Travel with me #120 : The Dolmabahçe Palace of Istanbul!

in #travel3 years ago (edited)

Dear Steemit Friends:

I cannot wait to share this adventure with you today. We continue our exploration of Istanbul's amazing historical and cultural buildings as we visit the Dolmabahçe Palace, home to the 31st Sultan of the Ottoman Empire Abdulmecid I. As you will see today, this beautiful palace was built to rival the luxury and elegance of the castles and chateaus of many of the aristocracy of western Europe. Abdulmecid I built this new palace and moved his family here after the thirteen year construction finally came to an end in 1856.

The Dolmabahçe Palace was the last palace in the country where a Sultan lived, because in 1922 the Republic of Turkey was formed, with the first president being elected in 1923. This effectively marked the end of the Sultanate, with the last royal to live in the palace being Caliph Abdulmecid Efendi. In 1924 the control of the royal palace passed to the national heritage of the Turkish Republic. After this time it was used by Turkey's first president, Mustafa Ataturk as a summer residence and where he also spent the last years of his life.

As you will see, the beauty of this place matches its rich history. Elaborate, ornate, well preserved and decadent, this Dolmabahçe Palace is a sight to behold. Come with me now as we explore the gorgeous stone work of this, the largest palace in Turkey.

Here, at the Gate of the Treasury we get our first glimpse of the beautiful architecture of the palace. The styles that have been used in the design and construction of the palace have been described as Neoclassical and Baroque, still with plenty of hints from a more traditional Ottoman style. In art and architecture, Neoclassical has a few meanings and complexities, but in essence seeks to revive key features from classical antiquity, such as the majestic columns and white stone walls you'd see in ancient Greek architecture.

You can see how this form is then blended the more Baroque style of architecture which holds its roots in 16th century Italy, characterised by its ornate design, exploration of light and shadows in the design and for its size and drama. I'm sure architecture buffs would have a much better idea of the differences than I, all I know is that the desire to create something to rival the palaces of Italy and France, along with a budget of five million Ottoman gold lira (around 1.7 billion US dollars), created something breathe taking.

You can see from the stone work, that thousands and thousands of hours of work went into the creation of this dramatic palace. Every inch of the building is meticulously decorated, hand carved into the beauty you see today. But not only that, the Dolmabahçe Palace also gives even the largest palaces in the world a run for their money. At over 45,000m² set in 110,000m² of land, it is huge. The six Sultans that lives here between 1856 and 1924 could have slept in a different room each night and only slept in the same room three times per year.

Let me try to give you a sense of the size. There are 285 rooms in the palace itself, 6 full sized Turkish baths and 68 toilets! What could you possibly need 68 toilets for? I guess the palace was so big that it meant there was always one nearby, otherwise you might have to walk for half an hour to go to the bathroom!

Some close ups of the ornate stone work on the Gate of the Treasury

I am not sure, because I didn't have a buggy with me (surprise!), but I believe that no strollers were allowed inside the palace itself. So, what happened was this very comical line of buggies abandoned outside the gate! I hope that no-one got confused as to which one was theirs. I loved this scene because it contrasts the ornate white stone facade of the palace with the steel and glass of the modern building that you see rising up behind. Modern architecture meets classic architecture.

One of the most impressive features of the Gate of the Treasury is the gates themselves. Towering over six meters tall, they are beautifully carved and kept in the same impressive white as the stone work around them. It creates this illusion that perhaps the gates were also carved from the same solid white stone as the gateway around them. This makes them feel extra special, because you know how impossible and intricate it would be to carve gates like these out of stone - and of course they aren't carved from stone. They would be too heavy for their hinges and also, not very strong! They would crack. The gates here are probably made of either wood or metal but I couldn't tell because of how well maintained the paint work on them was.

Enjoying some of the green space around the palace

Can't get enough of that view, the architecture is some of my favourite I've seen in a European Palace. The symmetry is just amazing while the grandeur and size is hard to explain with a photo!

