Today all sections and units of Dolmabahce Palace are restored and opened to visit. The Dolmabahce Palace Complex is administered by the National Palaces Trust under the TBMM ( auspices of the Turkish Grand National Assembly ); and it is open to visitors, except Mondays and Thursdays daily between 09:00 - 16:00. It is one of the most imposrtant historic places in Istanbul that must be seen.
Istanbul situated on seven hills and it is a city of palaces as well. Please, do not miss to visit Dolmabahce Palace if you come to İstanbul, the city of palaces. This Palace is one of the most fascinating palaces in the world built in 19th century, Ottoman architecture and it was located in an area of 110 thousand squaremeters. It is located along the European shore of the Bosphorus between the ports of Besiktas and Kabatas. the plan arrangement of Dolmabahce Palace is an adaptation of traditional Turkish house in grandeur scale, constructed with brick internal walls, stone external walls and timber floors. After your visit with the breezes in the halls of the palace, it will be a great pleasure for you to rest at the cafe in the garden and have a cup of coffee with the fascinating Bosphorus scene. If you have a chance to visit Dolmabahce Sarayı in June, you'll get fascinated by the glory of magnolia trees.
Dolmabahce means “Filled up Garden”. Until 17th Century this site was one of the bays in Bosphorus. This bay was a natural harbour. Beginning from the XVII the Ottoman Admirals anchored the naval fleet here and also the traditional maritime ceremonies had taken place in this harbour when the Ottomans conquered Istanbul. In centuries, it had been started to be filled up time to time and became one of the unique gardens of Bosporus called Dolmabahce. The construction of the Palace completed in 13 years and cost five million Ottoman gold pounds ( the equivalent of 35 tons of gold ). Sultan Abdülmecit I, who was the 31st sultan of the Ottoman Empire commisioned the construction of the palace.This marvelous palace displays the power and richness the Sultans had. For the Ottoman treasury this palace was an unnecessary expenditure and because of the external debt, it had became totally empty. This palace had been empty intermittently for 32 years since the collapse of the Ottoman Empire.
In Dolmabahce Palace the last 6 sultans and Caliph Abdulmecit lived and after him most of the subsequent sultans preferred to live in the smaller palaces that they had built on their own along the Bosphorus. This palace was used also by Ataturk with the declaration of the republic. When Ataturk visited Istanbul, he used Dolmabahce Palace as his residence. On 10th of November 1938 Ataturk passed away in this palace after a long period of sickness and then it was converted in to a museum.
Dolmabahce Palace is a blend of many European architectural styles. It is the most western and the newest of all. Dolmabahce Palace, the monumental example of the Ottoman capital city, influenced by the widespread aesthetical approaches of the dominant European architecture at that time, comprises many characteristics of the Ottoman palace architecture tradition.