25-01-2019 - History Updated At: 14-07-2023

The Gem of the Anatolian Shore: Beylerbeyi Palace

Experience the allure of the Anatolian Shore at the magnificent Beylerbeyi Palace. Nestled in Istanbul's Asian side, this hidden gem, adorned with breathtaking gardens and opulent design, continues to captivate visitors from around the world. While it may not boast the same fame as some of its Ottoman counterparts, Beylerbeyi Palace is a must-visit destination during your Istanbul tour. Here's an in-depth look at this remarkable Ottoman marvel, from its rich history to its exquisite features.

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Unveiling the History of Beylerbeyi Palace

The story of Beylerbeyi Palace dates back to 1829 when Sultan Mahmud II initially constructed a wooden palace on this site. Unfortunately, tragedy struck in 1851 when a fire engulfed the palace while Sultan Abdul Mecid resided within its walls. Recognizing the need for a more resilient structure, Sultan Abdul Aziz commissioned the construction of the current palace between 1863 and 1865. Designed by the talented Armenian architect Sarkis Balyan, the Beylerbeyi Palace, meaning "Lord of the Lords," came to life.

Throughout its existence, Beylerbeyi Palace played multiple roles. It served as a prestigious venue for hosting foreign dignitaries and became a preferred summer residence for many sultans. Its enchanting gardens, magnificent pool, and remarkable sculpture collection left a lasting impression on esteemed guests. Furthermore, the palace witnessed several significant events during the late Ottoman era, including the confinement of Sultan Abdul Hamid II following his dethronement in 1909 and his eventual passing within its walls. It also served as the site for a feast hosted by Sultan Mehmed Resad V to celebrate the parliamentary system. Beylerbeyi Palace continued to welcome prominent international visitors even after the establishment of the Republic of Turkey, with one notable guest being Reza Shah Pahlavi, the penultimate Shah of the Persian monarchy, hosted by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk in 1934. Additionally, the palace hosted the Balkan Games in 1936, adding to its illustrious history.

What to See: Exploring the Wonders of Beylerbeyi Palace

Immerse yourself in the grandeur of Beylerbeyi Palace, which stands as a testament to the lavishness of the Ottoman Empire. Its exterior and interior display meticulous attention to detail, incorporating elements from neoclassical, baroque, and Renaissance styles, and classic Ottoman architecture. While smaller in scale compared to other imperial palaces in Istanbul, Beylerbeyi Palace boasts 24 rooms and 6 halls. The floors feature special mats imported from Egypt, creating a unique atmosphere. The palace's adornments include exquisite crystal chandeliers, meticulously crafted clocks, and beautiful porcelain objects from the Far East.

The palace's ceilings serve as a captivating focal point, showcasing intricate decorations. Sultan Abdulaziz, known for his passion for painting, personally contributed to the creation of these masterpieces. European painters and skilled calligraphists were commissioned to craft the palace's rich ornaments, with renowned calligraphist Abdulfettah Efendi leaving his mark through intricately designed epitaphs. As you wander through the palace, you'll also encounter magnificent paintings depicting naval scenes and nature, adding to its grandeur.

Embracing the Splendor of the Palace Grounds

Beyond the palace walls lies a haven of natural beauty. Beylerbeyi Palace's gardens, though smaller in size compared to their counterparts, offer an enchanting experience. The gardens feature lush greenery, tranquil pools, and diverse plant life. While some areas were designed for leisurely walks and relaxation, others served as fruit and vegetable gardens. The upper sections even housed special enclosures for birds, rabbits, gazelles, and lions.

Venturing deeper into the palace complex, you'll discover additional structures. The Sea Kiosks, situated along the Bosphorus, grace the gardens. These kiosks, also known as "Cadir Kiosks" due to their tent-like roofs, served both the Harem and Mabeyn sections of the palace. Notable among them is the Valide Sultan's Sea Kiosk. The Marble Kiosk, built during Sultan Mahmud II's reign, served as a hunting lodge and boasts fountains and pools within its walls. Adjacent to the Marble Kiosk is the Yellow Kiosk, a serene retreat characterized by its light-yellow stone exterior and intricately decorated ceilings. These outer structures, along with the palace itself, present an awe-inspiring sight when viewed from a Bosphorus cruise, as they grace the shores of Beykoz.