Inside the palace grounds and gardens

Within the gates, the grounds of the palace are extensive. They are beautifully manicured and feel like a Victorian formal garden. Plenty of straight lines, wide avenues and many water fountains and statues. There is such a range of different plants and trees, many of which you'd consider quite western European, such as fir trees. You can see how Abdulmecid I wanted to create a palace to rival the palaces of France and Italy, right down to the final details of importing similar foliage for this garden's design.

Very popular in Victorian era formal gardens were water features. They spoke of wealth, that you could have water just for decoration rather than for the important function of hydration. Obviously in much of Turkey it can get very hot in the summer so maintaining water features like this holds some extra challenges compared to having them in an English country garden - just another reflection of the lavish wealth spent on creating Dolmabahçe Palace.

The well manicured lawns, colourful flowers, stone statues and clever planting serve to create frames of the different buildings of the palace, wherever you go. Paths lead the eye up to the front doors and pull you through the grounds to see each different building while being in the beautiful greenery. I love how the white of the building pops out from between the trees while never feeling lost.

The name Dolmabahçe literally translates to 'filled garden'. The palace is set on the Bosphorus strait, a famous waterway that marks part of the continental boundary between Europe and Asia, also separating the part of Turkey considered European Turkey with that considered Asian Turkey. It connects the Black Sea with the Sea of Marmara. And that's how the palace gets its name. Originally this area on the bank of the Bosphorus was reclaimed from the waters to create a large park area. The land was literally 'filled' to create a bigger, more stable shore line, compared to the muddy and wet area that there was before. In the 17th century this area would have been used as a place for the Ottoman fleet to drop anchor when not out at sea. The sultan obviously thought this was a beautiful location so worked to increase the structure of the land, making sure the banks of the strait wouldn't erode his gardens, and then building his palace on top!

The Gate to the Bosphorus - a gateway to Asia

The palace itself stands on European Turkey, overlooking the Bosphorus strait onto Asian Turkey. The Gate to the Bosphorus is absolutely fascinating because it's a gate that leads to... well nothing! Or nothing in the traditional sense. It serves two purposes. The first is physical, it provided a beautiful entrance and exit for the Sultan to reach his ships down in the strait. The Ottomans maintains a strong Navy so I'm sure Abdulmecid I would have had his own ship that would dock here, ready to take him anywhere on the coast of the empire if he should need it.

The second purpose of the gate is metaphorical. Istanbul, or Constantinople as it was known for centuries, has always been considered the gateway between the European and Asian continents. Dozens of different empires and rulers coveted the city because it is built in a kind of natural bottle neck between the two continents. If a European power controlled the city, then they controlled the gateway into Asia, if an Asian or African power controlled the city, they controlled the gateway into Europe. The gate symbolises this strategic power and importance of the city.


The gateway stands over 12m tall, with ornate metal work on the gates and of course, stone work on the pillars. So beautifully maintained, the sun bounces off the bright white paint of the gates, making them look almost delicate. Their designs so intricate and befitting their importance and significance to the Sultan, the city and of course, the Ottoman empire at the time.


I felt so tiny next to the grandeur of the gate!

The central palace, a place of size and beauty

There are a few different buildings and sections within the palace grounds. There are the Administrative apartments, obviously designed for the running of the empire and the many people needed to do that, the Ceremonial Hall, the Imperial Harem and the Imperial apartments.. There are of course, many more buildings than just these such as kitchens, barracks, stables, mills, aviaries, carpet workshops and many more. The entire palace

Here you can see just a little bit of the expansive buildings!

Inside, the decorations are lavish, but I will tell you now that I only have a couple of photos of them because you were not allowed to take photos within the main and most impressive rooms. You'll still see the photos from inside that I took, which were from some of the less ornate rooms - you'll see those soon! First let me tell you a bit more about the inside of the palace, since you've seen so much of the outside.

