince from the beginning.

This area beginning from the end of 16th century formed the core of the Sehzadegan rooms which was also called Shimshirlik Cage and which includes the gardens. Its understood that this first period structures which are formed of the circum of the Valide (mother of the Sultan) and Gozdeler (favorites) stone pave are surrounded with interesting portico arrangement.

II. period is Kanuni Sultan Period: This period was started after harem had settled at Topkapi Palace ,with Haseki Hurrem (Roxelanne)Sultan who had charismatic personality and Kanuni Sultan Suleyman. Between 1520- 1530 as Topkapi Palace enlarged its status changed also. Hurrem and her children got out of the old harem and began to live in Topkapi Palace Harem , so their reqirements were provided in Topkapi Palace. This era the structures must have designed in Harem out Sultan structures but as surrounding moreover protecting them and next to each other but on unrelated two courtyards ward arrangement for Karagalar and concubines who camed to Topkapi Palace. Its understood that These structures in the way of functionallity are including Kizlaragasi lodgins and concubine Baths . Interconnecting with this also the master workmans and foremans lodges which are important elements of Harem must have moved to wing which limits Valide stone pave in across of the Bas Haseki lodge builded on the Fatih era.

In this period adequat to Hurrem Sultans position Hurrem Sultan had named the Bas Haseki Room and the Suleiman I. (the 'Magnificent') had build the Has Room in Harem which was going to renew in the era of Murat III.

III. Perod is III. Murad II. and Nurbanu-Safiye Sultan Periods: At the end of the 16th century the Harem Institution was completed as the Ottoman system in the palace. The real and stable vision of traditional matriarchal Turkish-Islam configuration was Valide Sultan.

Sultan Murat III. Who was confused in contentious relations between Nurbanu Sultan and Haseki Safiye Sultan the two charismatic figures; this tensious administration had to go to way of structuring of ruling from Harem of Topkapi Palace.

The rich facade structures which were raised on a platform of the capital structure the reason of topographical conditions which were suitable to the classical architecture of this era also represents the power sharing . Along with the the Cariye Wards, structuring of the substructure of the magnificent flats and even though old cariye courtyard facades were kept simple the landscape in other words was the power that the harem was focused on and where it got a share of identification

Concubine wards while being under work for this magnificent lodges with this new structuring even with plain facade the old concubine stone pave for Ikbal and the other Kadiefendis had gradually wrapped to identity to take interest of the view in the other words the power in Harem.

The Valide Sultan Lodge is the most detailed structure in the Palace with its center position and in facade or in Valide stone pave and with perspective and facade.

This is seperated from Kadiefendi lodges with a single facade level, with Hunkar bath systems which starts with Hunkar hall in spatial point is emphasized with monumental portico while connecting to Sultan and Selamlik lodges. Valide Sultan lodge also has protected its special place in history and had been the scene of political events in the era which was called women sovereignty and Valide Sultans were Naibes (representative of Sultan) in 17th century.

The clasical Ottoman richness and art capacity was represented with the Hunkar Turkish Baths and Hunkar Sofa that were made by Architect Sinan and Davud Aga. This domed classical structure which facade and interior decoration was later on changed was the harem’s and palaces big ceremony, acceptance, and entertainment room. The Murat III Has Room which is located near this sofa, is a live example of classical Ottoman architecture with a balance of sensible Ottoman, esthetics and symmetric and was built by Architect Sinan. The interior that has been covered in the most beautiful examples of Ottoman ceramic arts is balanced with a domed structure and a pool placed in the substructure. Thereby the structure and the hierarchy of the padishah, valide sultan, and woman lord have formed the unchangeable facts of the establishment of the harem. This rational architectural plan that was created with a classic logic continued in the pool located in the harem. Another complex that was constructed in the Topkapi Palace and placed by the palace system and harem hierarchy is the Shehzade Flat.

Furthermore for the continuation of the empire, harems and dynasties which belonged to the sons of the sultans were supervised due to the reason of the public opinion that was against the palace because of the law in the Fatih Rulebook which permitted the slain of the sultan’s son. During the end of the 16th century, Altinyol which was the core of the first periods of the harem a Shehzadegan Office complex built on the Haseki Flats and this system gained structures from the Harem Gardens such as the Selim I Tower with a Turkish bath and the structures in the Shimshirlik Garden.

