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Dolmabahçe Palace
Dolmabahçe Palace was built by Abdülmecid where formerly stood the more modest palace of Mahmud II. The Balyan family of architects finished construction on the clock tower, mosque and palace in 1853. The crystal hanging-lamp in the reciprocal room, which weighs 4.5 tons, was a present from Queen Victoria and is said to be the largest in the world. As Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of modern Turkey, died here on November 10, 1938, this palace holds special significance for Turks.
Closed Monday and Thursday.
 80680 Besiktas
Tel: (0212) 258 5544 - 227 3444


Beylerbeyi Palace
In the original wooden palace of Beylerbeyi, which was built by Sultan Mahmut II, his son Sultan Abdülmecit personally tested the new invention by Samuel Morse, the telegraph, in 1847.
.He immediately issued a royal patent to Morse, the world's first patent for the telegraph. The palace later burned down, and Sultan Abdülaziz had a new one built in its place by his architect Sarkis Balyan.
 Many famous guests, such as French Empress Eugenie, Austrian Emperor Franz Joseph, Persian Shah Nasireddin were received in this palace.
Sultan Abdülhamid, who had been sent in exile to Salonica, was brought back to Istanbul in 1912 to spend the
rest of his life at Beylerbeyi where he died in 1918.
Closed Monday and Thursday.
81210 Beylerbeyi
Tel: (0216) 321 9320 / 321 9321

 


Ciragan Palace
This palace was built by Sultan Abdülaziz in 1861, who ascended the throne after Sultan Abdülmecit. It was designed by Nikogos Balyan and the construction carried out by Sarkis and Agop Balyan. In 1876, Murat V was placed in house arrest at ciragan on grounds that he was mentally ill and Sultan Abdülhamid took the throne. Murat lived at ciragan until his death in 1905.
The palace was being used as the house of parliament when it burned down in 1910. Today the restored ciragan Palace is a luxury hotel.

 

The Aynalikavak Mansion
This residence, which is on the same side of the Golden Horn as the Camialti and Taskizak docks, was built at the beginning of the 17th century. It stands right beside a grove called Hasbahçe and took its contemporary shape at the beginning of the 19th century under Selim III.Aynalikavak is the biggest mansion in the Golden Horn and the only one in the area that remains today.
Closed to visitors.


Hidiv Mansion
The residence of Hilmi Pasha, the Khedive of Egypt, was built by the Italian architect Delfo Seminati at the beginning of the 20th century. It is located in a large grove above cubuklu and is therefore also known as the Cubuklu palace or Cubuklu residence. The mansion was sold to the Istanbul municipality in the 1930s. The building's east front is square and the south and northwest sides are crescent-shaped. The inner salons are used as a restaurant, the upper levels as a hotel and the marble salon and gardens surrounding the residence as cafes.
Open every day.


Ihlamur Mansion
The Ihlamur mansion actually consists of two buildings, the Maiyet and the Merasim residences which are set in a large garden. Nikogos Balyan built them for Sultan Abdülmecit in 1855.
They were turned into a Tanzimat Period museum in 1950 and, after restoration, were opened to the public.
Closed Monday and Thursday.
Ihlamur, 80690 Besiktas
Tel: (0212) 258 8903 / 259 5086


Küçüksu Mansion
In the region on the Bosphorus shore that is called "Sweet Waters of Asia" by the Westerners, there was a picnic area between the two streams that was frequently visited by the elegant and elite population of Istanbul for their daytime excursions and entertainment. The mansion was designed by the chief architect of Abdülmecid, Nikogos Balyan.
Closed Monday and Thursday. 81220 Anadolu Hisari Tel: (0216) 332 3320


Maslak Mansions
These are hunting lodges in Ayazaga, the hunting grounds of the Sultan which bordered on the Levent neighborhood in Ottoman times. These lodges were built by Sultan Abdülaziz.
Closed Monday and Thursday.
80670 Maslak-Levent
Tel: (0212) 276 1022

Sale Mansion
This residence inside the Yildiz Palace complex was designed in three parts. The first part was built in 1879-80 and the second in 1889 by architect Sarkis Balyan. The third portion for ceremonials was completed in 1898 by Italian architect Raimondo d'Aronco. Since 1985 it has served as a museum of Yildiz Palace.
Closed Monday and Thursday.
80700 Yildiz-Besiktas
Tel: (0212) 259 4570 / 259 8977


Sepetçiler Mansion

A series of seaside residences on the historic peninsula were a part of Topkapi Palace. The only remnant of these residences is the Sepetçiler Mansion, which was built by the architect Davut Aga. The sepetçiler were a division of the bostancilar, the palace guard. Today the building serves as the International Press Center.


