Dolmabahce Palace: Relic of the Ottoman Empire

Dolmabahce Palace

I am a fan of anything related to royal things; princess, prince, and the palaces. This royal things always fascinated me. I always dream of visiting Palace of Versailles in France and Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany. I get excited to know more about the story behind the palaces and imagining how it looked like when real royal family still lived there.

So as a student who live in Turkey, I have the chance to visit some of the palaces. Turkey was known of its Ottoman Empire. Two of the most famous palaces are Topkapi Palace and Dolmabahce Palace. I’ve been to Topkapi Palace when I visited Istanbul back in 2015. The Topkapi Palace is not as luxurious as other palace, but this palace gave me this emotional feelings. But this time, I am going to tell about the Dolmabahce Palace.

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Dolmabahce Palace was built in 19th century, when Sultan Abdül Mecit I move the palaces from Topkapi Palace to this new palaces in the edge of Bosphorus. Dolmabahce is literally meaning (filled-in Garden), so no wonders that there are so many parks and outdoor area in the palace.

I visited this palace on a bright sunny Saturday, a perfect time to visit such a beautiful palace. The palace is located in the Beşiktaş District, just across the famous Vodafone Arena, home of the Beşiktaş FC. So as a football fan, I can’t miss the chance to take a photo in front of the stadium. Only in the front facade, but next time, I will visit the club’s museum, Beşiktaş  JK Museum.

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There’s 3 types of the admission for Dolmabahce Palace. Selamlık, Harem, or Selamlık + Harem. The price for the both part is quite expensive, around 60TL. But thank God I am just a student, so I just need to show my student card and paid 5TL for the both part. What an advantage! Also please not that the visitor number of the palace are limited to 3000 per day, so when it reached the numbers, the palace will be close. Also the ticket box queue is long, so if you want to avoid that, just go around 9-11.

The first building that I entered was the Selamlık. All the visitors need to use the shoe cover to enter the building, since everything there are still original. Visitors will be divided into group based on Turkish and English. Since I haven’t know Turkish yet, so I went with the English group. Unfortunately taking photos or videos inside the Selamlık area is prohibited, so I can’t show how beautiful inside was. Also, a little trivia; at that time, women weren’t allowed to enter the Selamlık area.

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As I entered the Selamlık area, I just can’t stop adored all the rooms and all the pieces. There were so many crystal chandeliers, fireplaces, historical painting, and any other beautiful things. Each room decorated with a theme and according to its function. I think the architectural style was mostly influenced by the European Baroque style with Ottoman touch. As I remembered, the guide also told that many things in the palace are gift from the French empire.

The one part of the building that really amazed me was the Muayede Salon or the ceremonial hall. The room was used by the sultan in an official state ceremony to greet dignitary statesmen or used to celebrate the national big day (bayram).

The Harem entrance is located behind the Selamlık area, but the building was actually connected. As I moved to the Harem area, I took a lot of photo in the garden, in the stairs, in the gate just beside the Bosphorus Strait, and every corner. It was too beautiful to resist any photos.

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To enter the Harem area, visitors also divided into group and used the shoes cover. The Harem area is living area of the Sultan’s family, his wifes, his mother, and his children. It was also beautiful as the Selamlık area. Each room also has its own theme. I like the color of this area because since women living here, so the color of the area was pink, blue, and any other soft color. Each room decoration also really cute.

After finished walked around in the main area of Dolmabahce Area, I took a break in the garden and saw the clock museum. I then sat under the tree and watching ducks in the pond. At the end, I took a photo in front of the beautiful treasury gate, just beside the Selamlık and the Clock Tower outside.

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Also if you happen to visit Dolmabahce Palace and have more budget, try to visit the cafe just beside the Bosphorus Strait, it wasn’t that pricey but since I am a student so well. Also don’t forget to visit the Dolmabahce Mosque as well. I think the Dolmabahce Palace is the most beautiful that I have ever been to (since I haven’t visited that many palaces). But I would like to recommend everyone visiting Istanbul to visit this palace!

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