Dolmabahce Palace, Istanbul

Dolmabahce Palace, Istanbul

One of the most glamorous and magnificent palaces in the world, Dolmabahçe Palace used to be the administrative center of the Ottoman empire and was the residence of the last Ottoman sultan. It is also the largest palace in Turkey.

Built in the 19th century, the palace has 285 rooms, 68 toilets, 44 halls, and 6 Turkish baths. Gold leaves decorate its ceilings, 14 tons of gold to be exact. And the crystal chandelier that hangs from it was a gift by Queen Victoria of England.

But that's not the most interesting fact. You see, the chandelier weighs 4.5 tons and has 750 bulbs, making it the world's largest.

Aside from gold leaves, expensive stones, such as Marmara marble and Egyptian alabaster, were also used to decorate the palace.

Dolmabahçe Palace is home to the National Painting Museum. There is a collection of 202 beautiful oil paintings that are on display and we're done by some of the renowned artists. These include Jean Leon Gerome, Ivan Aivazovsky, Stanislaw Chlebowski, Gustave Boulanger, and Theo Van Rysselberghe.

Since it is prohibited to check out the palace all on your own, join a guided tour. La Vacanza offers a 5-hour guided tour to the Dolmabahçe Palace and over the Bosporus Bridge to get a panoramic view of Çamlica Hill on the Asian side of Istanbul.


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