Asklepion – Pergamon/Bergama – TURKEY

Welcome to Asklepion, possibly the earliest hospital of the ancient world.

This site is close to Pergamon/Bergama. In the ancient world, the healing power of  water was well known. The hospital was made at this place, which had 3 different waters that were used for treatment of various sicknesses. This place was dedicated to the God of healing, Asklepios.

For my photo gallery, please follow this link

The Asklepion gained in prominence under the Romans in the 2nd century AD, but a sacred site existed here as early as the 4th century BC.

Many of the treatments employed at Pergamum, in complement with a sacred source of water that was later discovered as having radioactive properties, have been used for centuries.

The treatments included psychotherapy, massage, herbal remedies, mud and bathing treatments, the interpretation of dreams, and the drinking of water.

Below is the main treatment building, which is circular in shape, with the inner cylinder for storing the health water.

Quite unlike modern hospitals, everybody was dying to get in to the Asklepion: patients included Hadrian, Marcus Aurelius, and Caracalla.

But then again, the Asklepion was more like a modern spa than a hospital: therapy included mud baths, music concerts, and doses of water from the sacred fountain.

Hours of therapy also probed the meaning of the previous night’s dreams, as patients believed dreams recounted a visit by the god Asklepios, who held the key to curing illness.


Galen, the influential physician and philosopher who was born in Pergamum in 129 AD, trained and then later became an attendant to the gladiators here.

And here is the general view of the Theatre and the Library area.

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Chora Church – Kariye Museum

Byzantine Church with mosaics from the 13th century.

Now a museum. Located in Istanbul.

Links to my photo gallery is here.

From wikipedia:

The Church of St. Savior in Chora (Turkish Kariye Müzesi, Kariye Camii, or Kariye Kilisesi ? the Chora Museum, Mosque or Church) is considered to be one of the most beautiful examples of a Byzantine church. The church is situated in the Edirnekapı district of Istanbul. ?In the 16th century, the church was converted into a mosque , and it became a secularised museum in 1948. The interior of the building is covered with fine mosaics and frescoes.

The Chora Church was originally built outside the walls of Constantinople, to the south of the Golden Horn. Literally translated, the church’s full name was the Church of the Holy Saviour in the Country: although “The Church of the Holy Redeemer in the Fields” would be a more natural rendering of the name in English.  The last part of that name, Chora, referring to its location originally outside of the walls, became the shortened name of the church. The original church on this site was built in the early 5th century, and stood outside of the 4th century walls of Constantine the Great. However, when Theodosius II built his formidable land walls in 413?414, the church became incorporated within the city’s defences, but retained the name Chora. The name must have carried symbolic meaning, as the mosaics in the narthex describe Christ as the Land of the Living and Mary, the Mother of Jesus, as the Container of the Uncontainable

The majority of the fabric of the current building dates from 1077?1081, when Maria Dukaina, the mother-in-law of Alexius I Comnenus, rebuilt the Chora Church as an inscribed cross or quincunx: a popular architectural style of the time. Early in the 12th century, the church suffered a partial collapse, perhaps due to an earthquake. The church was rebuilt by Isaac Comnenus, Alexius’s third son. However, it was only after the third phase of building, two centuries after, that the church as it stands today was completed. The powerful Byzantine statesman Theodore Metochites endowed the church with much of its fine mosaics and frescos. Theodore’s impressive decoration of the interior was carried out between 1315 and 1321. The mosaic-work is the finest example of the Palaeologian Renaissance. The artists remain unknown. In 1328, Theodore was sent into exile by the usurper Andronicus III Palaeologus. However, he was allowed to return to the city two years later, and lived out the last two years of his life as a monk in his Chora Church.

During the last siege of Constantinople in 1453, the Icon of the Theotokos Hodegetria, considered the protector of the City, was brought to Chora in order to assist the defenders against the assault of the Ottomans.

Around fifty years after the fall of the city to the Ottomans, At?k Ali Pa?a, the Grand Vizier of Sultan Bayezid II, ordered the Chora Church to be converted into a mosque ? Kariye Camii. Due to the prohibition against iconic images in Islam, the mosaics and frescoes were covered behind a layer of plaster. This has helped the mosaics to survive the effects of time, but ?frequent earthquakes in the region have taken their toll on the artwork.

