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Çiragan Palace

ImageÇiragan Palace's name is derived from the Persian word for torch (cherag).  It is so named because of the torches used to light the lavish parties thrown by the Ottomans in the late nineteenth century.  The palace was built by Sultan Abdulaziz between 1863 and 1867, though the decorating was not completed until 1872.  It marked the end of the contemporary Ottoman tradition of each sultan building his own palace.  Built in the Baroque style, it ended up being the last great palace built by the Ottomans.

Parliament was held here briefly in 1910 before a fire destroyed the interior.  For many years it was actually home to the Beşiktaş football club and known as Şeref Stadı.  Today the palace has been converted into suites for Istanbul's five-star Kempinski Hotel.  Two excellent, if expensive, restaurants are also located here.  The grounds stretch across 390m right on the Bosporus, and feature beautifully landscaped gardens.  A marble bridge connects it to Yildiz Palace next door.

Several other buildings of the palace complex have also been converted for modern use.  One of the outer palaces, called the Feriye has been restored and converted into a restaurant and cinema complex.

Location: Çiragan Caddesi


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