Dolmabahçe Palace was the first European-style palace in Istanbul and was built by Sultan Abdülmecid between 1842 and 1853, at a cost of five million Ottoman gold pounds, the equivalent of 35 tons of gold. Fourteen tons of gold in the form of gold leaf were used to gild the ceilings of the palace. The world’s largest Bohemian crystal chandelier, a gift from Queen Victoria, is at the center hall. The chandelier has 750 lamps and weighs 4.5 tons. Dolmabahçe has the largest collection of Bohemian and Baccarat crystal chandeliers in the world, and one of the great staircases has bannisters of Baccarat crystal.
Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder and first president of Turkey, spent his last years in the palace as his health deteriorated. Atatürk died at 9:05 a.m. on November 10, 1938, in a room that is now part of the museum.
The palace is managed by Milli Saraylar Daire Başkanlığı (Directorate of National Palaces) responsible to the Grand National Assembly of Turkey. Dolmabahçe Palace Museum is open to public on weekdays from 9:00 to 15:00, except Mondays and Thursdays.
Istanbul (historically Byzantium and later Constantinople; see the other names of Istanbul) is the largest city of Turkey and the third largest city in the world. The city covers 27 districts of the Istanbul province.It is located on the Bosphorus Strait and encompasses the natural harbor known as the Golden Horn, in the northwest of the country. It extends both on the European (Thrace) and on the Asian (Anatolia) side of the Bosphorus, and is thereby the only metropolis in the world which is situated on two continents. In its long history, Istanbul served as the capital city of the Roman Empire (330–395), the East Roman (Byzantine) Empire (395–1204 and 1261–1453), the Latin Empire (1204–1261), and the Ottoman Empire (1453–1922). The city was chosen as joint European Capital of Culture for 2010. The historic areas of Istanbul were added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1985.