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Beylerbeyi Palace
1.       kurtlovesgrunge
1435 posts
 23 Aug 2008 Sat 02:43 pm

Beylerbeyi Sarayi
Cayirbasi Duragi, Beylerbeyi
Tel: (216) 321 93 20

Open everyday except Monday and Thursday from 09:30 to 17:00
Entrance fee is 6.0O YTL, students 3.00 YTL.

You are sure to be attracted by the view of a marble building in a pooled garden when crossing the Bosphorous Bridge from Asia to Europe. It is the summer palace of Ottoman Sultans and called Beylerbeyi Sarayy. You can visit the palace with the escort of assigned personnel. After the visit we recommend you walk towards Beylerbeyi quay towards the Bosphorus, for a cup of tea and if you have some time to visit Beylerbeyi Mosque.

Beylerbeyi, located on the Asian shore of the Bosphorus has been a settling area since Byzantine times. According to the famous 18th century traveler Inciciyan, Constantine the Great raised a cross here, after which the area was known as the “Istavroz (Cross) Gardens”. Under sovereignty of Ottomans this area was an “imperial park”. Inciciyan relates that the name Beylerbeyi was given to this area in the 16th century because Mehmet Pasha who held the title of Beylerbeyi (Governor General) built a country house on the site.

The Sultans built various country houses and pavilions on the imperial estate here, and in 1829 Sultan Mahmud II built a wooden waterfront palace. Sultan Abdülaziz demolished this wooden palace to build the present Beylerbeyi Palace in 1861-1865, a fancy white marble Palace in the midst of magnolia gardens.

Special tips on Beylerbeyi Sarayy:
The palace was designed by the well-known Ottoman architect Sarkis Balyan, although was used as the Sultan´s summer residence and was offered to the most distinguished foreign dignitaries for accommodation during their visit to the Ottoman Capital. The Prince of Serbia, the King of Montenegro, the Emperor of Iran and Empress Eugenie of France are among the royal guests who stayed here. The deposed Sultan Abdülhamid II spent the last six months of his life and died here in 1918.

The interior design of Beylerbeyi Palace is a synthesis of diverse western and eastern styles, although the layout of the rooms follows that of traditional Turkish home, consisting of a central sofa with closed rooms situated at the four corners. The furnishing and decoration of the Selamlyk or public apartments are more complicated than those of the Harem. The dining room concept, not seen at Topkapi Palace, entered into Ottoman life at the Beylerbeyi Palace.

The palace, consisting of two main stories and a basement holding kitchens and pantries, has three entrances, six staterooms and twenty-six smaller rooms. The floors are covered by rush matting from Egypt, protecting the inhabitants against moisture in winter and heat in summer. Over this are laid large Carpets and Kilims, mostly woven at Hereke. The furnishings include wonderful Bohemian crystal chandeliers, French clocks, and Chinese, Japanese, French and Turkish Yyldyz porcelain vases.

One of the characteristics distinguishing Beylerbeyi from other Ottoman palaces of the period is the terraced garden on the sloping hillside behind the palace. There are two pavilions on these terraces, the Sari Kösk (Yellow Kiosk) beside the pool on the upper terrace, and the Mermer Kösk (Marble Kiosk) with its interior fountain and marble walls, which provided a cool safety in the summer heat. The Mermer Kö?k, the large pool on the lower terrace and the tunnel are the only parts of the palace remaining from the earlier wooden palace.

The attractive Ahir Kösk (Stable Kiosk) is a fascinating example of Ottoman palace stables, and of particular interest as the only such building survived in its original state.

The old coastal road passed under a long tunnel constructed during the reign of Mahmud II (1808-1839) so that the palace would not be separated from the terraced gardens behind. This is a unique feature, other palaces and mansions along the Bosphorus being connected to their back gardens and parks by bridges. This tunnel now has a cafeteria and shop offering the sale of books, postcards, posters various gifts and souvenirs for visitors. The gardens are available for private receptions upon advance application.

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