13-03-2023 - Places

Beylerbeyi Palace: History, Nature, and Art

Istanbul is full of history and the most significant structures of this rich past are its beautiful places. Beylerbeyi Palace, one of the few remaining Ottoman imperial palaces on Istanbul's Asian side, continues to draw tens of thousands of tourists each year with its exquisite architecture and lush grounds. Be sure to visit this magnificent Ottoman structure during your trip to Istanbul even if it is less well-known than some other more well-known Ottoman palaces. Here is everything you should know about this location if you want to do so.

But before we dig into this amazing place, let’s have a look at Istanbul Tourist Pass®, the first and most comprehensive tourist card in Istanbul. The Pass has 100+ attractions, experiences, museum entrances, guided tours, services, and more all over Istanbul. Having Istanbul Tourist Pass® will definitely make you save time and money during your Istanbul journey, so why wait? Click here to compare for yourself. Let’s go back to Beylerbeyi Palace.

Amazing History of Beylerbeyi Palace

Beylerbeyi Palace is a palace full of history. Sultans and foreign visitors spent time in this beautiful place. Let’s have look at the long history of this must-see palace.

The first palace in the area was built by Sultan Mahmud II in the year 1829, but this wooden palace experienced a fire in 1851 while Sultan Abdulmecid was inside the palace. Though it wasn’t completely destroyed, the next emperor, Sultan Abdülaziz, thought that there was a need for a sturdier palace in this area, so he took down the previous wooden palace and built the Beylerbeyi Palace (which means “Lord of the Lords”) between the years 1863 - 1865 we know today. It was designed by the Armenian architect Sarkis Balyan.

Sultan Abdülaziz ordered the construction of the Beylerbeyi Palace, which some have compared to a scaled-down Dolmabahce Palace sans the people. It would have been a substantial summer residence with 24 rooms, 6 halls, and a hamam, and it was also used to host distinguished guests.

Beylerbeyi Palace was mostly used to host foreign visitors, but many sultans also spent the summer here. The Palace's stunning gardens, pool, and sculpture collection frequently left important foreign statesmen in awe. In the last years of the Ottoman Empire, also saw a few important historical occurrences. After Sultan Abdulhamid II was overthrown in 1909, shortly after the Young Turk Revolt, he was imprisoned here. Here, he also passed away.

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After Sultan Abdulhamid II, Sultan Mehmed Resad V hosted a feast in the palace's gardens to honor the parliamentary system. After the Republic of Turkey was established, Beylerbeyi Palace continued to receive distinguished visitors from various nations. Reza Shah Pahlavi, the second-to-last shah of the Iranian monarchy, is the most renowned of these. Reza Shah Pahlavi was hosted by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk in the Beylerbeyi Palace in 1934. Balkan Games were also held at this palace in 1936.

What is inside Beylerbeyi Palace?

Beylerbeyi Palace, like all the other Ottoman imperial palaces, is unquestionably one of the most opulent historical sites in Turkey. The materials used to build it are rare and expensive, and both the outside and inside feature incredible levels of detail.

The palace exhibits traditional Ottoman architecture in addition to having obvious neoclassical, baroque, and Renaissance influences. Beylerbeyi Palace is quite little when compared to the other imperial palaces in Istanbul, yet that does not mean it is small in general. It contains six halls and 24 rooms. The majority of the floors were made of unique mats that were imported from Egypt. The castle is decorated with numerous enormous crystal chandeliers, custom clocks, and items made of Far Eastern porcelain.

One of the palace's most striking characteristics is the decorations on the ceiling. Sultan Abdulaziz personally participated in the development of these lovely decorations because he had a keen interest in painting. To construct these elaborate embellishments, he also imported painters from Europe and engaged professional calligraphers. The epitaphs found in the palace were also created by Abdulfettah Efendi, one of the most well-known calligraphers of the time. On the ceilings, there are numerous paintings about the navy and the natural world.