In 1948, Thomas Whittemore and Paul A. Underwood, from the Byzantine Institute of America and the Dumbarton Oaks Center for Byzantine Studies, sponsored a programme of restoration. From that time on, the building ceased to be a functioning mosque. In 1958, it was opened to the public as a museum ? Kariye Müzesi.

The Chora Church is not as large as some of the other Byzantine churches of Istanbul (it covers 742.5 m?), but what it lacks in size, it makes up for in the beauty of its interior. The building divides into three main areas: the entrance hall or narthex, the main body of the church or naos, and the side chapel or parecclesion. The building has six domes: two in the esonarthex, one in the parecclesion and three in the naos.


The main, west door of the Chora Church opens into the narthex. It divides north-south into the exonarthex and esonarthex.


Mosaic of the journey to Bethlehem

Mosaic of the enrollment for taxation before Zyrenius

The exonarthex (or outer narthex) is the first part of the church that one enters. It is a transverse corridor, 4 m wide and 23 m long, which is partially open on its eastern length into the parallel esonarthex. The southern end of the exonarthex opens out through the esonarthex forming a western ante-chamber to the parecclesion. The mosaics that decorate the exonarthex include:
Joseph’s dream and journey to Bethlehem;
Enrollment for taxation;
Nativity, birth of Christ;
Journey of the Magi;
Inquiry of King Herod;
Flight into Egypt;
Two frescoes of the massacres ordered by King Herod;
Mothers mourning for their children;
Flight of Elizabeth, mother of John the Baptist;
Joseph dreaming, return of the holy family from Egypt to Nazareth;
Christ taken to Jerusalem for the Passover;
John the Baptist bearing witness to Christ;
Three more Miracles.
Jesus Christ;
Virgin and Angels praying.


Mosaic of the Koimesis in the Naos

The central doors of the esonarthex lead into the main body of the church, the naos. The largest dome in the church (7.7 m diameter) is above the centre of the naos. Two smaller domes flank the modest apse: the northern dome is over the prothesis, which is linked by short passage to the bema; the southern dome is over the diaconicon, which is reached via the parecclesion.
Koimesis, the Dormition of the Virgin. Before ascending to Heaven, her last sleep. Jesus is holding an infant, symbol of Mary’s soul;
Jesus Christ;
Theodokos, the Virgin Mary with child.


View into the parekklesion

The Anastasis fresco in the parekklesion of the Chora Church.

To the right of the esonarthex, doors open into the side chapel, or parecclesion. The parecclesion was used as a mortuary chapel for family burials and memorials. The second largest dome (4.5 m diameter) in the church graces the centre of the roof of the parecclesion. A small passageway links the parecclesion directly into the naos, and off this passage can be found a small oratory and a storeroom. The parecclesion is covered in frescoes:
Anastasis, the Resurrection. Christ, who had just broken down the gates of hell, is standing in the middle and pulling Adam and Eve out of their tombs. Behind Adam stand John the Baptist, David, and Solomon. Others are righteous kings;
Second coming of Christ, the last judgment. Jesus is enthroned and on both sides the Virgin Mary and John the Baptist (this trio is also called the Deesis);
Virgin and Child;
Heavenly Court of Angels;

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For a Change – Air show 2013

We have been to the air show 2013, where Turkish Stars, Turkish Airforce team performed as well.

The team usually consists of 6 planes. It was an amazing show.


The following photo shows one of the most dangerous scenes, where 2 planes, one downside are flying on a straight line, while the third plane passes between them.


The show creates amazing scenes.

You may also visit my gallery for other photos at  link to the gallery.


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Yalta Conference – Livadia Palace, Yalta/Ukraine

We had the pleasure of visiting Crimia, Ukraine recently.

This is the birthplace of my mother. She was born in Gaspra, just about 15 kms from Yalta. I took her along with my sister, to show her Gaspra, as well as Yalta, and the Livadia palace.


