Dolmabahçe Palace, the elegant palace of the Bosphorus, is one of the most magnificent symbolic structures of the Ottoman Empire's changing 19th century identity.
Dolmabahçe as a 19th Century Palace
The coastal area of Beşiktaş, where Dolmabahçe Palace is located, is an area that has been the scene of shipping activities in the past as one of the bays of the Bosphorus. This bay, which was a natural harbor for ships to take refuge since antiquity, also attracted the rulers during the Byzantine period and royal palaces were built in this region.
The coastal area, which served as a port where navy ships were anchored and maritime ceremonies were performed during the Ottoman period, was named “dolmabağçe” after the sea was filled in the 16th century. Although the official residence was Topkapı Palace, the “dolmabağçe” region became one of the preferred places to visit and has been used as a royal garden belonging to the sultan and the dynasty. In the 19th century, the group of mansions and pavilions built on this garden were collectively called “Beşiktaş Coastal Palace”. The influence of the trend of renewal and modernization of the 19th century was also reflected in the palaces, as well as in the culture and administration of the Ottoman Empire. Dolmabahçe Palace, which has the title of being the third largest palace structure of Istanbul today, is the most magnificent work created by this trend of renewal.
The structures of Beşiktaş Coastal Palace were considered to be incomplete in terms of functionality during the reign of Sultan Abdülmecid (1839-1861). These structures were demolished and Dolmabahçe Palace was built in their place during this period. The construction of the palace started on June 13, 1843, and was completed on June 7, 1856. It is situated on an area of 110 thousand square meters, dominating the magnificent view of the Bosphorus..
The iconic work of the modernized face of the Ottoman Empire, Dolmabahçe Palace