You may take a stroll around some of Istanbul's most pleasant gardens right outside the palace. While smaller than those of its competitors, Beylerbeyi Palace's gardens have a lot of pools, trees, and many kinds of plants. Others were used to raise fruits and vegetables, while some gardens were designed for strolling and relaxation. Also, you can see that the upper portions of these sets have been converted into designated areas for lions, gazelles, bunnies, and birds.

The other palace complex structures are located inside the grounds. The Deniz Pavillion is the first of them. The complex has two Deniz Pavillion, one in the Harem section and the other in the Mabeyn section. As implied by their name, they are close to the Bosphorus. They were also known as "Cadir Pavillion" because of the tent-like appearance of their roofs. Valide Sultan was given the one in the Harem section. The Marble Pavillion, which has lakes and fountains within, was constructed for Sultan Mahmud II to use for hunting. The Yellow Pavillion, which is close to the Marble Pavillion, is said to be designed for relaxation. Its name derives from the light-yellow external stone, and the ceiling is embellished with ornamentation. Since they are all close to the Beykoz shores, the palace and these exterior portions of it appear even better from a Bosphorus boat.

Visiting Beylerbeyi Palace

Beylerbeyi Palace is situated adjacent to the Bosphorus Bridge, sometimes referred to as the First Bridge, in the Uskudar neighborhood on the Asian side. You can board one of the several ferries to Uskudar from Eminonu, Kabatas, or Besiktas on the European side. After that, you can board one of the IETT buses—the 15, 15Y, 15U, 15R, 15P, and 15S coded buses—that travel to the Beylerbeyi neighborhood. Take one of the metrobuses with the 34A, 34AS, 34G, or 34Z code and get off at the 15 Temmuz Sehitler Koprusu stop if you wish to view the Bosphorus from the 15 Temmuz Sehitler Bridge. From the stop, it will take 10 minutes to go to the palace.

You still have a variety of transit alternatives if you are already on the Asian side. Take the 14M and 15F classified buses from Kadikoy to the Beylerbeyi area. Use the Kadikoy - Tavsantepe metro to get to the Kadikoy stop from areas farther to the east, such as Kartal, Maltepe, and Pendik, and then change to the 14M and 15F as usual.

Don’t forget to get your Unlimited Public Transportation Card before you start your journey. This card, also known Istanbul City Card, is a prepaid public transportation card that gives you unlimited access to public transportation for the number of days you choose. It is valid in every public transportation vehicle including metro, trams, buses, metrobuses, and ferries. It is a beautifully designed physical card delivered at your hotel by Istanbul Tourist Pass® and after using it, you can keep it as a souvenir. Don’t miss the up to 40% advantage in buying with Istanbul Tourist Pass®!

Admission and Opening Hours of Beylerbeyi Palace

Beylerbeyi Palace is governed by the National Palaces Administration. Beylerbeyi Palace is open from 9 AM to 6 PM, the same hours as all other national palaces, residences, and kiosks, and it is closed on Mondays. The ticket price for Foreign Visitors is 130 TL as of the first half of 2023


What is the history of Beylerbeyi Palace?

Sultan Abdülaziz ordered the construction of Beylerbeyi Palace, which was completed between 1861 and 1865, as a summer palace and venue for hosting foreign dignitaries.

Who lived in Beylerbeyi Palace?

After being deposed, Sultan Abdülhamid II spent his final six years in Beylerbeyi Palace, where he passed away in 1918. The palace's interior, which blends Western and Eastern design elements, exhibits certain typical Turkish house traits.

How to get to Beylerbeyi Palace from Sultanahmet?

The ferry, which travels in 30 minutes, is the fastest method to get from Sultanahmet to Beylerbeyi without a car. With transfers, the boat ride from Eminönü to Beylerbeyi takes 30 minutes and leaves four times per day.

Is Beylerbeyi Palace open every day?

Beylerbeyi Palace is open every day except Mondays.

Is it free to visit Beylerbeyi Palace?

No, there is a 130 TL admission fee to Beylerbeyi Palace by the first half of 2023.

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