Livadia palace (link to gallery) is just about 15 km. from Yalta. It is the place where the Yalta conference was made between the allies. Stalin, Roosevelt and Churchill, during 4-11 February 1945, to determine the faith of the world war. The meeting was intended mainly to discuss the re-establishment of the nations of war-torn Europe.

S.Agar S.Agar

You will also see alot of photos from the conference in the gallery, just a link away from you.

Some photos are from the palace itself, as well as photos from the Yalta conference, and unsurprisingly, from the Tsar family, who built the palace before the 1917 revolution. Knowing the tragic end of the family, the happy pictures of the Tsar family?represents a contrast to the visitors.

DSC00872 DSC00710

Tzar Family photos:

S.Agar S.Agar S.Agar

Some additional information about the Livadia Palace follows:

Almost all of the known styles, starting from the Byzantine has been used in this palace. There are even some eastern motives, that you will see in the gallery.

Information ?(From Wikipedia)

Livadia Palace (Crimean Tatar: Livadiya saray?) was a summer retreat of the last Russian tsar, Nicholas II, and his family in Livadiya, Crimea in southern Ukraine. The Yalta Conference was held there in 1945, when the palace housed the apartments of Franklin Delano Roosevelt and other members of the American delegation. Today the palace houses a museum, but it is sometimes used by the Ukrainian authorities for international summits.

In 1909 Nicholas and his wife travelled to Italy, where they were captivated by Renaissance palaces shown to them by Victor Emmanuel III. Upon their return, they engaged Nikolay Krasnov, Yalta‘s most fashionable architect, responsible for the grand ducal residences in Koreiz, to prepare plans for a brand new imperial palace. The tsar’s diary testifies that the design was much discussed in the imperial family; it was decided that all four facades of the palace should look different. Construction works lasted for seventeen months; the new palace was inaugurated on 11 September 1911. Grand Duchess Olga celebrated her 16th birthday that November at Livadia. After the February Revolution Dowager Empress Marie fled to Livadia before emigrating to Denmark.

During the second World War, a ceremony marking the successful completion of the German Crimean Campaign (1941?1942), with the capture of Sewastopol by the 11th German army under the command General Erich von Manstein, and Manstein’s promotion to the rank of field marshal, was held in the garden of Livadia Palace on July 6, 1942. Participants included officers, noncoms and soldiers who were awarded the German “Ritterkreuz” (Knight’s Cross) and the “Deutsches Kreuz in Gold“( German Cross in Gold).[1]

The palace was once used as a mental institution, and now serves as a museum on the territory of Ukraine. Most of the historical artifacts have been lost, but anything that has been recovered can be seen for a small fee. In August 2007 the palace was recognized as a landmark of a modern history by the Seven Wonders of Ukraine project. Ukrainian pop singer Sofia Rotaru, who celebrated her 60th birthday at the palace in the company of the presidents of Russia, Ukraine and Moldavia – the second such meeting since the Yalta Conference – funded the reconstruction of Livadia Palace in 2008.[2]

The Livadia Palace is built of white Crimean granite in the Neo-Renaissance style. The edifice features an arched portico of Carrara marble, a spacious Arabic patio, an Italian patio, a Florentine tower, ornate Bramantesque windows, a “balcony-belvedere”, and multiple bays with jasper vases. A gallery connects the palace with a neo-Byzantine church of the Exaltation of the Cross, built by Monighetti in 1866.

The palace contains 116 rooms, with interiors furnished in different styles. There are a Pompeian vestibule, an English billiard-room, a Neo-baroque dining room, and a Jacob-style study of maple wood, which elicited particular admiration of Nicholas II.






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Yedikule Zindanlar? / Yedikule Dungeons

This great pile of stones was first built as the Golden Gate in the times of Byzantine Emperors Theodosius I and Theodosius II (408-450). The twin square towers of the Golden Gate are now just two of the seven towers of Yedikule.

Here is the link to the gallery,?

The Golden Gate was the monumental and ceremonial entrance to the city as one came along the Roman road from Europe, with four massive towers built into Theodosius II’s mighty land walls.

Golden Gates

Ottoman Empire, Mehmet II, (Fatih Sultan Mehmet)? added three towers to make it a fortress, which he used as a treasury and prison as well.

