Coming back with a report from my Day Two in Istanbul, more specifically, the Dolmabahce Palace (pronounced DolmaBahtche, sorry, I don't have that special "c with a tail" character).
The day started with that visit. We got a tram from the central part of Istanbul on the other side of the Golden Horn inlet, then across a bridge to Galata and then - Beshiktash. Yes, we landed near the stadium of that famous Turkish football team.
The palace is actually quite close, on the seaside. Well, on the Bosphorus side, the Bosphorus Strait is not exactly a sea, but the connection between two seas — the Black one of my homeland, and the Sea of Marmara which we translate as Marble. I am still to discover why.
Well, the palace does show some use of marble on a large scale. Unreasonable? Not if you're the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire who wants to have a modern palace like those European dudes and dudettes. So, it seems, in 1843 a construction of that modern palace began while its initiator, Sultan Abdulmecid I, waited in the medieval Topkapi Palace. That construction took 13 years. Most of the sultans who lived in the new palace after that ruled for shorter periods, actually.
The front once you enter the garden.
The name comes from a garden that was built there before that, actually. A lush one, favorite to sultans of old, claimed land from a small bay.
So, entrance is from the side of the Golden Horn, visitors queueing in lines parallel to the Bosphorus which remains on their right.
There's a 60 TL fee for the palace and the garden if you're a regular tourist. It's 90 TL, if I remember right, if you want to see the interior of the harem, too. No time and funds for that in my case.
Photos were allowed in the garden, but not in the interior. So I stole none. The garden I will show you. The interior...I will have to tell you about.
Circling around the palace one finds a lot of ponds, some of them filled with lilies...
On the side of the water, there are a few decorated gates.
And the greatest gate of them all, the one from the thumbnail image, too, the Sultan's gate.
A view from the outside. Environment kind of matters. The space around it now is a regular boulevard with lots of traffic. Were it a square, it would have been majestic, no?
Well, we work with what we have. And so do lots of other tourists who came to snap a pic or two with themselves in front of those gates, once sultan-exclusive.
Not symmetrically, but near both sides of the main entrance to the palace, animal sculptures guard the garden grounds.
In accordance with them, another Ouch!-moment appears in my sight as I put the necessary blue nylon slippers on my feet and prepare to go inside. And there are armed guards nearby, not taking sides, though.
The Famous Dolmabahce Ouch!-Moment.
The interior is cool in both senses. After a hot half-hour in the sun, I welcome the vast and shaded halls. Red carpeted. Ceilings way up high where the crystal staircase and other smaller ones lead. The palace has one of the hugest chandeliers, sent by Queen Victoria, weighing tons — a lot of crystal and the support needed for it. Paths are lined with velvet-ish ropes that basically guide you through various rooms for respite, business, espionage, coffee or tea, writing documents, etc. The back of the building is filled with trophies, items of luxury gifted by foreign emissaries — spoons, cups, glasses, other...Ah, the all-marble bathrooms of the sultans, too.
Paintings of battles and landscapes — some of those pretty large and intricate — masterpieces in their own right, line the walls. Portraits of rulers, too, but all those gathered back in the trophy rooms. Now that I think of it...maybe a surprise will appear in a future post of mine very soon.
Going back outside, I quickly look for the shades in the garden. Fortunately, the great magnolia trees!
The bamboo grows in an area that is not that...trespass-friendly.
So no shade there. It's just decorative. Like the roses in the backyard.
More of my photos of Magnolia, Water Lilies, and Bamboo can be found in the Gallery of my project for free images that users of the Steem blockchain can apply to their articles. Already published.
Anyway, I was speaking of shades. And they seemed to be, sorry, already taken.
So what remains is to leave the place. Escorted by the honor guard.
Even the clock tower at the exit thinks it's time for lunch.
And so it is...so it is.
Thank you for coming with me on that tour!