The Beylerbeyi Palace is one of the last great architectural works that was carried out by order of the sultans of the Ottoman Empire, since this construction was built between the years 1861 and 1865 by order of Sultan Abdülaziz. And as a differentiating note regarding the great heritage bequeathed by that empire to the current Turkish capital of Istanbul, it must be said that this is one of the few works of some substance that are located on the shore Asian Bosphorus Strait that divides the city into two continents.
Istanbul Beylerbeyi Palace
Before this building was erected, there was already a previous imperial residence on this very spot. Since a wooden construction was built here in the 16th century to serve as a summer refuge. However, that material caused it to sooner or later go down in flames. So after the second half of the 19th century, the sultan ordered the construction of this new building, now in stone, although with the same objective: to serve as a summer residence for roy alty.
Its construction followed another nineteenth-century imperial palace, Dolmabahce Palace, which symbolically posed the regeneration and westernization of the Ottoman Empire. Although in this case the architect Sarkis Baylan was commissioned, who opted for a neoclassical style, in which thepurpose of sumptuousness and elegance, something typical of the neoclassical trend called Second Empire and whose spirit of ostentation undoubtedly fits perfectly with the tradition of the Ottoman rulers.
However, despite this oriental tradition, the truth is that the building can seem restrained compared to others. Even more so in its most spectacular façade, the one that overlooks the Bosphorus. In it, the idea of horizontality predominates and the large windows framed by elements as classic as the semicircular arches or the columns and capitals of a composite order. Although the most eastern note is put with two buildings on the sides, almost as annexes. And actually there are two small pavilions that were old baths, one for women and one for men.
That elegance also made it the ideal place to host the great foreign dignitaries visiting the country. And there passed the English King Edward VIII, the Austrian Emperor Franz Joseph, the Shah of Persia or the empress Eugenia de Montijo.
All of them were captivated by the charm of the place. Both for its gardens full of fountains, swimming pools or ponds, and for its 26 rooms and 6 lounges where everything is cared for down to the last detail, and where there are elements of any origin. There are oriental porcelains, Bohemian crystals, Turkish rugs as it could not be otherwise, French furniture or impressive hanging lamps, among many other objects and ornaments of greatvalue.