The Ottoman Palaces to Visit in Istanbul
The impressive and stunning Ottoman palaces in Istanbul are a great site to learn about Turkey's rich historical background. By touring these stunning, opulent homes, you may learn more about how this royal dynasty, which once controlled almost half of the world, lived and conducted business.
Invading Istanbul, then known as Constantinople, for the first time in 1453, the Ottomans quickly gained the respect and adoration of the local population. The Ottoman Empire disintegrated nearly 500 years later, but the sultans constructed numerous recognizable Ottoman palaces that are still standing today. Let's start by looking at some of the places that should be on your bucket list when visiting Istanbul because they are accessible to the general public.
6 Beautiful Ottoman Palaces of Istanbul Turkey
1- Ottoman Yildiz Palace
Yildiz palace served as the Ottoman Sultan Abdul-Hamid the Second's temporary administrative hub. He favored Yildiz Palace to Dolmabahce because of its prominent Bosphorus location, which made it vulnerable to seaborne sieges. Abdul-Hamid kept constructing additions and remodeling the palace until it had grown to 500,000 square meters. Despite this, the Dolmabahce Palace's immense scale and dramatic design surpass the spectacular architectural style. Instead, the distinct placements of the structures would evoke the same style as Topkapi.
Due to Abdul-love Hamid's of art and culture, he also included a theater, a painting gallery, a printing press, a music studio, a photography workshop, and an observatory. To demonstrate the superiority of Ottoman porcelain production, the Sultan sent tiles and other porcelain goods made by employees in another part to dignitaries and foreign officials. Crafting with wood was covered in another section. The third and final administrative center of the Ottoman empire before it was disbanded was known as Yildiz Palace.
2- Dolmabahce Palace and The Ottoman Demise
Due to the deterioration of Topkapi, the Dolmabahce palace, which took 13 years to build, was chosen as the Ottoman dynasty's secondary residence in 1856. The Ottoman dynasty yearned to emulate the elegant architecture, furnishings, and designs of the western palaces of France and England despite being mocked for being the poor man of Europe. Dolmabahce Palace, located in the Besiktas neighborhood, is also well-known for being the place where Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the man who founded the contemporary Turkish republic, passed away.
The chamber where he died is open to visitors, and the clock is set to the very moment he died. This palace, which is 100,000 square meters in size, also leaves tourists in awe of its extravagant interior design. The Dolmabahce palace has a stunning 285 rooms, 6 Turkish baths, 44 halls, 68 toilets, and more. The elaborate decor includes 131 silk carpets from Hereke, a region in Turkey noted for its high-end carpet designs, as well as 14 tons of gold on the ceilings and pure crystals along the staircases.
The Tsar of Russia also gave bearskin carpets, and Queen Victoria of England gave a chandelier that weighs an incredible 4 tons and requires 750 lightbulbs. The Selanik part of the Dolmabahce Palace, which served as the sultans' quarters and administrative hub, is divided from the harem. Both have separate entrance fees, and visitors are required to sign up for guided tours. You won't be sorry you spent the money on the tickets.
3- Topkapi Palace: First Home of the Ottoman Sultans
Of course, your first stop should be Topkapi Palace. Topkapi was the Ottoman Empire's first capital and is located in the Sultanahmet neighborhood close to other famous sites like the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia. It would be an understatement to term this structure a palace. Within the royal walls, thousands of people resided, transforming Topkapi into more of a mini-city. Topkapi Palace served as the Ottoman sultans' administrative center for 400 years in addition to serving as their residence.
One may only speculate about the untold tales of the cruel sultans, stunning concubines, cunning counselors, and eunuchs in charge of the harem division. The Hagia Eirene Byzantine church is located in the first court, where the tour starts. The cooks, imperial council room, treasury, sleeping quarters, and pavilions were all located in the second courtyard, which served as the business hub. Visitors can also reach the harem from here; this requires an additional ticket administration cost but is well worth it.
