Dolmabahce Palace is a magnificent example of Ottoman-era architecture that has played a significant role in Turkey’s history. Dolmabahce Palace is a special place, also because it was home to Ataturk, the founder of modern Turkey. In this blog post, we’ll explore the history, architecture, and cultural significance of this iconic palace.
Dolmabahce is the largest palace in Turkey with an area of 45,000 m² and contains 285 rooms, 46 halls, 6 baths (hamam) and 68 toilets. It was home to six sultans, and the last Ottoman Sultan, Mehmed VI, signed the Ottoman Empire‘s official dissolution papers here in 1922.
During his tenure as president, Ataturk hosted many important events and figures at Dolmabahce Palace, including French philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre, Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, and US President Dwight D. Eisenhower.
The palace was constructed from 1843 and 1856 at an enormous cost, which caused financial difficulties for the Ottoman Empire. Legend has it that the palace’s crystal chandelier in the Ceremonial Hall was so expensive that it cost the equivalent of the price of a battleship.
Built by the Bosphorus, Dolmabahce Palace served as the main residence for the Ottoman sultans until the empire’s collapse. Designed by Garabet Amira Balyan and his son Nigoğayos Balyan of the prominent Balyan family of Ottoman Armenian architects, the palace became the official residence of Ataturk in 1920s and remained so until his death in 1938. It was also used as the presidential residence until 1949.
Dolmabahce Palace is a fusion of Ottoman, Baroque, and Rococo architectural styles. The palace is an impressive example of the Ottoman Empire‘s late period and is considered one of the world’s most significant examples of neoclassical architecture. Its ornate interiors are adorned with crystal chandeliers, marble floors, and exquisite paintings, while the palace’s exterior is a stunning mix of domes, columns, and arches.
Dolmabahce Palace is not only a magnificent piece of architecture but also a significant cultural site. The palace reflects Turkey’s history, from the Ottoman Empire to the founding of the Republic of Turkey. Visitors can get a glimpse into Ataturk‘s life and the political changes that shaped modern Turkey. The palace is also a symbol of the country’s cultural heritage, attracting visitors from all over the world.
In conclusion, Dolmabahce Palace is a must-see for anyone interested in Turkish history, culture, and architecture. Its stunning neoclassical design and connection to Ataturk make it a truly unique destination. So, if you’re planning a trip to Istanbul, make sure to add Dolmabahce Palace to your itinerary.
ENTRANCE FEE (UP-TO-DATE, SEPTEMBER 2023)
The entrance fee for the whole Dolmabahce Palace is 650 Turkish Liras. This ticket price covers the Main Building, the Harem Rooms and the Palace Collections sections of the palace.
There are discounts available for students, seniors, and groups. Children under the age of 7 can enter for free.
Tuesday – Sunday: 9 am to 4 pm (until 3 pm in winter)