Dolmabahçe Palace

Dolmabahçe Palace is located on the European coast of the Bosphorus strait. Commissioned by Sultan Abdül Mecit in 1843, it served as the main administrative center of the Ottoman Empire from 1856 to 1887 and from 1909 to 1922. Turkey’s first European style palace, Dolmabahçe was particularly opulent, and filled with gold and crystal, including the largest collection of Bohemian and Baccarat crystal chandeliers in the world. It is believed this was done mainly to cover up the decline of the Ottoman empire and project a continued sense of opulence. The palace’s architecture is a mixture of Baroque, Rococo, Neo-Classic and traditional Ottoman art and culture. The two-story palace has 285 rooms spread over a total area of 45,000 square meters.

Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of the modern Turkish republic used the palace as a summer residence and enacted some of his most important legislation here, including the introduction of a new alphabet. On November 10, 1938, he died in the palace, which explains why all the clocks in the palace are stopped at 9:05, the exact time of his death. Visitors to the palace can still see the room in which he died.


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