|Exterior of Domabache Palace.|
The interior feels a bit overblown and theatrical (even for a palace!) but that's not surprising as the interiors were the work of the designer of the Paris Opera at that time. The interior of the palace is in original condition in some places particularly in the harem even with the original drapes in some places.
Covering over 250,000 square metres, Dolmabahce Palace served as the official residence of the sultan until 1924 when the caliphate was abolished and the Republic of Turkey established. The palace has three functions: ceremonial, administrative and family residence (harem). The ceremonial hall is utterly breathtaking.
The founder of the republic, Kemal Ataturk, used the palace as both his office and his home on his trips to Istanbul from Ankara, the newly appointed capital of Turkey. All the clocks in the palace show the same time, 9.05(am), which is the time that Kemal Atatürk died on 10 November 1938. When touring the harem you'll be shown the small bedroom in which he died. Access to the balance is as part of a guided group only. Usually different languages are catered for with their own group and guide but as it was the Eid holiday we were in one large mixed group. The guide did a great job, jumping between 5 or 6 languages to make sure that everyone knew what they were looking at.
After the palace visit we took the funicular from Karaköy station, up the hill to the Beyoğlu area exiting at Taksim Square. There are only the two stations on the funicular. In the centre of Taksim Square is the Monument of the Republic commemorating the forming of the Turkish Republic in 1923.
|Yuksek Kaldirim. Its steep!|
There are music shops with window displays of darbeckis, mizmar, nay, kemence, ouds etc. I bought a new pair of zills (finger cymbals) and listened to one of the shop workers play the saz and he was good!
Q: What's the difference between a mizmar and a trampoline?A: You take off your shoes when you jump on a trampoline.
Ok, moving along.....
Once at the bottom, we walked over Galata Bridge checking out the success of the fishermen who hang their lines over the sides of the bridge.
|Wall to wall people at the Galata Bridge.|
Back on the old side of the bridge, it was heaving with people out with their families and enjoying the first day of the Eid. Most were buying food from the floating restaurants which moor next to the wharf.
We did a short walk in the Spice Bazaar but it was so crowded that it wasn't much fun so we headed back to the hotel after another wonderful day.