The IV Period: In this period which consists of the 17th and 18th century, the inner dynamic additional sections of the harem structures were not completed due to establishment force but more because of the increasing of the Harem population and fires. Later on the symbolic structuring reason was a sovereign symbol of the tradition of sultans ordering the construction of a Has room. Another structure group that was known to be formed was located around the Harems Hospital courtyard. Also in this era rooms were added to the flats top floor proportional to the power that valide sultans gained. In the 18th century when the Ottomans were in a search for renewal and influenced by art, Ahmed III’s Has Room (Yemish Room) still life descriptions were seen on the panels. In the middle of the century sultans had the rich and light Rococo romantic design reflected in their kiosks and the interior of these kiosks. The Treasure Room made an outbreak with its facade during the classical periods and the Has Room located beside was covered in the same style in the Abdulhamit I era. However, the Selim I Tower was partially destructed and the mansion resembled wooden Mabeyn and Ikballer Flats were constructed. The Historical Shimshirlik Area, which is an area that has dramatic character, was open to the free life of the Dynasty and the double summer houses of the sons of the sultans.

The different art styles that exist on the Haram structures stand out. The Topkapi Palace is one of the rare museums examples that exactly reflect the Ottoman politics, culture. With its classical hierarchy, power and an expressive magnificent symbol of the period, the Topkapi Palace completed its life-span with Rococo additions and has left its administrative reforms period to the Bosphorus Palaces.


The Dolmabahche Museum


The Ottoman sultans have lived in palace complexes such as the Topkapi Palace, which consists of many villas with a harem and a kitchen. The construction of summer palaces and pavilions increased after the 18th century. Shortly after Abdulmecit ascended the throne, he decided to build a new palace resembling to royalty palaces in the west that were acceptable for living continuously in the summer and the winter therefore the area of the old Beshiktash Palace in Dolmahahche has been chosen for the palace. For that reason the old palace was destructed. Garabet Balyan the architect of Abdulmecit had arranged the palace project and the construction was carried on under his control. Two main doors which provide the entrance of the garden and some of the hall decorations were made by his son Nikogos Balyan.

The beginning date of the construction is not exactly known, the palace was completed in 1856 with a big ceremony in June 7 and Abdulmecit moved to his new palace on the same date. Topkapi Palace was completely abandoned. The Eclectic styled Dolmabahche Palace was spread over a 250. 000 square meters area. The palace consists of two main floors and a basement. The theatre and the boathouse of the palace had been planned with the other sections of the palace such as the vast harem room, the glassed villa that sighted the street and the adjacent regiment villa has been destructed at the end of the Ottoman Empire. It has 258 rooms, 43 halls, and 6 Turkish baths.

The palace was mounted parallel to the sea. The facade which views the sea reaches 600 meters throughout the European shore of Bosporus. It has the quay which lies along the facade on the seaside and there are two monumental gates which one is very decorated, on the land side which is surrounded with high walls. This coastal palace, which is surrounded by a well cared beautiful garden, consists of three sections; the Mabeyn-i Hümâyûn (formal hall), the Muayede Salon (the ceremonial halls) and the Harem-i Hümayun (the harem, the apartments of the family of the Sultan). The whole Project diagram was set as a hall on the center and rooms in the corners. At the entrance, a baroque style staircase takes place. Muayede Hall (ceremony hall) which is higher than the other sections is situated in the middle. The ceremonial hall is 45x37 meter large with 56 columns, and a 4. 5 ton crystal chandelier which was a gift from the British Queen Victoria, amazes visitors and hangs from a 36 m high dome and illuminates with 750 lights. The ballroom is the largest of its kind in the world. The hall, which is used for important political meetings, receptions and balls, was previously heated by an oven-like system under the floor. Central heating and electricity were later additions to the palace.

After the Ceremony Hall, you will arrive to the Blue and Pink salons, the Hunkar Hall and to the harem which is the personal room section. After passing long corridors you will reach to the Harem section you will find Sultans bedrooms and suites that belonged to the Sultans mother, other women, and attendant sections. An annex in the north was reserved for the crown prince. The rooms that are arranged around the five big halls are showing complicated arrangement. The palace has survived intact with its original decorations, furniture, and the silk carpets and curtains.