According to the information from my guide, over 14 tons of gold leaf was used to decorate the ornate ceilings and 131 silk carpets were made by hand, over the span of a decade. You are not allowed to go inside without an officially guided tour because the inside is so delicate, rare and expensive. It has many of the worlds finest examples of art work and interior design. Queen Victoria even sent a crystal chandelier as a gift which is the largest in the world, with 750 bulbs! It weighs over 4.5 tons, can you imagine trying to fix that to a ceiling?

In a couple of rooms, you could take photos, where they believed the room was less important. You can see that these rooms are some of the most impressive places that you will see anywhere in the world. From the furniture to the carpets to the ceilings, it's all extravagant and truly amazing. The carvings, the decorations, everything, must have taken hundreds of thousands of hours, by hand, by some of the best artists and crafts people in the entire world. I think even if I was allowed to take photos, I might not have been able to because my mouth would just have been hanging open - and it was!

Leaving the palace after my tour of the rooms inside

The front entrance to the palace for your tour

Within many of these buildings would have lived the Sultan and his close relatives. However, there were also guards, servants and many others living within the palace to serve the Sultan and his family. For example, the palace had two kitchens, one just for the Sultan and one for everyone else. According to my guide there would have been multiple head chefs, in charge of different areas of the kitchen. The head chefs would have 60 chefs beneath them, with 200 assistants to help them. And that was just to make the food! Let alone set the tables, clean the linen, serve the meals and clear the tables. I love food but... even I can't imagine that many people cooking me a meal!

The tastes, sounds and smells of Byzantion Bistro Restaurant

Upon leaving the Dolmabahçe Palace I suddenly felt very hungry so went in search of some local Turkish cuisine, as you know is a favourite of mine. Winding through the streets of Istanbul I realised just how quiet and tranquil it had been within the walls of the palace and its grounds. Istanbul is a place of noise, hustle and of course, bustle. It's a place you could easily get lost in, and would enjoy every minute of being lost.

A view of modern Istanbul and its bustling city streets

Istanbul has a population of over 15 million people, so it's not difficult to find somewhere to eat. I'd been recommended this restaurant by a friend, which was great because there was so much choice that it was easy to become overwhelmed.

I got to the restaurant for a very early dinner so it was nice and quiet, but there was already some live music playing and that gave the place a lovely relaxed atmosphere. I love the design of the place, with lots of little features, pieces of art and open dividing walls which help break up the place a bit. Though it felt like styles had collided from a number of different influences, I think that felt 'right' in a place like Istanbul, that has been a melting pot for cultures and peoples for thousands of years.

Byzantion Bistro Restaurant offers a bit of everything, from coffee and tea, to drinks from the bar, to Hookah at your table before dinner! With the front of the restaurant open, and a table right at the front, it was lovely to pass the time while waiting for my meal, people watching. I have to say though, the smells coming from the kitchen had my tummy rumbling!


The live music started early and he was amazing! A lovely added touch from the owners

Even the bottles of win look like works of art up on the wall!

If you've been following me recently, you'll know the I absolutely adore Turkish food. It's fresh and fragrant and I just love it. So when presented with a menu full of so many appetising and beautiful dishes, it was very hard to choose! I didn't really know what I wanted, so I actually asked the waiter to bring me a little bit of some of the chef's favourite dishes. What you see here is the banquet he lavished me with and trust me, it was lucky that I was hungry!

Each and every dish was cooked and flavoured to absolute perfection

Look at home good the meat looks, so fresh, and I believe this was a kind of potato gratin

My dear Steemit friends, I don't know how I've come to the end of another blog. Time absolutely flies when I get down to writing these for you because I just love exploring the places and working hard to explore them through my words and photos for you. I really hope you enjoyed the tour around the Dolmabahçe Palace - Abdulmecid I certainly knew what he was doing when he commissioned such a stunning place. He wanted to create a place that would rival any of the palaces from Western Europe, and he definitely did that!

Which was your favourite picture from today? There were so many shots of the palace that I really found it difficult to choose just a few. Each angle showed something new and the harder I looked and the closer I examined the stone work, the gates and the gardens, the more there was to discover about the craftsmanship that must have gone into creating this giant work of art, called Dolmabahçe Palace.

