Yıldız Palace

Yıldız Sarayi

The Yıldız (Turkish for "star") palace complex is the fourth residence of the Ottoman rulers. Previously their lived in the old palace of Edirne, the Topkapı Palace and the Dolmabahçe Palace of Istanbul. Yıldız park was once a hunting and resting lodge for the Ottoman sultans. Today it is a 50 hectare palace complex of former Ottoman pavilions and villas constructed between the 19th and 20th centuries. Apart from several summer mansions and pavilions it comprises an operating Porcelain Factory. The complex presents a blend of various architectural styles, from the European classicism to the ‘oriental’ baroque.

The rule of Abdul Hamid II (1876-1909) marked the golden age of the palace complex. The lake situated in the park is shaped in the form of sultan’s tughra (monogram). The sultan abruptly left his residence at the Dolmabahçe Palace because of his fear that the residence located on the shores of the Bosphorus would be attacked from the sea. Abdul Hamid II was said to be an extremely mistrustful person, who dreaded conspiracies, that is why, unable to trust anyone, he spent his time in palace rarely going out on the matters of state. Apart from the Balyan brothers the project was assigned to the renowned Italian architect Raimondo D'Aronco, the sultan ordered him to design several new buildings: a theater, harem, zoo, winter garden and a porcelain factory.

The Şale Kiosk is one of the most brilliant and important architectural masterpieces of the Balyans. An elegant mansion was aimed for the sultan’s high-ranking guests. The pavilion amazes with sumptuous decorations of its halls. The most luxurious is the ceremonial hall covered with a hand-made 400 m2 carpet and decorated with golden stars on the ceiling. Guests’ bedrooms are furnished with oak furniture sets, some of which the sultan made by himself. Before the visit of Kaiser Wilhelm II, who was the first foreign monarch to visit Istanbul, the Sedefli Salon decorated with mother-of-pearl was added. Later the palace was used as a luxurious casino, then congresses and high-level meetings were carried out in its gardens. Now the palace is a museum.

Address: Yıldız Mh.
Opening hours: 15 Apr - 1 Nov daily 9 am – 7 pm; 1 Nov - 15 Apr daily 9 am – 4.30 pm
Coordinates: 41.049397, 29.011448