The Selamlik section which consists of six hamams “Turkish baths” was made of unique and beautifully carved alabaster marble. The upper galleries of the big salon were reserved for orchestras and the diplomatic corps.

The Dolmabahche Palace has a richness and glory that no other palace has. The walls and the ceilings are decorated with the paintings of the popular European artists of the era and and golden decorations that were made with tons of gold. All of the important rooms and salons are in the same color. All the floors are covered with different ornamented wooden parquets. Famous Hereke silk and wool carpets, which are the best works of Turkish artistry, are laid out at several places. The rare handicraft works of the Far East, decorates the whole palace. Sparkling crystal chandeliers, candlesticks and fireplaces display their beauties in many rooms of the palace.
The Structure which is located in the Beshiktash district serves as a portrait and statue museum. The most important event that took place in the palace that Ataturk resided at during his visits to Istanbul in the Republic period, was Ataturk’s death in the year 1938.


The Beylerbeyi Palace


The area of Beylerbeyi is a promanade place located on the Asian shore of the Bosphorus since the Byzantine period. It is known that before the Beylerbeyi Palace a vaulted church was built in that same area. Later on, Ahmet the I had ordered the construction of the Shevkabat Pavilion positioned here. During the era of Murat the IV. , it had been through its most bright period and had been used for hunting, pleasure and entertainment.

Mahmut the I. Had build Ferahfeza Pavilion for his mother but in the lenght of time it had falled out of favour and the land except Beylerbeyi Mosque, Muvakkithane and Hamam was sold to public. . Beylerbeyi came up again in the era of Mahmut the II. and the palace which is known as “yellow palace” the old Beylerbeyi Palace was was ordered to be built by Architect Krikor Amira Balyan. Serdabi Sevkabat, Big and Small mansions and pavilions, surrounded the old Beylerbeyi Palace. Unfortunately a fire took place during the Abdulmecit era and the palace abanedoned due to the belief of considering the palace as bad luck.

Sultan Abdulmecit had ordered the construction of the current Beylerbeyi Palace to Sakis Balyan in place of a wooden seaside palace in 1861-1865. It is a summer palace and is mounted parallel to the sea.

The three-storied building which carries the atmosphere of the Dolmabahche Palace, is divided into two sections; the harem and the selam, and consists of 26 rooms and 6 halls. The material which is used is marble and “Kufteki” stone which was brought from Bakirkoy. The architectural style is the wall which separates the Mabeyn and the Harem sections apart, this style is used almost in every palace. The Palace has eastern architectural effects on the land side and western effects on the seaside.

It is known that Abdulaziz was personally interested in the palace decoration and put decorator Migirdich Civanyan in charge of this duty. The facade and interior decorating, eastern and Turkish motifs were used with western ornamentation items. On the ceilings the compositions of zencerek, palmet, and rumi’, dice typed column headings and the usage of a Bursa arch are some eastern effects used in the interior decoration. The fountain which located in the the Pooled Hall is eastern tradition but the dolphin sculpture which is in the middle of the pool is a western approach. It’s possible to feel this approach in most of the Pooled Hall, Blue Hall, and Sedefli “Nacre” Hall,

All of the furniture, wall and ceiling decorations that belong to the Admiral Room (Kaptan Pasha Odasi) which has originally survived, consist of naval scenes. Inside of this small palace was decorated with, Chandeliers from Bohemia, Yildiz made ceramic tiles and ceramic vases which are all small scale fortune. The veneered furniture and essence carpets expose a unique beauty to the palace. Authentic furniture, carpets, curtains, and other objects were originally protected. Abdulaziz, who is known with his interest of art, had charged Aivazosky with the duty of decorating some of the ceilings. Again on the walls of the palace, there are paintings of Turkish artists.

Along with the palace structure; Summer Palace, Yellow Pavilion (Sari Kosk), Marble Pavilion (Mermer Kosk), Stable Pavilion (Ahir Kosk) and Sea Pavilion (Deniz Kosk) were constructed in the Palace Complex. The original structure is located in the rear of the pier and the other structures takes place in set gardens. The structures on the set gardens were mounted asymmetrically. The back slopes consisted of a big pool, terraces, and horse stables, which are the most beautiful of its kinds. An old tunnel was passed under the palace which was used until 1970. Foreign state visitors were accommodated at the palace which consists of two spectacle pavilions (Seyir Kosku) and located on the sea side.