If you're new here and want more content like you've read today, and want to see more from me, then hit that follow button. I post regular travel and food blogs and I'd love to have you here with me. I read all of the comments from all of my friends here and it's always a pleasure to catch up with you all and hear your thoughts on my travels! Thank you for hitting that vote button and I can't wait until next time already!

Make sure you check out my video tour, including my Bitcoin 10 year anniversary dance!


















Amazing photos!


Beautiful Landmarks and Stunning Photos

Translated by Google

markvance thank you!! :)

These are some of the highest quality posts on this entire platform. Every time you post, you make the places you visit look amazing! The images are all incredible but the one with you on the grass with the castle in the background is my favorite.

Hanshotfirst thank you so much ! I think I prefer to write about the experiences I find most memorable so that might be the reason why it sounds amazing!

我也去过那个宫殿 但没拍到这么多完整的照片 介绍得好详细 感觉这次的照片风格有点不一样呢 换相机啦?我干嘛总这么好奇🤓


I've drawn some steemit celeb bloggers. You are one of them. What do you think? It's animated


this looks really cool doelist, thank you so much!

Oh, thanks))

Amazing travel diaries ;) God bless you !

thanks zainabali, do follow for more!

I really want to go to Turkey one day.

It's always cool to see that you post in two languages.

I love this photo @sweetsssj, Beautiful.^_^

the place of The Dolmabahçe Palace of Istanbul is truly amazing to me.

it tells us the clarity on the history itself, your so lucky to visit the place.

how I wish to go there also.^_^

take care always and super thumbs up

for my support Upvoted and resteem ^_^

Thanks mrblu, you're like my picture editor picking out the ones people might have skipped over. Good job!

thanks sweet its an honor to be one of your fans.

Wow, amazing pictures! Followed and upvoted!

Hello @sweetssj , I live in Istanbul and it is great to see Istanbul by your camera. All the photographs and your blog, I just can say "perfect". Thanks for sharing, but btw, I am not sure if you especially write "instanbul"(maybe because of instagram), but if you didn't especially write, it should be " istanbul" it was upvoted and reblogged even your post deserves more than this. Best wishes...

My apologies, honest mistake! Thank you for affirming the beauty of your country!

No problem, thanks for correcting, we would like to see you in istanbul again. Best wishes @sweetsssj

Marvelous collection

Hi @sweetsssj Turkey is never so lovely without you. ;P

aww cryptopie you sweetie! :)

Very lovely place...:)...

Thanks jang!


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I've been wanting to go to Turkey for a while now.

Maybe this post gives you some extra reason to go!

I'm nervous going by myself, I don't have a lot of money to spend, etc.

I haven't researched it yet either. :)


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Wonderfully detailed post as always Sandia @sweetsssj What a beautiful palace, you look quite at home there I’d say. Stunning photographs, you always look amazing. The gate that leads to nowhere is particularly interesting to me, faciniting insight to culture and history. Thank you for sharing and love the Bitcoin 10th Birthday dance. I was at Taylor Swift’s concert last night, I wish I had those moves. Take care and I look forward to to your next post.

Heyy vegout! How have you been? Taylor Swift is sooo good I haven't been as lucky to see her live as yourself but I really hope shell do some tours in Asia soon!

I have been well thank you. Hopefully she will tour Asia, I’m sure she will and you will have to check her out. She really is a great performer live, she gives it her all. I will be posting soon on some interesting spots in the UK. I hope you’re well.

Oh wow UK is one of my favourite places (I studied my undergrad and masters there actually!) Can't wait to see them!

wow! Istanbul is a must to visit

Very beautiful place! Would love to visit there someday!

You absolutely should! Hopefully look back to my other blogs on Istanbul and turkey for inspiration!

Hi @sweetsssj..... You'r the best one in your activity... great are all your photography....
Thanks for share it ...
Success is always for you...

hi boyelleq, thank you dear, glad you liked the photos!

