Dolmabahce palace Istanbul Reviews
Besiktas and Dolmabahce Palace Feb 25, 2017
Besiktas is pronounced Beshiktash. It is an area on the European shores of the Bosphorus. Its name literally means Besik = cradle, tas = stone, so Besiktas = cradle stone. This name comes from a legend that the stone on which the baby Jesus was placed in the stable at Bethlehem was brought here. A church was supposedly built to house the stone. Then later this stone was moved to Hagia Sophia, from where it was stolen during the fourth crusade.
On my third year of living on the Asian side of Istanbul I passed through Besiktas on my commute to work every day. It was a place I quite liked. It is a transport hub with an important bus station and a ferry terminal.
My football mad husband wanted to support a local team in Istanbul and became a firm Besiktas supporter. He chose them rather than either of the other two teams (Fenerbahçe or Galatasaray) because they had an English manager - Gordon Milne and some English players such as Les Ferdinand. They even had one player, Alan Walsh, who used to play for Walsall - my husband's team. Besiktas's colours are black and white. Their symbol is an eagle and their players chant En Büyük Besiktas which means Besiktas are the biggest or greatest or best.
I have few photos of the Besiktas area but the flat we lived in in our last year in Istanbul overlooked their training ground and I have photos of it.
Historically Besiktas was an isolated village on the shores of the Bosphorus outside the walls of Constantinople, as such it was vulnerable to attacks. During Ottoman Times, the Sultans established control over the Bosphorus and life became safer and more stable in Bosphorus villages. Besiktas became an established Bosphorus crossing area for trading caravans travelling to Anatolia or along the Silk Road.
Besiktas has a monument to Barbarossa or Red Beard who supposedly once had a palace there. Zübeyde Hanim, the mother of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, once lived in Besiktas.
Besiktas is also the home of Dolmabahçe Palace and the Naval Museum. I visited Dolmabahçe Palace a couple of times, but either did not take photos or do not know where they are. Actually, I don't think cameras were allowed inside in those days.
Dolmabahçe means filled in garden, as the palace and garden are built on reclaimed land. Dolmabahçe Palace was built between 1843 and 1856, during the reign of Sultan Abdülmecid I. Before that the Sultans had always lived in Topkapi Palace, but that was getting uncomfortable and had not been modernized, so at great expense, Abdülmecid decided to build a new modern palace in Besiktas. Haci
Said Aga was responsible for the construction of the palace. Garabet Amira Balyan, his son Nigoğayos Balyan and Evanis Kalfa were the palace architects.
The last royal to live in Dolmabahçe Palace was Caliph Abdülmecid Efendi. In 1924 ownership of the palace was transferred to the new Turkish Republic. Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of the new Turkish Republic, used the palace as his residence during the summers. He carried out some of his most important works here. He died here on November 10th, 1938. All the clocks in the palace were stopped at 9.05, the time of his death.
Dolmabahçe is the largest palace in Turkey. It occupies an area of 11.2 acres. It has 285 rooms, 46 halls, 6 baths and 68 toilets. The interior is decorated with gold leaf and crystal. In the Ceremonial Hall of the palace you can see the world's largest Bohemian crystal chandelier which was a gift to the sultans from Queen Victoria. The palace has also got several fine paintings, a collection of bearskin rugs presented to the sultans by Tsar Nicholas I of Russia and some splendid Turkish carpets. The palace has a harem where the sultan's mother, wives, concubines and children would have lived.
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Dolmabahce palace Mar 02, 2011
Dolmabahce Palace is an adaptation of traditional Turkish house in grandeur scale, constructed with brick internal walls, stone external walls and timber floors. After your visit with the breezes in the halls of the palace, it will be a great pleasure for you to rest at the cafe in the garden and have a cup of coffee with the fascinating Bosphorus scene. If you have a chance to visit Dolmabahce Sarayı in June, you'll get fascinated by the glory of magnolia trees
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