The tower was later used as a Dungeon, and has been the last place even for some later Ottoman Sultans, and a prison for many foreign statesmen too.

Visit the gallery to see the present towers, a typical prison room, and other interesting parts.


The site at present is a museum, and used sometimes for concert organizations, which is a huge conflict with its original uses.






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Aphrodisias – Geyre, near Tavas/Denizli

While you are travelling to Pamukkale, another antique city to visit is Aphrodisias. ?This city is built to honor Aphrodite.

Link to ?photo Gallery.

This place is about 100 km away from Denizli. After driving to Tavas from the mainroad, the branch to Geyve takes you to Aphrodisias, which is about 30 km. from the junction. ?It’s an easy drive . The road is narrow but paved.

Aphrodisias was named after Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love, who had here her unique cult image, the Aphrodite of Aphrodisias. ?The city was built near a marble quarry that was extensively exploited in the Hellenistic and Roman periods, and sculpture in marble from Aphrodisias became famous in the Roman world. Many examples of statuary have been unearthed in Aphrodisias, and some representations of the Aphrodite of Aphrodisias also survive from other parts of the Roman world.

My photo gallery is here, which covers the Temple of Aphrodite, the Entrance gate, and the Bouleuterion (Council house). ?The rest of the photos will be posted later, possibly after a second visit.

Entrance Gate is a monumental gate is a must see tetraphlon. Here is a photo:

The temple needs to be renovated, and looks like this at present:

Here is some additional information from Wikipedia:

Temple of Aphrodite

The Temple of Aphrodite was a focal point of the town, but the character of the building was altered when it became a Christian basilica. The Aphrodisian sculptors became renowned and benefited from a plentiful supply of marble close at hand. The school of sculpture was very productive;[5] much of their work can be seen around the site and in the museum. Many full-length statues were discovered in the region of the agora, and trial and unfinished pieces pointing to a true school are in evidence. Sarcophagi were recovered in various locations, most frequently decorated with designs consisting of garland and columns. Pilasters have been found showing what are described as “peopled scrolls” with figures of people, birds and animals entwined in acanthus leaves.

[edit] Aphrodite of Aphrodisias

The cult image that is particular to Aphrodisias, the Aphrodite of Aphrodisias, doubtless was once housed in the Temple of Aphrodite,[6] She was a distinctive local goddess who became, by interpretatio graeca, identified with the Greek Aphrodite. Her canonical image, typical of Anatolian cult images, shows that she is related to the Lady of Ephesus,[7] widely venerated in the Greco-Roman world as Artemis of Ephesus. The surviving images, from contexts where they must have been more civic than ritual, are without exception from the late phase of the cult, in Hellenistic and Roman times. They are rendered in the naturalistic style common to their culture, which gave the local goddess more universal appeal.[8] Like the Lady of Ephesus, the “Aphrodite” of Aphrodisia wears a thick, form-disguising tunic, encasing her as if in a columnar box, always with four registers of standardized imagery. Her feet are of necessity close together, her forearms stretched forward, to receive and to give. She is adorned with necklaces and wears a mural crown[9] together with a diadem and a wreath of myrtle, draped with a long veil that frames her face and extends to the ground. Beneath her overtunic she wears a floor-length chiton. The bands of decoration on the tunic, rendered in bas-relief, evoke the Goddess’s cosmic powers: the Charites, the Three Graces that are the closest attendants of Aphrodite; heads of a married pair (the woman is veiled), identified by Lisa Brody as Gaia and Uranos, Earth and the Heavens, over which this goddess reigns, rather than as Zeus and Hera; Helios and Selene separated by a pillar; the marine Aphrodite,[10] riding a sea-goat, and at the base a group of Erotes performing cult rituals.

[edit] Bouleuterion

The Bouleuterion (Council House) is centered on the north side of the North Agora. As it stands today, it consists of a semicircular auditorium fronted by a shallow stage structure about 46 m wide. The lower part of the auditorium survives intact, with nine rows of marble seats divided into five wedges by radial stairways. The seating of the upper part, amounting to an additional twelve rows, has collapsed together with its supporting vaults. The plan is an extremely open one, with numerous entrances at ground level and several stairways giving access to the upper rows of seats. A system of massive parallel buttresses shows that the building was originally vaulted. The auditorium would have been lighted by a series of tall, arched windows in the curved outer wall. Seating capacity can be estimated at about 1750.

