One of the last items on our list of “To See In Istanbul” was Dolmabaçe Palace. We drive by it nearly every few days and I have been into the official political offices on one end for work, but we have never gone into the Palace for tourism. We joined the thousands of tourists that walk the luxurious halls and saw what was built by the last few Ottoman Sultans and then used by Ataturk as an office.
Compared to the other Ottoman Palaces, Dolmabaçe is designed after European Palaces. Large entryways lead to gold and crystal gilded walls and banisters. It was spectacular. Each room was bigger and more ornate than the next. Some of the ballrooms and chandeliers were bigger than the entire apartment building outside the wall. (sadly we could not take photos in there)
We went out to the gardens that lined the blue Bosphorus. Despite the cold and rain over the last few weeks, the grass was still green and there were colorful flowers in the beds. Tau’aho thought it was amazing to see the fancy birds and the wild cats. He would laugh hysterically as he ran after them. The cats were not so excited and would take off, he thought they were playing “tag” and they would go in circles around the entertained tourists.
The history in Istanbul is several layers deep and I was happy to see this part of it in Dolmabaçe Palace.