How to Go: Journeying to Beylerbeyi Palace

To reach Beylerbeyi Palace, venture to the Uskudar district on Istanbul's Asian side, conveniently located near the 15 Temmuz Sehitler Bridge, also known as the First Bridge. From the European side, numerous ferries from Eminonu, Kabatas, and Besiktas provide access to Uskudar. Once in Uskudar, board one of the IETT buses with codes 15, 15Y, 15U, 15R, 15P, or 15S, destined for the Beylerbeyi neighborhood. For a mesmerizing Bosphorus view from the 15 Temmuz Sehitler Bridge, opt for the 34A, 34AS, 34G, or 34Z metrobuses and disembark at the 15 Temmuz Sehitler Koprusu stop, a mere 10-minute walk from the palace.

If you're already on the Asian side, Kadikoy serves as a convenient starting point. Catch the 14M or 15F buses to the Beylerbeyi neighborhood. Alternatively, if you're coming from eastern areas like Kartal, Maltepe, or Pendik, take the Kadikoy-Tavsantepe metro to Kadikoy and transfer to the 14M or 15F buses as before.

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Plan Your Visit: Enhancing Your Visit to Beylerbeyi Palace

As you explore Beylerbeyi Palace, consider enriching your experience with an Istanbul Tourist Pass®. This pass provides access to over 100 top attractions, tours, and essential local services, allowing you to save over 80% on your sightseeing adventures. Don't miss the opportunity to also visit Dolmabahce Palace, another significant imperial palace, which dwarfs Beylerbeyi Palace in size but offers a similarly captivating journey into Ottoman history.

Plan your visit accordingly, as Beylerbeyi Palace adheres to the schedule set by the National Palaces Administration. Opening its doors from 9 AM to 6 PM, the palace remains closed on Mondays. To gain entry, a ticket priced at 200 TL grants you access to the wonders that await within.

Prepare to be awestruck as you step into the enchanting world of Beylerbeyi Palace. From its remarkable history to its awe-inspiring architecture and picturesque gardens, this Ottoman masterpiece promises an unforgettable experience. Let the splendor of the Anatolian Shore captivate your senses as you immerse yourself in the allure of Beylerbeyi Palace.

Tips for Visiting Beylerbeyi Palace

Here are some tips to enhance your visit to Beylerbeyi Palace:

Plan your visit: Check the opening hours and schedule your visit accordingly. Note that the palace is closed on Mondays.

Arrive early: To avoid crowds and make the most of your time, consider arriving early in the day when the palace opens.

Wear comfortable shoes: The palace grounds are extensive, so wear comfortable footwear to explore the gardens and various buildings within the complex.

Bring a camera: Capture the beauty of the palace and its surroundings. There are many photo-worthy spots, including gardens, ornate ceilings, and architectural details.

Guided tours: Consider joining a guided tour to gain deeper insights into the history and significance of the palace. Guides can provide interesting anecdotes and stories that enrich your experience.

Respect the rules: Follow the guidelines set by the National Palaces Administration and adhere to any restrictions or regulations in place to preserve the palace and its artifacts.

Explore the gardens: Take your time to stroll through the palace gardens, appreciate the lush greenery, and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere. Don't miss the opportunity to see the various kiosks and the stunning Bosphorus views.

Learn about the history: Familiarize yourself with the palace's history before your visit. This will help you appreciate the significance of the architecture, decorations, and events that took place within its walls.

Take a Bosphorus cruise: Consider combining your visit to Beylerbeyi Palace with a Bosphorus cruise. Viewing the palace from the water provides a unique perspective and allows you to see its grandeur in the context of Istanbul's shoreline.

Plan for additional time: While exploring the palace, allocate extra time to fully appreciate its intricate details, magnificent ceilings, and exhibits. This will ensure you don't feel rushed and can immerse yourself in the beauty of the palace.

Respect the surroundings: Treat the palace and its grounds with respect. Refrain from touching or damaging any artifacts or decorations and follow any instructions given by staff or guides.

Enjoy the experience: Take your time, soak in the history and ambiance of the palace, and enjoy the unique opportunity to step back in time and witness the grandeur of the Ottoman Empire.

By following these tips, you can make the most of your visit to Beylerbeyi Palace and create lasting memories of this remarkable historical site.

In conclusion, don't miss the opportunity to visit Beylerbeyi Palace and immerse yourself in its captivating beauty. With the pass, you can conveniently explore other Ottoman masterpieces and gain access to a wealth of other top attractions, tours, and local services throughout Istanbul. By utilizing the pass, you'll enjoy not only the splendor of many attractions like the Guided Hagia Sophia Mosque Tour or Guided Dolmabahce Palace Tour but also the chance to discover the city's diverse cultural and historical treasures while enjoying significant savings. Embrace the chance to delve into the opulence of the past and create unforgettable memories with the Istanbul Tourist Pass®.

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