The third courtyard is next, which was the sultan's personal space. Today, one room there houses holy Muhammadan artifacts. All of the sultans' pictures may be found in the privy chamber dormitories, while the treasure room has jewelry as well as the Topkapi Dagger and spoon maker's diamond. The fourth court is home to lovely pavilions, marble terraces, and a place for circumcision.
4- Beylerbeyi Palace and Visiting Dignitaries
The Ottoman sultans spent their summers at Beylerbeyi Palace, where they frequently entertained foreign dignitaries. The Empress Eugenie of France, the third wife of Napoleon, is said to have entered the palace while riding on the arm of Sultan Abdul-Aziz, upsetting the Sultan's mother Pertevniyal, who smacked her across the face. The German Emperor Wilhelm the Second, Prince Nikola of Montenegro, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, and Austrian Emperor Franz Joseph were among the other royal visitors at Beylerbeyi Palace.
Visitors can explore the harem, barn stables, and garden pavilions, which total 300 square meters. The inside was customarily decorated in Ottoman style, despite the exterior's display of western architecture. Beylerbeyi is modest in comparison to Dolmabahce Palace's magnificence but yet has attractive features, like the reception hall with pool and fountain. Due to the calming sounds and the ability to simulate respite from the summer heat, this feature was frequently utilized in the large Ottoman homes during the time of construction. Again, Ottoman rulers only want the finest Hereke rugs for their carpets.
5- Kucuksu Palace in Asian Istanbul
This royal building, often referred to as the Kucuksu pavilion, is notable for being located on the Asian side of Istanbul, as opposed to other buildings that were mostly on the European side. Although smaller in size than palaces like Topkapi or Dolmabahce, Kucuksu was never utilized as a residence by Ottoman sultans; instead, they would go on hunting expeditions there. Kucuksu was originally a two-story wooden building that Sultan Abdul-Mejid the First had commissioned in a neo-baroque design. The distinctive feature is that the corner chambers that surrounded a central hall were more reminiscent of a Turkish home than an Ottoman sultan's castle.
To embellish the interior, they hired the same stage designer as the Vienna State Opera. Original Hereke rugs, Bohemian chandeliers, and Italian marble were used, like in other Ottoman castles. During his rule, Sultan Abdulaziz introduced more ornate architectural details. Kucuksu was utilized by the Turkish government as a guesthouse during the collapse of the Ottoman empire until 1944, when it became a museum. The palace gained additional notoriety when it served as the backdrop for the James Bond movie The World is Not Enough.
6- Ciragan Palace in Istanbul
Would you like to occupy an Ottoman palace? If so, make reservations at the former Ciragan Palace, which is now a hotel, despite the fact that this five-star property has expensive rates. One of the top 15 most expensive hotels in the world, Ciragan is located on the European beaches of the Bosphorus between Ortakoy and Besiktas. Suites here go for over 35,000 USD per night. Ciragan, which Abdul-Aziz the Sultan had built in 1876, represented a new pattern in which sultans constructed their own homes as opposed to utilising those of the preceding generation.
In the original architectural plan, the outer facades were made of marble, while the interior walls and roof were made of wood. Ciragan Palace, which is connected to Yildiz Palace by a bridge, is well known for being the location where Abdul Hamid the Second was deposed and spent his final days. Since the Ottomans frequently used wood to build their homes, a fire in 1910 sadly damaged much of the structure. Ciragan then served as a football field until reopening as a luxurious hotel in 1987. The Kempinski hotel chain now holds the title of legal owner, and during renovations, much of the original Baroque architecture was reproduced.
A fascinating look at the lavish lifestyle of the sultans who once governed this vast empire can be seen at Istanbul's Ottoman Palaces. These palaces are a must-see for anybody traveling to Istanbul because of their magnificent architecture, dexterous artwork, and expansive grounds. A visit to these palaces is sure to make an impression, whether you're interested in history or are just looking for a lovely and unforgettable experience.