пятница, 19 декабря 2014 г.

Continuing topyc: “What to see in Istanbul”. Dolmabahce Palace

Till the 2014 Dolmabahce Palace was the biggest in Turkey, one of the biggest in the world. In 2014 this place took new Palace, which was built as a residence of new Turkish President Erdogan. I can’t imagine where he took such big money for this: even in the golden age of Ottoman Empire Sultan Abdulmedzhid took credit from Europe for building Dolmabahce. Maybe I missed something, and now Turkey came in new platinum age).


For that tourists, who plan to visit Dolmabahce I want to give few advices:
·                   Better to visit this place in sunny weather (in spring would be perfect). This huge building gives not good energy. I don’t know a reason – maybe because in this place died founder of modern Turkey Mustafa Kemal (Ataturk), and many people visit this place with sadness and sorrow. We were there in November: it was rainy and cold. In the spring outside Dolmabahce Sarayi more attractive: bloom bushes, flowers, everywhere colorful. Possible to sit and to watch at the garden and interesting statues, to listen bird’s songs and voice from restless Bosphorus. In the autumn we didn’t have this chance: benches was wet, birds hid from the rain, from the Bosphorus blew cold.


·                   No need to take big camera. There are forbidden to take pictures inside the Dolmabahce. If in your telephone is a good camera, it will be enough.
·                   We came to this Palace at 3 p.m. It works till 5 p.m. It was not enough even to see main halls inside the Dolmabahce! Outside also some interesting buildings, which possible to discover. If you plan to organize good excursion, you should spend about 4-5 hours.
So, now I want to tell a little about this huge and famous building.
About history. It was 19th century (1839-1961). Ottoman Empire had new manager: sultan Abdulmedzhid. In one day this sultan decided to discover European countries. He organized a big tour, where he saw many luxuries, attractive places, which were built in unusual (for Ottoman Empire) style. When he backed at home, he was very excited, and very sad (oh my God, there are much more better places, much more luxury places than in rich and strong Ottoman Empire!) He decided to build a huge Palace, which would be the biggest, the luxuriously place in the world!
But where would be better to build this grand Palace? Area must have been also great. So, he decided it will be near the Bosphorus (in European part of course). In that time there was some wooden Palace (Besiktas). Before Besiktas (17th century) this area was under the water, and served as harbors. In 17th century this harbors was closed with stones, and architects created here beautiful garden with wooden complex.


Sultan Abdulmedzhid wanted all the best for this Palace. But he didn’t have enough money to make his dream true. So, he asked money from Europe. It was 1st time in the history, when Ottoman Empire took a credit. For building Dolmabahce was spent about 35 tons of gold! Nowadays (2014) this price the equivalent of 1,5 billion dollars. You will not have doubts when you will see this building from inside!
In Dolmabahce totally lived 6 sultans (with their families). Some period (1927-1938) here lived, and worked Ataturk. We saw a room, where he died…
In 1984 Dolmabahce was transformed in monument.

If you want to see Selamlik and Harem from inside, you should buy ticket (40 Turkish Liras)

What we saw inside. Dolmabahce Palace is not just usual big building. This construction includes 2 parts:
Official (Selamlik) building. In this building were organized diplomatist meetings with ambassadors, rulers from other countries. Selamlik has few halls: guests room (here could stay official persons), diplomatic hall, blue hall, large ballroom, etc.

Sultan's receptiom room (exclusive photo)))

Here possible to find luxury gifts from sultans visitors (pictures, carpets, different products from crystal, gold, elephant tusks). All pictures in the walls are in the golden frames, in every room large chandeliers from crystal, bearskins on the floor.
Blue Hall (Selamlik)

I liked everything in Selamlik: painted ceiling, exquisite furniture, unusually decorated fireplaces (which are in every hall). If I would live in that time, and would be ambassador, I would find a reason to stay more in this Paradise).

When you buy a ticket, you also pay for excursion. There are 2 guides in Dolmabahce: Turkish and English. Every excursion starts in a definite time.

Building for sultan’s privacy life (Harem). Here could stay just sultan’s family, relatives: parents, wife, and kids. In this part of Palace also many halls, but I didn’t like it much: badly decoration (than official building), not good smell, cold atmosphere around. Maybe if we would start our excursion from Harem, I would like it more.

Library

What we saw outside. When we left Harem, it was about 5 p.m. But was dark already for searching historical small constructions, which are near Dolmabahce. When I went to the toilet, I saw a screen: “Glass Pavilion”. I had wondered, and offered Afsin to go there. He wasn’t delighted from the idea, but agreed. We didn’t pay for entrance. This Pavilion is on the second floor. There weren’t any visitors: just we and 1 old security guard. Everywhere on the pavilion’s walls were pictures with a lion. Near the Palace were many statues with lions. We asked security guard about this. But he couldn’t explain. In the evening this place was a little bit boring. I think better to come here in the day.

I think this kind of statue - symbol of Dolmabahce... We should have listened our guide more closely!

Near the Selamlar is a big Fountain. It didn’t work, because of weather I suppose. When I backed at home I searched in Internet summer pictures this Fountain. It convinced me to come here, when Istanbul will meet warm weather).
Near the exit from Dolmabahce Palace is a Clock Towel. Impossible to go inside, but from its stairs we took nice pictures of Dolmabahce Mosque (which in the evening was very beautiful). Clock Tower shows not just time, but also temperature, humidity, pressure.

Clock Towel and Dolmabahce Mosque

Not so far from Clock Towel was restaurant. It has open area near the Bosphorus. In the evening this place looks like very romantic (I think that’s why it was full of people). We didn’t go to that restaurant: I can’t tell anything about food, and prices in this place.

So, I found one more place in Istanbul, which every tourist should see. I checked in Internet: in TOP-25 Istanbul’s attractions this Palace is on the second place. First place took Topkapi Palace. I don’t know why: Dolmabahce actually bigger, more luxurious, and more refined. Maybe people (like we) visited Topkapi in spring, and Dolmabahce in autumn. Or maybe they didn’t like energy, which gives Dolmabahce. In any case Dolmabahce Palace – very valuable historical, architectural attractions, which gives us chance to imagine traditions of Ottoman’s house, lifestyle, to see the small spot of Baroque, Rococo, Neoclassical styles which embodied in one Palace!


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