The Dolmabahce Palace is probably the most glamorous palace that I have ever set foot in. This enchanting palace made me feel like a princess (at least for the day). Istanbul is home to plenty of grand palaces as it served as the capital of the Ottoman empire. Dolmabace is located along the shoreline of the Bosphorus and the largest Palace of Turkey.
The Dolmabahce Palace was built in the 19th century as a replacement for the medieval Topkapi Palace due to the fact that the sultan wished for a more modern and luxurious residence.
When entering the palace, you need to pass through an impressive gate (look up!) with beautiful details. Once you step into the property, you get a feeling of how lavishly the sultans lived. The interior is basically a showcase of the immense wealth of the Ottoman empire.
A guided tour took us through the insides of the palace and its 285 rooms (well, not all of them). Unfortunately, you’re not allowed to take photos inside the palace but you can gaze at the breathtaking interior here.
The Dolmabace Palace has European influences including Baroque, Rococo and Neoclassical styles. There are lots of golden details, gigantic crystals and impressive paintings everywhere you look. The richly decorated interior also shows incredible gifts from foreign rulers. It seems like the whole palace was designed simply to showcase the splendor of the Ottoman empire.
The guided tour will take you through the most important rooms of the palace like the main entrance hall, the room of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, who was the founder and first president of Turkey and to the crystal staircase. One of the highlights was the Ceremonial Hall that features the largest crystal chandelier (it’s huge!) in the world. Be prepared for a visual impact!
The pink part of the palace is the harem, which was the residence of the Sultan’s family. The sultan was the only man allowed to enter the living space of the women and children. It consists of several baths, halls and bed rooms.
If you find yourself in Istanbul, I can only recommend visiting this impressive, over-the-top palace!
What is your favorite palace that you visited?