Sunday, March 29, 2009
I took the above picture at the Aviary at Dolmabahce Palace... I finally went to see Dolmabahce Palace! Yay for me!
I am surely not gonna get into any detail as to when it was built, who lived there and such. There are tons of resources on the Net for you to learn all that if you are interested and here are a few of those:
2. Palaces of Istanbul
3. Turkey Travel Planner
I took a dolmus (read dolmush) from where I live to Uskudar coast. I took a motorboat from there to Kabatas (read Kabatash) and the palace was about less than half a mile from Kabatas.
It is a pretty big place and probably would take a whole day if you wanted to tour all of it. I took a combined Selamlık and Harem Tour. Selamlık was basically the offices of the Ottoman Sultan. He accepted visitors, ambassadors and government officers, held meetings and entertained at the Selamlık part of the Palace. Selamlık was meant only for men. Harem was the living quarters of his family where no other men was allowed to enter.
You can see the Western and particularly the French influence in decorations. For my taste, it was too much but, I guess it just had to be spectacular and very rich at the time during the Ottoman era. I loved the park surrounding the palace and I guess, in a couple of weeks the flowers will be in full bloom.
The entrance fee is 20 TL (little less than 12 USD) for the combined tour and believe me it is worth every penny.
I relaxed, took a long walk in the park and also toured the palace. I need to go back there to see a couple of pavilions I could not see because I was really tired.
I will post more pictures...