The spectacular Dolmabahçe Palace was commissioned by Sultan Abdülmecit I, who found Topkapi too old-fashioned. Construction started in 1843 and was completed in 1856. Inspired by European palace design, its Baroque style was very fashionable at the time.
Its long facade on the Bosphorus stretches over 248 metres. Inside, there are 285 incredibly opulent rooms including six steam rooms and 68 toilets. Its construction cost five million Ottoman gold pounds, the equivalent of 35 tonnes of gold, 14 of which were used in sheets to decorate the ceilings. A must see is the great throne room, lit with a 725-bulb chandelier, a gift from Queen Victoria.
Other wonders are the Baccarat crystal staircase, the gleaming marble, and, of course, the famous harem, with its subtle Mashrabiya. You'll notice that all the clocks are set to 9:05, in memory of Atatürk, who died at that time in his palace on 10 November 1938.
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