If you take a Bosphorus tour, you’ll pass many lavish and intriguing buildings, but the most opulent of them all surely has to be the 600 m long Dolmabahçe Sarayı (Dolmabahce Palace). It took 13 years to build and was completed in 1856 and served as the administrative center of the Ottoman Empire until 1922.
The palace was commissioned by Sultan Abdülmecid (who decided there should be a more European palace than Topkapi) and designed by Armenian architect Karabet Balian and his son Nikoğos Balian. (read Balyan family on Wikipedia). It is an ostentatious blend of architectural styles including Baroque, Rococo, Neoclassical and modern Ottoman, dripping in luxury.
Located between Beşiktaş and Kabataş, there a number of other sights in the area worth seeing, such as the neo-baroque Dolmabahçe Camii (Dolmabahçe Mosque), the Dolmabahce Clock Tower, the Palace Collections Museum, and Istanbul Naval Museum. If you are interested in seeing the other palaces of Istanbul, why not visit Topkapi Palace or the Beylerbeyi Palace.
The Dolmabahce Palace’s opening hours are from 9 am to 6 pm, and it is open every day except Mondays. The Dolmabahce ticket price is 150 Turkish Lira per person and in order to fully understand the Dolmabahçe Palace history, it is required to take a tour.
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