Friday, December 12, 2014

Dolmabahce Palace - Istanbul / Turkey

Dolmabahce Palace - Istanbul / Turkey
Dolmabahce Palace - Istanbul / Turkey
The world's largest Bohemian crystal chandelier is in the marvelous Ceremonial Flail (used for receptions, political meetings, and balls). The chandelier, a gift from Queen Victoria, has 750 lamps and weighs 6.5 tons. This enormous centerpiece hangs from a 36 meter dome. Also featured are 150-year-old bearskin rugs, which were presented to the Sultan as a gift by the Tsar of Russia.
The Flarem-Cariyeler served as the private quarters of the Sultan and his family. It’s connected to the rest of the palace by corridor. The Flarem is comprised of several bedrooms, bathrooms, and hallways, which housed the Sultan’s mother, wives, and concubines.

After passing through the fantastic and formidable Gate of the Sultan and a second gate, you’ll find yourself in the main garden. Flowers, magnolia and pine trees, lush grass, and lion statues surround the swan fountain. There’s also an impressive view of the Bosphorus to your right.

All tours for the palace and the Flarem are guided and take place regularly throughout the day. The staff is very strict about the no camera and no video rule, so photograph at your own risk. Once the tour begins, you’ll be grouped with up to 50 people. Despite the size of the group, the guides speak loud enough for everyone to hear. Soon afteryourtour begins, you’ll understand why it is relatively brief and photography is forbidden. If visitors had free range and an entire day, it would be impossible to make them leave.

When you exit the palace and return your plastic coverings, you’ll be greeted with a beautiful view of the Bosphorus. This is a nice place to take pictures, rest on the steps, and grab a drink from a small stand near the exit. There’s also a small cafe near the entrance to the Flarem where you can wait foryour next tourto start.

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