Beylerbeyi Palace is one of the most memorable sights of Istanbul. It is located on the Asian side of the famous Bosphorus, passing through the Turkish city.
The exquisite palace over the years has been used as a summer residence for the views that it reveal of the Bosphorus.
The majestic building was built in the 60s of the 19th century in French neo- Baroque style. Building was by the Balyan brothers. They were able to give specific oriental style to the building. The creation of the castle was the idea of Sultan Abdulaziz. Over five thousand workers and four years were needed for raising the palace on the Bosphorus.
The building is square. The facade of the building overlooks the Bosphorus . The Beylerbeyi Palace has 6 huge halls (3 per each floor) and 24 rooms. Each of them has magnificent furniture, bohemian crystal chandeliers, Chinese vases. The floors are covered with red Egyptian carpets.
The palace is divided into two wings. In one live and only men and is called selamlik and in the other part - the harem were placed only representatives of the fair sex. Both wings have two different entrances for access. Halls and rooms for women are with modest decoration.
Among the major attractions of the castle are the Beylerbeyi Palace fountains and pools located in the reception room of the building. It turns out that in the 19th century it was common practice to place small or large ponds and fountains with running water indoors. The Ottomans believed that through their palaces in the atmosphere is made more refreshing and will diversify in a unique way.
Beylerbeyi Palace also impresses with its splendour and abundance of beautiful plants. Colourful terraces are found at several levels, reaching 35 m altitude. The vast garden has ponds, scenic paths and secluded places to relax. There are attractive booths where sultans once loved to drink coffee or tea.
Over the years, the beautiful palace also serves as a summer residence and the place where stayed and were entertained visiting heads of state and other government officials. Spicy stories of the palace say that in 1869 the Empress of France was slapped in the face of the Sultan's mother, because she had the audacity to come into Beylerbeyi Palace, holding Abdulaziz under her arm.
Yet the French Empress was so fascinated by the Istanbul castle that she ordered her bedroom in the Tuileries Palace in Paris to be a replica of the Turkish palace.
At the beginning of last century splendid palace had become a prison for one of the Turkish rulers. Sultan Abdulhamid spent there his remaining days under house arrest. In the last six years of his life the former sultan spent his time hand-finishing of the castle - he made beautiful furniture and other beautiful objects.
Some believe that the elegant design of the Beylerbeyi Palace can not compare with the splendour of the interior of the other two castles built earlier in Istanbul, Dolmabahche Palace and Küçüksu Palace.
North of Beylerbeyi Palace are located other sights of Istanbul – like the Bosphorus Bridge.
Beylerbeyi Palace is open to visitors all week days except Monday and Thursday. The tour inside is not more than an hour or two. The best way to get there is by ferry, taken from Eminönü. The fee for access to the palace is about 10 Turkish lira. Opening hours from 09:30 to 16:00.