Istanbul Palaces have a long history and are filled with beautiful artifacts. Sultans and their families lived in these grand structures.
The palace complex is a maze of courtyards, a series of courts that become more private as you move deeper into the grounds. Among these are the Fourth Court with its pleasure pavilions.
The Palace of Topkapi Istanbul was built during the reign of Sultan Mehmed II. Originally called the New Palace (Yeni Saray or Saray-i Cedid-i Amire) to distinguish it from its predecessor in Beyazit Square, Topkapi was expanded and renovated throughout its four hundred years of existence.
The complex is a maze of buildings centred around a series of courtyards protected by various gates, ranging from the Gate of Felicity, Bab-us Saadet, to the Divan Meydani, where viziers and grand viziers held meetings. The treasury was also housed here, as well as the Pavilions of Judges.
Topkapi Palace Istanbul
The palace was the home of the Ottoman sultans for nearly 400 years and also served as an administrative centre of the Empire. Originally constructed over the remains of Constantinople’s Imperial Palace, Topkapi Palace was expanded and reshaped many times throughout its long history.
In the outer courtyard, visitors can view Hagia Eirene, a Byzantine church-turned-museum, and Cinili Kosk (The Tiled Lodge), a synthesis of medieval European fortification styles with Persian Timurid influences. The Gate of Salutation is another important architectural landmark, resembling medieval European fortresses with its crenelated walls and pointed towers.
Dolmabahce Palace Istanbul
Designed in 1843-1856 by architects Garabet Balyan and Nigogayos Balyan, Dolmabahce Palace Istanbul is one of the largest and most striking palaces in all of Istanbul. The palace is a true example of traditional Ottoman architecture and a must-see for any visitor to Istanbul.
The highest and most imposing section of the palace is the Muayede Salonu (Ceremonial Hall), which has an area of over 2000 square meters, 56 columns and a 36-metre dome. It is a popular destination for visitors and was once the place where Sultan Abdulmecid sat to address the people.
Ataturk, founder of the Republic of Turkey, was a frequent visitor to Dolmabahce Palace and spent his last days in a bedroom there. This room is still adorned with clocks set to the time of his passing, at 09:05 am.
Yildiz Palace Istanbul
During Sultan Abdulhamid II’s rule, Yildiz Palace Istanbul became the center of information, culture and art. The presence of a printing house, photography workshop, theater, painting gallery, small museums and an observatory testifies this.
In the reign of Mahmud III, Sultan Abdulmecid and Sultan Abdulaziz, the palace was expanded by pavilions and summer palaces. It received the name “Yildiz” from Selim III’s mother Mihrisah Sultan.
The Great Mabeyn Pavilion (state apartments), Cit Pavilion in the private section, Malta and Cadir Kiosks in the outer garden are some of the most notable buildings here. Architect Raimondo D’Aronco was invited to design the buildings and gardens with European styles, but still incorporating classical Ottoman Turkish elements.
Beylerbeyi Palace Istanbul
Located on the Asian side of Istanbul, Beylerbeyi Palace was one of the Sultans’ summer palaces. The building was built in the early 19th century and was a favorite for many sultans.
The palace is surrounded by a lush garden and a long dock on the Bosphorus. It was used as a guest house for visiting royalty, including Empress Eugenie of France, Shah Nasruddin of Persia and Grand Duke Nicholas of Russia.
Beylerbeyi was commissioned by Sultan Abdulaziz between 1861-1865 to the architects Sarkis Balyan and Agop Balyan in neo-baroque architecture with a traditional Ottoman house plan. It consists of three entrances, six state rooms and 26 smaller rooms.
Ciragan Palace Kapali Carsi Istanbul
Ciragan Palace Kapali Carsi Istanbul combines historical imperial grandeur with an extraordinary location. Formerly home to Ottoman sultans, this luxury hotel is on the Bosporus and sits right on the water’s edge.
The hotel also offers an extensive selection of restaurants, a hammam Turkish bath, and a spa with a variety of treatment rooms. It’s one of the best places to enjoy a luxurious vacation in Istanbul.
The Ciragan Palace Kempinski is the perfect place for a family vacation or a romantic getaway in Istanbul. It has an outdoor infinity swimming pool, butler service and a concierge team to help you make the most of your time.