The gate to Bosphorus looks amazing--how wonderful it would be to see it in real life. Thanks for sharing the amazing photos and the fantastic write up.

it looks so amazing! I got to see it and snap it at so many angles and still amazing any way you look at it!

Me encanta todo de este post <3

wow... beautiful architecture and beautiful photography... hats off to you @sweetsssj and your photographer.

As usual awsome pic.

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奇怪的想法.... 哈哈哈



I am the palace of Istanbul! I went there, I liked it very much, where the scenes are very good

For some strange reason, Turkey reminds me of Europe. PICT0889.JPG

It's actually half in Europe, and then there's the Asian side on the other side of the Bosphorus straight!


You just made me follow you. You're an amazing blogger! You're lucky to be able to travel places like these and we're lucky to get to see them even just in pictures.

Thank you for sharing them!

My absolute pleasure my dear!

Did you see İnönü Stadium (Vodafone Park)? What do you think? It's the best stadium in the world.

I didn't sadly! But I will have to find the time to do so next time, thanks for telling me about it!

waaww that is beautiful.. never know it before


Hi sweetsssj
wow nice pics you are so sweet and cute

My city !

And I love it so!

it is very beautiful! Enjoy traveling !


곰돌이가 @dufresne님의 소중한 댓글에 $0.004을 보팅해서 $0.019을 살려드리고 가요. 곰돌이가 지금까지 총 1350번 $18.998을 보팅해서 $16.742을 구했습니다. @gomdory 곰도뤼~

고마워요 곰도뤼~^^

Wow, this palace in Istanbul is awesome! Great trip, congrats!

thanks for sharing i was 10 years ago there i really love the post .It was like get back their

spelling mistake:

"Let me try to give you a sense of the size. There are 285 rooms in the palace itself, 6 full sized Turkish baths and 68 toilets! What could you possibly need 68 toilets for? I guess the palace was so big that it meant there was always one nearby, otherwise you might have to talk for half an hour to go to the bathroom!"

you meant walk not talk.

Thanks, corrected!



wonderful post and I like your post. Lovely place also.

thanks ovaton!

Great piece. The architecture of that palace is incredible. Thanks for sharing your experience.

My pleasure dear!

大海之门给人“面朝大海 心暖花开”的那种全身心的感觉更强烈~~

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I want to invite you plz visit taj mahal in India a world famous

amazing trip. I want to enjoy a trip like you

I'm sure you will!

Hi sweetsssj it is good to see you still doing great and traveling to one of your favorite places. I have just moved and will be active again soon as I start my world tour promoting the international digital nomad society,

johnnyray, i hope I can see more of you! I'm glad you're still around!

Lovely and beautiful place. I want to visit this place. good job.

thank you saafir!

very lengthy and nice post

Breathtaking, as always.
Was hoping you would be in attendance at the steem fest. 😊😊

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Wow, Glad I stumbled across your blog, I will be following with interest. Please recommend areas for me to visit on my latest blog?

This is really amazing, also come to Zimbabwe this November our Jcarandas are in season! WhatsApp Image 2018-11-08 at 14.46.45 (1).jpeg

Hi Sweet!

Looks lovely, are you still in the region? Maybe you can pop over to Poland for Steemfest? :-)

It would be great to see you there!


hey cryptogee long time no see! Sadly this was part of my summer tour of Europe, I really hope SteemFest can host one locally to me in which case i'll definitely see you all there!

OMG you talked about gold multiple times!! Is this to honor the Mene IPO that happened today?? It must be :)- goldy

oh my gosh, mene went public today? Wowzers!

So far so good :) just let me know when you want me to send some to you!

Always love seeing your post its been to long lol, I wanted to share with you my Band page @digitallanguage my friend is the lead singer these a soundcloud link in his intro, I wanted to get your feedback do you have a discord??

hey adriansky thank you! I shall definitely come check it out, we do need more musicians!

Yes we do, hope you enjoy let me know what you think!!!!

