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ISTANBUL
Exotic Mixture of East and West.
Dolmabahce Palace, (Dolmabahçe Sarayı)

The word "Dolmabahce" in English means "The filled garden". Because the Dolmabahce Palace is founded upon a reclaimed area by filling up the sea. It's a beautiful 19th Century palace right by the Bosphorus, on the waterfront. It's in baroque and rococo style and very French. Many people think that it is a small model of the palace of Versailles in Paris, France. It can be visited with a tour guide of the palace as a group. Open everyday from 9:00-15:00 except Monday and Thursday.

If you stay in the touristy peninsula than you shall get on the Tram to Sirkeci direction. The tram will go first to Sirkeci and eminonu district and later continues to Karakoy by passing the Galata bridge. Take the tram and do not get off untill the last stop. When you reach the last stop of Tram, you will be in Kabatas district and its only 200-300 meters to Dolmabahce palace. You will see a place where Sea buses and Ferries port (Kabatas), you need to get off from here. When you stopped at kabatas walk to the front and after 200 meters you will see the Dolmabahce palace on the Right side at the seaside.

There are two parts on the palace "Selamlik" and "Harem". Entrance fee is 20 TL (~13 USD). On the entrance there are tour guides arranged by the palace and they are gathering people and you are touring the palace with small groups. Tour time is approx 45 minutes for the palace section and 30 minutes for the Harem. You need to wear blue plastic covers to your shoes. Palace itself could remind you of the Versaille palace in Paris, however for me it is more elegant. During your visit you will stop inside the room of Ataturk, founder of the Turkish republic. He has passed away in this palace and his room is still kept in the same order.

The palace altogether is decorated with French Baccarat and Czech Bohemian crystal chandelliers. The entrance hall is the hall where the visitors were used to welcomed. This part is the official part (Selamlik) of the Palace that was only open to the men. The women and the children lived in a different part called "the Harem". The Sultan's bedrooms were also in the Harem Part.  The founder of Turkish Republic, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk died in this palace in 1938, His room is also in the Harem Part of the Palace. There are many portraits in the palace by famous artists, like Aivazosvky of Russia. It's a very ornate palace with its 285 rooms, 43 large halls and 6 Turkish baths. The large old carpets on the floor are Hereke Carpets which were exclusively woven for the palaces. Some rooms have a great parquet floor with three different woods inlaid into each other by using no nails. Many of the palace fabrics and the curtains were also coming from Hereke, a small town 50 miles,70 kms. to the east of Istanbul. The palace fabrics today were replaced by new ones which are very similar to the original ones.

 
Picture Gallery for Dolmabahce Palace.
     

 

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