Colors of Istanbul: Dolmebahce Palace








1Dolmebahce 4Dolmebahce

Dolmabahce Palace is the largest palace in Turkey, spanning 11 acres and also one of the most notable as well. The palace was built between 1843 and 1856 under the orders of Sultan Abdulmecid I. Unlike Topkapi, Dolmebahce resembled more of a western palace in contrast to a medieval one. The design of Dolmebahce incorporated elements from Baroque and Rococo alongside the traditional elements found in Ottoman architecture. Just like other palaces, Dolmabahce is luxuriously decorated, with the palace covered extensively in gold and crystals. Take a look at the Crystal staircase for instance, I dared to dream that my house will have a staircase made out of Baccarat crystal, brass and mahogany.

One of its prominent feature is a large Bohemian crystal chandelier displayed in the Ceremonial Hall. The chandelier, a gift from Queen Victoria, is the largest one in the world weighing almost 5 tonnes. In addition to that, Dolmabahçe also has the largest collection of Bohemian and Baccarat crystal chandeliers in the world.

The palace also served as a home to Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the first president of Turkey, who spent his last days in the palace.

In a way, I found Dolmabahce quite similar to Versailles although access to Dolmabahce is more restricted. Photographs are not allowed but I did try to be a ninja and managed to snap a couple.

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