The stadium

The available evidence indicates a construction date in the Antonine or early Severan period (late second or early third century AD). The scaenae frons (stage front) was certainly put up at this time, as the style of both sculpture and architectural ornament suggest. Statue bases terminating the retaining walls of the auditorium bore the names of two brothers, senators in the early Severan period, and two inscribed bases placed symmetrically against the exterior facade held statues of Aphrodisian benefactors, Claudia Antonia Tatiana and her uncle Lucius Antonius Dometinus, who were active at the end of the second century.[11] Tatiana is known to have had close ties with Ephesus, and it is possible that the striking similarities between this building and the Bouleuterion on the Civic Agora there, dated by inscription to the mid-second century, are due to some initiative on her part. We do not know what stood here before the second century AD, but it is likely that the present building replaced a smaller one contemporary with the laying out of the Agora in the late first century BC.

The Bouleuterion at Aphrodisias remained in this form until the early fifth century, when a municipal official had it adapted as a palaestra, recording his achievement in an inscription on the upper molding of the pulpitum (stage). Palaestra usually refers to a wrestling ground, but in the fifth century it could be used to describe a hall for lectures, performances, and various kinds of competitive displays, as suggested by a number of factional inscriptions carved on the seats. Numerous additional cuttings in the surviving seats, probably for poles supporting awnings, suggest that by this time the building had lost its roof. The orchestra was lowered and provided with a marble pavement, reused, perhaps, from the earlier phase.[12]

[edit] Sebasteion

The Sebasteion[13], or Augusteum, was jointly dedicated, according to a first century inscription on its propylon, “To Aphrodite, the Divine Augusti and the People”. A relief found in the ruins of the south portico represented a personification of the polis making sacrifice to the cult image of Aphrodite of Aphrodisias, venerated as prom?t?r, “foremother” or “ancestral mother”. “Aphrodite represents the cosmic force that integrates imperial power with the power of local elites,” a reader of Chariton romance has noted.[14] This connection between the goddess and the imperial house was also a particularly politic one at the time, as the Gens Julia – the family of Julius Caesar, Octavian Augustus, and their immediate successors – claimed divine descent from Venus/Aphrodite.

[edit] Other buildings and discoveries

There are many other notable buildings, including the stadium, which is said to be probably the best preserved of its kind in the Mediterranean except, perhaps, for the Sanctuary of Apollo at Delphi.[citation needed] It measured 262 by 59 m and was used for athletic events until the theatre was badly damaged by a 7th century earthquake, requiring part of the stadium to be converted for events previously staged in the theatre.

[edit] Inscriptions of Aphrodisias

The quality of the marble in Aphrodisias has also resulted in an unusually large number of inscribed items surviving in the city. Upwards of 2000 inscriptions have been recorded by the New York excavators, many of them re-used in the city walls. Most inscriptions are from the Imperial period, with funerary and honorary texts being particularly well-represented, but there are a handful of texts from all periods from the Hellenistic to Byzantine.

Excavations in Aphrodisias uncovered an important Jewish inscription whose context is unclear. The inscription, in Greek, lists donations made by numerous individuals, of whom several are classed as ‘theosebeis’, or Godfearers.[15] It seems clear through comparative evidence from the inscriptions in the Sardis synagogue and from the New Testament that such Godfearers were probably interested gentiles who attached themselves to the Jewish community, supporting and perhaps frequenting the synagogue. The geographical spread of the evidence suggests this was a widespread phenomenon in Asia Minor during the Roman period.

[edit] Late Antique

In the Late Antique period the city was renamed Stauropolis ‘City of the Cross’ sometime before 640.[16]

[edit] Ecclesiastical history

Le Quien (Oriens christianus, I, 899-904) mentions twenty bishops of this see, among whom were:

Another bishop, Theopropios, is mentioned by an inscription (Revue des ?tudes grecques, XIX, 298).