Tiled Mansion (Cinili Kösk)
This residence is in the courtyard of the Archaeological Museum. It was the first residence of Fatih Sultan Mehmet the Conqueror who wanted to have his palace in this area. The tiles, which decorate the entire building, show the dominant influence of the Seljuk style. Today, the most beautiful examples of Turkish tile-making can be seen here.
Closed in the morning and on Monday.
Osman Hamdi Bey Yokusu, Gülhane
Tel: (0212) 520 7774


Topkapi Palace
When Fatih Sultan Mehmet conquered the city in 1453 he chose to build his palace on the site of the old Byzantine palace ruins that had been looted and destroyed by the Latins. This palace was used as the Ottoman residence for almost 400 years until the reign of Abdülmecid, and was therefore subjected to many changes as it passed from sultan to sultan. After Sultan Abdülmecid moved out, the palace starts falling apart like any building does after it is abandoned.

In the 19th century, the first military museum of Turkey was opened there. It serves as a concert hall because of its excellent acoustics and imposing atmosphere. Babüsselam is the main entrance of the Topkapi Palace museum. The hospital, bakery, mint and armory are in this courtyard. The kitchen buildings are situated on the right side of the courtyard. In addition to kitchen equipment, a rich 500-year collection of glass and porcelain are displayed in this building. On the left side of the courtyard stand the palace chariots where there used to be stables, the weapon collection and the entrance to the Harem. After passing through the courtyard, one comes to the Babüssaade gate which gives way to the private sections of the palace. Facing the gate is the reception room where Divan members and foreign diplomats were received. Behind the reception room are the Enderun quarters from the 18th century where now are displayed various costumes of the Sultans, and the treasury chamber, where thrones, jewels, jewel-studded weapons and medals are displayed. Also exhibited in this chamber are the most beautiful examples of the thousands of miniatures which are everywhere in the palace In the Has Room are most extraordinary examples of calligraphy. In the Hirka-i Saadet chamber, objects belonging to the Prophet Mohammed and the first caliphs of Islam are displayed. In the fourth courtyard of the palace, there are different mansions built by various Sultans, including the Bagdat, Revan, Sofa and Mecidiye residences. The Mecidiye Residence functions as a restaurant today.
Closed Tuesday.
34400 Sultanahmet
Tel: (0212) 512 0480 - 512 0484

After a thorough restoration duringthe Republican era, Topkapi Palace was turned into a museum. The towered outer entrance of the palace, the Bab-i Hümayun entrance, comes down from the time of Sultan Mehmet.
 Entering from the Bab-i Hümayun, one reaches the oldest church of the Byzantine period, St. Irene. After the conquest it was used as the armory of the Janisseries soldiers.


Yildiz Palace
The area that comes into view after crossing the Besiktas shore to the northwest used to be a forest in Byzantine times. Beginning in the era of Suleyman the Magnificent, the sultans made it their hunting grounds. In the centuries to come, it remained as a grove behind the seaside residences. The first building was constructed in this area by Sultan Selim III. The real development of Yildiz Palace begins in the second half of the 19th century under Abdülhamid II. Architects Sarkis and Agop Balyan designed the mansions named Büyük Mabeyn, Sale, Küçük Sale, Malta and Cadir.
 The winter gardens and greenhouses, guardhouse, harem, Yaveran mansion, stables, theater house and exhibition building were all planned by the architect d'Aronco.
The Yildiz complex of palaces, residences and administration, security and service buildings, scattered over 500,000 square meter park area, carry the memories of many events from Turkey's recent history.
Beginning of the 19th century for his mother  Mihrisah Valide Sultan which doesn't exist now. In 1834, a residence named Yildiz was built by Sultan Mahmud II, and the palace built later on the site, as well as the neighborhood around the palace, were called Yildiz. In 1842, Sultan Abdülmecid built a second residence there for his mother.