Hi @sweetsssj I'm a bot, and wanted you to know that I've upvoted and re-steemed your post to help you with your promotion efforts! -exp

I really like to watch your trips !!! see and read your post is like traveling for us what we are not fortunate to do.

You could travel to see the ruins of Angkor Wat in Cambodia.
I will leave this photo. from that place.

Dear @sweetsssj,

Your story attracted our attention and we would like to include your story into our project – 1001 Places to Remember. Our project is aiming to curate memories of people from different places like yours and make it into a publication. This publication will not only help the authors to gain more exposure for their work but also help to promote Steemit in an indirect way. We hope to get your support by allowing us to curate your stories whereby we will be compiling your stories into a featured combined series.

We hope to hear from you soon as we can't wait to collaborate with you.

With love and Steem on!

Sincerely from,

@archisteem and team

Very nice pictures. For someone that can write this much text with proper English grammar, I am always puzzled why you never speak in your videos...

Congratulations @sweetsssj!
Your post was mentioned in the Steemit Hit Parade in the following category:

  • Pending payout - Ranked 5 with $ 288,22

Hello @sweetsssj, I love the distribution of art, history and photography, you make us go into each moment of your journey, and that is the part of learning life, not only. It has been that culture, it continues to cultivate new fans every day.

I fell in love with these beautiful chandeliers, given by Reyna Victoria and the golden roofs, fantastic!

It would be great to be able to do that route.
You look amazing in that entrance!

Istanbul is very beautiful city (with out traffic)

Your post had been curated by the @buildawhale team and mentioned here:

Keep up the good work and original content, everyone appreciates it!

You look very beautiful in that fashion, like a princess in a Chinese royal legend. Istanbul is a very beautiful country, I read a lot and follow developments about the country. Hopefully someday I can get there too

i wanted to comment and upvote for your incredible effort and delication spending so much time on the photos and composing the posts so much that i forget this post already past the 7 days payout.

Which was your favourite picture from today? There were so many shots of the palace that I really found it difficult to choose just a few

the one with line up of prams ! caught my eye. I imagine myself soon to be traveling with prams to place of interest =)

it's amazing to be traveling with your loves one, journaling down your feelings thoughts, exploration, experience and at the same time EARN ! with power of steemit.

Noticed from your previous posts you're actively promoting steemit in your travels by wearing the steemit Tshirt occasionally awesome ! + witty

Curious whose the man behind the camera ?

PS : you have a big following and good engagement on both instagram (@sweetsssj @justkittywonderland)accounts and inactive for the kitty one, maybe with this new dapp, you can start posting there again and help onboard more people outside steemit. check out share2steem new dapp to easily autopost instagram posts to steemit.

btw i was thinking of searching for your posts from taiwan as my wife mentioned about traveling to taiwan next year, would like to visit some of the places, foods you tried using this tool from @eonwarped

but seem like only turkey work, not taiwan =\ gonna do it the manual way though.

suggestion : i know the tag limitation on steemit, would you be able to use 1 tag for the country you visited so it's easier for many others in future to 'copykitty' your travel adventures ?

PS : just remember, went to check it out, it works ! search in your user's post title, body text and tag Amazing effort @steemchiller

@sweetsssj wonderful no changes required on your end =) ! maybe there are other users wanting to do a search like this you can share with them this tool.

We have brilliant minds in steemit community.

Screen Shot 2018-11-14 at 1.26.45 pm.png

All sponsored by steemit! No makeup no money hahaha

i can travel with you, anywhere.


Hi Sweetsssj! You never fail to offer a unique perspective with anecdotes that motivate each of us to get out and have our own adventure! I love you! ❤️

Happy thanksgiving sweetssj and happy traveling at this time.

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Lovely talent..

@sweetsssj this sites really looks good. I know one day I will have the resources and time to travel. I study Geography in the University and I know how much traveling makes one to get more exposed and know more about the Geography of other countries. Regards

人美 文美 图美 👍👍👍

 3 years ago  Reveal Comment