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Yildiz Palace

Yildiz Palace image

» Distance: 10 km.

Located in between Beşiktaş and Ortaköy, in the Yildiz Park the Yıldız palace is a complex which extends 500,000 spuare meters and consists of several pavilions(köşk), palace buildings (kasr), and other service and management buildings. The name of this complex comes from the pavilion built by Sultan Mahmud II (1808-1839) in the large gardens that make up the Yıldız Park. The yellow salon in the Yıldız pavilion is beautifully decorated with landscapes painted on the ceiling. Sultan abdülmecid (1839-61) furnished this pavilion, and his mother Bezmialem had the Dilkusa Palace built in 1842. During the reign of Sultan Aldülaziz (1861-76) the Malta, Çadır and Cit Pavilions were constructed, further enlarging this complex, but this complex saw most of its growth during Sultan Abdulhamid II's reign(1876-1909). Abdulhamid made the Yıldız palace his main residance, despite the other Sultans' preference of the newly constructed Dolmabahçe Palace. Abdulhamid, who reigned as one of the most controversial Ottoman Sultans, preferred the secluded solitude of the Yıldız Palace over the exposed location of the Dolmabahçe Palace. Abdulhamid, like all Ottoman Sultans, busied himself with a trade, his being cabinet-making. He established workshops for cabinet-making and porcelain production on the palace grounds, and the production of porcelain continues there to this day in the Yıldız Porcelain Factory. After the fall of the Ottoman Empire this palace complex, which had once housed almost 10,000 people, was abandoned. 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.

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