The palace was built during the reign of Sultan Abdülmecid and was designed by Garabed Balyan, member of the famous Balyan family of Ottoman royal architects.
Today, the palace is a museum and is sometimes used by the Turkish government to host foreign statesmen.
It is the first Ottoman palace in Istanbul which was built with a mixture of Baroque, Rococo, Neo-Classical and Imperial styles.
The European-style Dolmabahce Palace was built to replace the world-famous Topkapi Palace as the new residence of the Ottoman emperor. In 1853 it became the new seat of the Sublime Porte. Its construction lasted for 11 years, costing five million Ottoman gold pieces, the equivalent of 35 tonnes of gold. 14 tonnes of gold was used only to adorn the interior ceiling of the palace. The Ceremonial Hall boasts the world's largest crystal chandelier, with 750 lamps; a 4.5 tonne gift from Queen Victoria of England. No other palace in the world contains a wider collection of Bohemian and Baccarat crystal chandeliers of such huge dimensions. All the palace's staircases are also made of crystal.
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