Istanbul Yildiz Palace

Yildiz Palace and park covered an area of 500,000 square metres on the hillside overlooking the Bosphorus between Besiktas, Ortaköy and Balmumcu. It consists of several pavilions (köşk), palace buildings (kasr), and other service and management buildings. Yildiz Palace is one of the most interesting examples of 19th century Ottoman architecture. This area of natural woodland became known as Kazancýođlu Park after the Turkish conquest, and probably became an imperial estate during the reign of Sultan Ahmed I (1603-1617).

Istanbul Yildiz Palace (photo: Darwinek)

Istanbul Yildiz Palace (photo: Darwinek)

Sultan Murad IV (1623-1640) is known to have enjoyed excursions here, and Selim III (1789-1807) had a country pavilion or köţk known as Yildiz built here for his mother Mihriţah Valide Sultan. It is after this köţk that the park came to be named.Selim’s successor Sultan Mahmud II (1808-1839), Sultan Abdülmecid (1839-1861) and Sultan Abdülaziz (1861-1876) had new mansions and pavilions constructed in the park, and in the late 19th century Sultan Abdülhamid (1876-1909) abandoned Dolmabahçe to make this complex his home. He greatly expanded the palace with many new buildings during his reign.

Yildiz Palace became the fourth seat of Ottoman government in Istanbul, after Eski Saray (the Old Palace) which stood where Istanbul University is today, Topkapi Palace and Dolmabahce Palace.

The building has two main storeys and a basement, and is built of both timber and masonry. In keeping with traditional Ottoman houses, the Ţale consists of two separate sections which could be used as Harem and Selamlik when required. There are seven entrances, and the windows have wooden shutters. Three elegant staircases, one of marble and the other two of wood, connect the two main floors.

Most imposing of all is the Ceremonial Hall, with its single piece Hereke carpet, custom made to fit the room and measuring 406 square metres, its gilded coffered ceiling and large pier mirrors. The Banqueting Room has a more oriental atmosphere with doors intricately inlaid with mother-of-pearl, while the focal point of the Yellow Room is the landscapes which adorn the ceiling. The valuable furnishings imported from various European countries, the elegant porcelain stoves, magnificent vases, and splendidly carved bedroom suites bear witness to the sumptious tastes of the period.

The Yıldız Park is now open to the pubic and many of the pavilions have been restored. Some of the buildings are used now for housing various nonprofit organizations. The Arsenal is now an art gallery and shows are held in the restored theatre. The Malta Pavilion is open to the public as a tourist attraction. Abdulhamid’s former cabinet-making workshop now houses both the Istanbul City Museum and an art gallery.

Address: Yildiz-Ţale Yildiz, Besiktas/ISTANBUL

Phone: +90 (212) 259 89 77

Fax: +90 (212) 259 88 26

Opening Times

Open:

Everyday except on Mondays and Thursdays between;
01 October – 28 February 09:30-16:00
01 March – 30 September 09:30-17:00

Prices:

Pavillion (Adults) : 4 YTL
Pavillion (Concessions) : 2 YTL

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