29-03-2019 - History Updated At: 14-06-2023

History of Dolmabahce Palace

Step into a world of opulence, architectural brilliance, and historical significance as you embark on a captivating journey through Dolmabahçe Palace in Istanbul. This magnificent palace, commissioned by Sultan Abdülmecid I in the mid-19th century, stands as a testament to the grandeur of the Ottoman Empire. With the Istanbul Tourist Pass® in hand, you can unlock the doors to this architectural marvel and delve into its captivating history through an exclusive guided tour. Immerse yourself in the lavish interiors, marvel at the fusion of architectural styles, and gain insights into the empire's past. Prepare to be awestruck by the splendor of Dolmabahçe Palace, an unmissable gem that awaits your discovery in Istanbul.

Historical Background

Dolmabahçe Palace, a true gem of Istanbul's architectural heritage, holds a rich history dating back to the mid-19th century. It was commissioned by Sultan Abdülmecid I, the 31st Sultan of the Ottoman Empire, who desired a grand and modern palace that would rival the European royal residences of the time. Construction of the palace commenced in 1843 and was completed in 1856, after thirteen years of meticulous craftsmanship.


Architectural Marvel

Spanning an impressive area of 45,000 square meters (11.1 acres), Dolmabahçe Palace is a true architectural marvel. The palace showcases an exquisite fusion of diverse architectural styles, blending elements of Baroque, Rococo, Neoclassical, and traditional Ottoman design. The architects responsible for its creation were Garabet Balyan, Nigoayos Balyan, and Evanis Kalfa, esteemed members of the renowned Balyan family of Ottoman court architects.

The palace's interior is equally breathtaking, boasting 285 offices, 46 halls, 6 hamams (Turkish baths), and 68 toilets. Each room is meticulously adorned with intricate decorations, luxurious furnishings, and dazzling chandeliers, showcasing the opulence and grandeur befitting a royal residence.

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Significance and Historical Events

Dolmabahçe Palace holds great historical significance as it served as the official residence for six Ottoman Sultans from the time of its completion in 1856 until the dissolution of the Caliphate in 1924. Notably, Caliph Abdülmecid Efendi was the last royal occupant of the palace. 

Throughout its existence, Dolmabahçe Palace witnessed significant events that shaped the destiny of the Ottoman Empire. It was a witness to the empire's struggles with financial instability, as the construction cost an astounding five million Ottoman gold lira, which equates to around $1.5 billion in today's currency. The lavish expenses incurred for the palace's construction contributed to the empire's deteriorating financial condition, eventually leading to its default on public debt and increased foreign influence over its affairs.



The palace also played a role in the founding years of the Republic of Turkey. Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the visionary leader and first President of Turkey, utilized Dolmabahçe Palace as his summer residence during his presidency. He enacted crucial reforms and conducted significant works of governance within the palace's walls. It was here, in the very rooms of Dolmabahçe Palace, that Atatürk spent his final days before his passing on November 10, 1938.

Guided Tour Experience

Visitors to Dolmabahçe Palace can enhance their experience through the Istanbul Tourist Pass®, which includes an exclusive guided tour of this magnificent historical site. The guided tour offers a deeper understanding of the palace's architectural details, its historical significance, and the captivating stories that unfolded within its walls.

Led by knowledgeable guides, visitors will embark on a journey through time, exploring the various halls, chambers, and salons of the palace. Learn about the lives of the Ottoman Sultans, their royal traditions, and the opulent lifestyle they led. Marvel at the stunning artistry and craftsmanship displayed in the palace's interior, from the intricately designed ceilings to the elegant furnishings that once adorned the rooms.


The guided tour also offers insights into the broader historical context surrounding Dolmabahçe Palace, shedding light on the political and cultural dynamics of the Ottoman Empire and the transformative years of the Republic of Turkey.

Dolmabahçe Palace stands as a testament to the rich cultural heritage of Istanbul and the magnificence of the Ottoman Empire. Its architectural splendor, historical significance, and captivating guided tour make it a must-visit destination for travelers exploring the city.

By obtaining the Istanbul Tourist Pass®, visitors gain access not only to Dolmabahçe Palace but also to over 85 other attractions and services in Istanbul. This pass provides a convenient and cost-effective way to explore the city's diverse offerings, allowing travelers to save up to 75% on entrance fees and make the most of their Istanbul experience.


Immerse yourself in the grandeur of Dolmabahçe Palace, discover its rich history, and appreciate the intricate details that make it a true architectural masterpiece. Plan your visit today and embark on a remarkable journey through the ages at Dolmabahçe Palace, an essential highlight of Istanbul's cultural heritage.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is Dolmabahçe Palace?

Dolmabahçe Palace is an iconic landmark located in Istanbul, Turkey. It was commissioned by Sultan Abdülmecid I in the mid-19th century as a replacement for the Topkapi Palace. This grand palace showcases a blend of Ottoman, Baroque, Rococo, and Neoclassical architectural styles, making it a unique and captivating sight for visitors.

What is the Istanbul Tourist Pass®?

The Istanbul Tourist Pass® is a comprehensive sightseeing package that offers visitors access to a wide range of attractions, including Dolmabahçe Palace. It provides convenience, cost savings, and exclusive benefits to enhance your visit to Istanbul. With the pass, you can enjoy skip-the-line entry to multiple attractions, free guided tours, discounts on various services, and more.

How can I purchase the Istanbul Tourist Pass®?

You can easily purchase the Istanbul Tourist Pass® online through the official website of CityBerry®, the provider of the pass. Simply select the pass duration that suits your travel plans and proceed with the secure online payment. Once purchased, you will receive a digital pass that can be conveniently accessed on your smartphone.

Is Dolmabahçe Palace included in the Istanbul Tourist Pass®?

Yes, Dolmabahçe Palace is one of the included attractions in the Istanbul Tourist Pass®. By presenting your pass at the entrance, you can enjoy free admission to the palace and explore its magnificent interiors, including the grand halls, elegant rooms, and stunning artwork.


Are guided tours available at Dolmabahçe Palace?

Yes, the Istanbul Tourist Pass® offers a complimentary guided tour of Dolmabahçe Palace. Joining this guided tour allows you to gain deeper insights into the palace's history, architectural significance, and the lives of the Ottoman sultans who resided there. The knowledgeable guides will take you through the palace's highlights and share fascinating stories along the way.

Do I need to book a specific time slot for visiting Dolmabahçe Palace with the Istanbul Tourist Pass®?

With the Istanbul Tourist Pass®, you can enjoy the guided tour at selected hours, please check here for the most recent tour times!

Can I visit Dolmabahçe Palace multiple times with the Istanbul Tourist Pass®?

The Istanbul Tourist Pass® grants you an amazing guided tour and yes, if there is free space, you can visit more than one.

Are there any additional fees or charges at Dolmabahçe Palace with the Istanbul Tourist Pass®?

With the Istanbul Tourist Pass®, your admission to Dolmabahçe Palace is included, and no additional fees are required for standard access. However, certain special exhibitions or sections within the palace may have separate admission fees that are not covered by the pass. It's advisable to check with the palace staff or the Istanbul Tourist Pass® website for any specific details regarding additional charges.

Can I use public transportation to reach Dolmabahçe Palace?

Yes, Dolmabahçe Palace is well-connected by public transportation in

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