timistravels

My job allows me to visit a lot of Alaska on a yearly basis. I wanted to capture the trips in one location!

Dolmabahce Palace

on January 29, 2013
Dolmabahce Palace1/2/13Dohlmabahce Palace was built between 1843 and 1856 as the Sultan wanted to keep up with the rest of Europe and have an even more elaborate palace than Topkapi.  The palace is large and elegant and well worth touring, though a bit frustrating.  We first came by on Tuesday, (New Year’s Day) as it was NOT listed on their website that it was closed that day, and we knew it was closed on Monday’s and Thursday’s but no indication it was closed other days.  Sadly we had to return the next day.

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clock tower outside of palace

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entry gate

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yep the sunshine was wonderful

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the entrance to the palace

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outdoor window covering

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this is from the inside looking out and the pic beside is the same window outside looking in.

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the window from the outside looking in

Once we got there on Wednesday, the first line just to get tickets in was ridiculously long and slow.  It took over an hour as they only had one window open selling tickets. Once inside you must go on a “tour” so we had to wait in another line to join a 50 person tour.   We opted for the longer tour that would include a tour of the state rooms, where you get to go through the large and ornate rooms where the Sultan entertained his guests.  Then we toured the harem, which are the rooms where the Sultan’s family, his concubines, and their servants lived. The harem’s rooms are nice, but not as spectacular as the state rooms.  They do not allow any photo’s to be taken inside either, so any pictures you see here I got off their website.  We did take the outdoor pictures, as that is allowed.

Dolmabahce Palace is closed on Monday and Thursday!

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The palace was built in 19th century is said to be one of the most glamorous palaces in the world.  It has 285 rooms and 43 large salons.  The tour of the Selamlık begins with anterooms, then a climb up the crystal staircase.  There are lots of decorations, LOTS of gold painted items.   There are also many large chandeliers in the palace, but the largest is made of Bohemian glass and weights over 4.5 Tons, it has 660 light bulbs in it. This Bohemian chandelier was given to Ottoman Sultan as a present from Queen Victoria.574754_521708122401_994605398_n 531185_521708157331_2035160561_n 384184_521708137371_297665151_n 150646_521708147351_543117181_n

After exiting the palace you go outside and around to the harem.  Shockingly, we had to wait in another line to tour the harem!  The harem is where the family and help lived and is certainly more moderate than the palace.  6 sultans and 2 presidents lived in this area over the160 years before it became a museum.4601824-Sultans_Room_in_the_Harem_Dolmabahce_Palace_Istanbul  4541392-Istanbul_Turkey_Istanbul 4541211-Istanbul_Turkey_Istanbul 4541210-Istanbul_Turkey_Istanbul 4534225-Istanbul_Turkey_Istanbul 4180049-Dolmabahce_Palace_Istanbul

Dolmabahce palace is very important to the Turkish people because the supreme leader, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, used the palace as a residence until he passed away in 1938 at 9:05 a.m.  All the clocks in the palace are stopped at this time to honor him.

It is easy to get there from anywhere in Istanbul by taking the blue line tram to the Kabatas end and walking about ¼ mile. You will see the clock tower first then the lines begin!   It is about $15 for the palace and another $12 for the Harem.   Before you go in you have to put plastic bags over your shoes so to not damage the floor.

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