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Beylerbeyi Palace from close-up

Beylerbeyi Palace: Summer Residence of the Sultans

Beylerbeyi Palace where is located at the Anatolian side of Istanbul constructed during the 1860s to be the summer residence of the Ottoman Sultans. As you know Istanbul is the city of palaces and historical monuments built throughout the long-standing history of the multi-continent city. Beylerbeyi neighborhood is connected and very close to the Uskudar district and the name of the palace comes from the Beylerbeyi. Deposed Sultan Abdulhamid II also stayed in the Beylerbeyi Palace from 1912 to his death in 1918. The palace may not be a very old building but it held a very important part of late Ottoman history.

Beylerbeyi Palace from the Bosphorus
Beylerbeyi Palace has influential architecture (Source).

History of Beylerbeyi Palace

Beylerbeyi Palace was built by the order of the Sultan Abdulaziz (1830-1876) between 1861 and 1865. It was designed to be the summer residence of the Ottoman Sultans and home of some state organizations.  It is still active and used for private and government organizations during the whole year. There is an interesting story occurred in Beylerbeyi Palace.

Empress Eugénie of France came to the Beylerbeyi Palace while her way to open the Suez Canal in 1869. During her visitation, she dares to fall into the arms of the Sultan Abdulaziz. This one was a very graceful thing to do the Ottoman Sultans. Empress was even slapped by the mother of the Sultan Abdulaziz, Sultan Pertevniyal. Of course, there may be exaggeration about his story 🙂 Empress loved the Beylerbeyi Palace and after returning to France she ordered to make a copy of the guest rooms windows to the Tuileries Palace in Paris. The other famous visitors of the Beylerbeyi Palace were the Duke and Duchess of Windsor.

Main hall of the Beylerbeyi Palace
The main hall of the Beylerbeyi Palace (Source).

Design and Architecture

Palace designed by the Sarkis Balyan in the Second Empire style which used for a more plain style than the Dolmabahce and Kucuksu Palaces. The best way to see the design and architecture of the palace is to take a look from the Bosphorus. From a little far away, maybe from the European, you will see all the details of the design and architecture. There are two bathing pavilions in the palace. One of them is for the men (selamlık) and the other one is for the women (harem). The most fascinating room of the palace is the reception or main hall where you can see from the image above.

Even there is a fountain and running water in this room. Ottomans used these fountains and running waters to give a cooling effect and pleasant sound for the dwellers of the palace. You will also see the Egyptian reed matting is used to insulation, crystal chandeliers, French Baccarat and the famous Hereke carpets.

Beylerbeyi Palace picture in 1875
This picture was taken by Basile Kargopoulo in 1875 (Source).

Beylerbeyi Pavillions to See

Beylerbeyi is not only a palace. There different buildings rather than the main building. Apart from the main building, there are Marine Pavillions, Marble Pavillion, Yellow Pavilion and Barn Pavillion. Each of these pavilions built-in for a specific purpose. Marine Pavillions is located on the banks of the Bosphorus on both sides of the palace. The mansions belong to the Harem were given to the order of the Valide Sultan (Queen Mother). With its all building and gardens Beylerbeyi Palace is a must to places in Istanbul. Because it reflects the late Ottoman period properties and world vision.

Marine Pavillions of the Beylerbeyi Palace
One of the Marine Pavillions from Bosphorus (Source).

How to Go to Beylerbeyi Palace?

The easiest way to go to Beylerbeyi Palace is to go to the Uskudar. You can go to the Uskudar by using Marmaray suburban train line or ferries from Beşiktaş, Eminönü, and Karaköy. Distance between Uskudar and the palace is around 3.5 km and the best way to go there is by using the bus. There are multiple bus lines from Uskudar to Beylerbeyi. You may find the buses goes to Beylerbeyi from this link. Also, please don’t forget to buy the Istanbul card. You will need the Istanbul card to use public transport in Istanbul. It is also possible to take the taxi but be sure to ask the price before you get in.

Beylerbeyi Palace Entrance Fee

It is possible to visit the palace every day except Monday. You can visit the palace between 09.00 and 17.00. The entrance fee for the palace is 40 Turkish Liras for adults and 20 Turkish liras for kids and other discounted persons. You cant buy tickets in advance and need to buy from the kiosk at the palace. But there are online agencies and tours are selling the tour tickets for the palace. Generally, they will handle everything for you. Be sure and don’t forget to get your confirmation before your arrival.

If you are planning to visit the Beylerbeyi Palace and have any questions on your mind please share them in the comment section. Also, if you ever visited this unique Ottoman legacy please share your experience and thoughts to help the others.

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