Sunday, March 7, 2010

Istanbul = Dolmabahce Palace

We took the tram to Kabatas Station and walked from there along the pier to Dolmabahce Palace, home of the last Turkish sultans.


Domabahce Palace was built between the years 1834-1856 by the 31st sultan, Sultan Abdulmecid. As compared to Topkapi Palace, this one was very European, with elements of Baroque, Rococo and Neo-Classic traditions combined with Ottoman traditional art and culture.


The palace was huge, and we took two guided tours inside through some of the 285 rooms, 44 halls and 6 hamams. Photography was not allowed inside.


The harem of this palace was a disappointment, because it was not nearly as splendid as the official rooms and halls used by the sultan for entertaining official guests and holding state ceremonies.


The Palace was home to the last six sultans until the abolishment of the Caliphate in 1924. In that year, ownership of the palace was transferred to the new republic of Turkey. It became the summer presidential home of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, who enacted some of his most important works in the building until his death in 1938.




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