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Istanbul 8 Dolmabahce Palace

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Published on Feb 28, 2007

http://www.tourvideos.com/ After residing in Topkapi Palace for four hundred years, the royal Sultanate built the new palace of Dolmabahce in 1842-1856 after deciding that Topkapi was wearing out and no longer met the standards fit for European royalty. It has separate sections for men, women and ceremonial functions. Builders used over 10 tons of gold and 15 tons of silver to decorate the palace, which has an elaborate style that blends Asian and Western influences along with a mix of French Empire, baroque, rococo and classical themes. Some of the extravagant highlights include giant crystal chandeliers, silk carpets and drapes, original furnishings, vast murals, 600 paintings, hundreds of sculpture and objects d'art, decorated ceilings and spectacular architecture throughout. Furnishings for the palace were designed by Sechan, the same decorator who created the opulent interior of the Paris Opera. One is reminded of Versailles on steroids, with an exotic Oriental atmosphere wildly mixed in.

Admission price includes the services of an informative palace guide who walks you through many of the 285 rooms and 46 salons, connected by elegant halls and chambers. The main entrance has a grand staircase lined with Baccarat crystal banisters, impressive Corinthian columns all around, golden carved decorations and a glass ceiling from which hangs the world's third biggest chandelier, weighing one ton. All the elements in this dazzling entry coexist in perfect symmetry and harmony.

Passing through room after room is an exhilarating experience as you try to absorb the infinite details. Other decorative features include clocks, ceramics, detailed parquet floors, mirrors, balustrades, mantles, candelabras and gilded fixtures. Just when you thought the decor couldn't get more outrageous, you reach the climax in the Grand Hall, with its golden dome towering 100 feet over a vast room decorated in a brilliant display of gold, crystal and marble, with tall columns and vaulted arches all around. The tour then continues into the ladies side of the palace, which is similarly beautiful, encrusted with gold everywhere.

The palace stretches for 600 yards along the shore of the Bosphorus and is surrounded by vast gardens filled with flowers, trees and shrubs that were gathered from all over the world. You can stroll through the lush garden terraces, adorned with fountains and statues, while enjoying views across the water.

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