Sultan Abdülaziz (1861 – 1876] had Beylerbeyi Palace built as a summer residence for Ottoman sultans and a guest house for foreign heads of state and sovereigns. Construction began in August of 1863 and was completed less than two years later in April 1865. Today, it’s positioned directly north of the 1973 Bosphorus Bridge. It’s estimated that construction for the palace cost 500,000 Ottoman liras. The rectangular palace and its surrounding grounds occupy about 2,500 square meters. It’s comprised of 6 halls, 26 rooms, one hamam, and one bathroom.
Although smaller, Beylerbeyi Palace is just as stunning and lovely as Dolmabahçe Palace. The Ottomans of the 19th century embraced artistic influences from both the Western and Eastern worlds. Many foreign artists from France, Italy, and Germany were commissioned to work on Beylerbeyi Palace. Japanese and Chinese artwork is seen in pottery and ornaments throughout the museum.
Each room in the palace is entirely different from the one before it, but equally spectacular and dripping with tiny details. Much of the expertly crafted furniture and luxurious linens are original. Every room has intricate and delicate chandeliers reflecting countless prisms.