Note : Registration price does not include Palace entry fee, 30TL.
Continuing our popular series of member-led exploratory tours of our city, we will visit the Beylerbeyi Palace, followed by a stroll through the district of Beylerbeyi.
The Palace was commissioned by Sultan Abdülazziz as his summer residence and place of welcome for foreign royalty and dignitaries – its opulence was designed to impress. Built in 1865 by the brother of the architect of the Dolmabahçe Palace, its name means “Lord of Lords”. Our event price includes the entrance fee to the Palace, which comes with a guided tour. We will see beautiful naval frescoes, Ming vases, French Baccarat chandeliers and Hereke carpets. The huge marble cooling pool and fountain in the reception hall, and the gilded and painted sultan’s apartment are key features of the interior. Outside, there are separate men’s and women’s marble bathing pavilions overlooking the Bosphorus.
Its relatively short history has some interesting stories – France’s Empress Eugenie had her face slapped upon entering, but nevertheless was so impressed by the guest room window that she had it copied for the Tuileries Palace in Paris. Later, Beylerbeyi Palace held captive Sultan Abdulhamid II, the 34th Sultan and the last to exert effective autocratic control over the fracturing state, after he was deposed by the revolutionary Young Turks.
Strolling the Beylerbeyi neighbourhood, depending upon time and our mood, we can see some of the various pavilions (or kiosks) in the area and at the seaside. Some of the wealthiest people in Turkey own homes in the Beylerbeyi neighborhood, including several members of the Sabancı family. We can visit the waterside Beylerbeyi Mosque (1778). The little main square has options for taking coffee as well as for browsing boutiques.
© International Women of Istanbul 2017