The Chiragan Palace


The most beautiful plces along the Bosphorus and Golden Horn were reserved for the palaces and mansions of the Sultans, and other important dignitaries, most of those palaces have now gone. The big palace was burned in 1910. The wooden palace was constructed by architect Serkis Balyan in 1871, as appointed by Sultan Abdul Aziz, from the ruins of the old palace.

The structure was rebuilt, at a cost of four million gold coins, and the ceiling was covered with wood and the walls with marble. The superior column samples of stone works existed. The rooms were decorated with rare carpets, furnitures, gold and silver works. As the other palaces along the Bosphorus Ciragan was an important assembly center. The sides of the building were decorated with coloured marble, and monumental gates connected it to Yildiz Palace, via a bridge.
Its avenue side was surrounded with high walls. The ruin had stayed for long years,was fortunated after big restores and it was turned into Istanbul’s premier luxury hotel, and has retained something of its former glory.


The Yildiz Palace


Yildiz Palace is one of the structure groups that is a sample of the last sample of Turkish-Ottoman Palace Architecture, located on the Yildiz Hill, in Beşiktaş.
In the XVIII. century Sultan Selim III. had a summer house built for his mother Mihrisah Sultan and this suumerhouse called as "Yıldız" (star). Sultan Selim had a fountain in rococo style built in the inner garden.
Sultan Abdulaziz who was coming to the Yildiz Villa in suumer, built Big Mabeyn Villa. Its acrhitecture was Balyan Family.
After Sultan Abdulaziz was dethroned Sultan Murat V. (1876) resided at Yildiz Palace during his sort reign lasted for 92 days.

The construction of the palace began during Sultan Murad V. and this structure was mentioned as Yildiz Palace Humayun. During Sultan Abdulhamit's period the near lands were purchased and the exterior garden which is called Yildiz Park,was enlarged and public improvements were started.
Beside the villas which were used as resident by sultans and their sons and officials, also there are various buildings such as theatre, museum, library, pharmacy,zoo, small mosque, hammam, repair-shop, carpentery.

Near the exterior of the palace there was soldiers of the hassa division belongingto the First Army.
Sultan Mehmet Resad (1909-1918) who ascended the throne after, Sultan Abdulhamid II. , had an operation in the "Four Season Sloon" of the a villa called Hususi Room. After his death in 3th July 1918,Sultan VI. Mehmet Vahidettin (1918-1922) became Sultan.

Sultan Vahidettin who mostly resided at Dolmabahce Palace, sometimes used Yildiz Palace.
The structure which was used as War Academies Buiding,was turned over to Culture Ministry and then it was assigned to Yildiz Palace Directoreship. The first museum works started in 1994. On the 6th January The Palace Theatre and Performing Arts Museum which was re-arranged, on the 8th April 1994 Yildiz Palace Museum opened to public.


The Yildiz Palace Museum


The required furnitures of the palace which were produced by the order of Sultan Abdulhamid II. are in the carpenter building.

Sultan Abdulhamid II. who was very intersted in carpentery and acquired fame with his own hand - carving carvings, attach special importance to carpenter building.

The traces exhibited in the museum are generally belong to the palace. Besides the personel goods of Sultan Abdulhamid, obcejts which were presented to him and has art worth, wooden traces due to the musuems location in the old carpenter building and Yildiz Factory productions are exhibited.


Yildiz Palace Theatre and Performing Arts Museums


The second building which was turned into a museum,is Palace Theatre. It was built in 1889 by Abdulhamit II.

That structure that its restoration works were completed,was opened to the public with Gedikli Concubine structure as "Theatre and Performing Arts Museum". A section where original costume are being exhibited, is formed in a part of the museum.

In the Performing Arts Museum the documents belonging to theatre history that was improved under the influence of western and some personel goods of famous artists,are exhibited.
Thus; the museums forming the nucleus are going to be transferred and by the purchasing new traces the museum will become reacher.