In the seventh century Stauropolis had twenty-eight suffragan bishops and twenty-six at the beginning of the tenth century. Between 1356 and 1361 the see must have been abandoned by the metropolitan, but the title was long retained and he was given the revenues of other churches.[17] Isaias of Stauropolis attended the Council of Florence (1439) and fled to avoid signing the decree of union.

Stauropolis remains a Roman Catholic titular metropolitan see of the former Roman province of Caria.[18]

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Laodicea – Laodikeia / Denizli Turkey

Most people omit this ancient city during their tour to Pamukkale.

In fact this is one of the most important antique sites in Turkey. Here is a photo giving details about this site.

My photo album is located here.

I have covered the Syria Street, magnificient fountain and the Roman bath.

Here is the Syria Street:

and a few details from the fountain:

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Phrygia (Frigya) – Midas city

I have added a few photos taken from Phrygia to this album.

Here is a sample, showing the houses of the Midas City.

I hope that you will like the photos.

The next post will be from Aizenoi. (?avdarhisar)


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Phrygia (Frigya) Yaz?l?kaya

We will start a tour that covers the traces of the Phrygian Kingdom.

The link to my photo album is at LINK.

The first stop is the Midas City, which will be followed by Gordion and other sites.

Above is the photo of the city entrance, “Yaz?l?kaya” which translates to “Written Rock”. This is a massive inscripted wall.

The ?Phrygian kingdom dates back to 1200 years B.C., and certainly the places we have visited should be world heritage sites/area.

Here is some additional information taken from Wikipedia:

In antiquity, Phrygia (Greek: ??????, ? ) was a kingdom in the west central part of Anatolia, in what is now modern-day Turkey. The Phrygians (Phruges or Phryges) initially lived in the southern Balkans; according to Herodotus, under the name of Bryges (Briges), changing it to Phruges after their final migration to Anatolia, via the Hellespont.

During the flourishing of the city-state of Troy, a part of the Bryges emigrated to Anatolia as Trojan allies or under the protection of Troy.[citation needed] The Trojan language did not survive; consequently, its exact relationship to the Phrygian language and the affinity of Phrygian society to that of Troy remain open questions. Similarly, the date of migration and the relationship of the Phrygians to the Hittite empire are unknown. They are, however, often considered part of a “Thraco-Phrygian” group. A conventional date of c. 1200 BC often is used, at the very end of the Hittite empire. It is certain that Phrygia was constituted on Hittite land, and yet not at the very center of Hittite power in the big bend of the Halys River, where Ankara now is.

From tribal and village beginnings, the state of Phrygia arose in the 8th century BC with its capital at Gordium. During this period, the Phrygians extended eastward and encroached upon the kingdom of Urartu, the descendants of the Hurrians, a former rival of the Hittites.

Meanwhile the Phrygian Kingdom was overwhelmed by Iranian Cimmerian invaders c. 690 BC, then briefly conquered by its neighbor Lydia, before it passed successively into the Persian Empire of Cyrus and the empire of Alexander and his successors, was taken by the Attalids of Pergamon, and eventually became part of the Roman Empire. The last mentions of the language date to the 5th century AD and it was likely extinct by the 7th century AD.[1]

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Beylerbeyi Palace – Istanbul

Here are some photos from this palace in Istanbul. Follow the link to my gallery: Link


During the second half of the 16th century, Rumeli Beylerbeyi (a very high ranking governor in charge of the whole European side of the empire) Mehmet Pa?a had a seaside mansion in this place. The name of Beylerbeyi stems from this. During later periods, the palace was adjoined to the Sultan?s lands. Sultan Mahmut II had a wooden palace constructed in its place during the first quarter of 19th century. This wooden palace was incinerated and another one built in its place for Abd?laziz by the famous architect of the period, Sarkis Balyan and his brother. It is this palace that we know now as Beylerbeyi Palace. Completed in 1865, the palace became the summer home of the Sultan?s family, and it was also used to host foreign guests.

The palace?s garden is decorated with trees, statues, and pools. A hall with an indoor-pool, selaml?k, harem, and admiral?s room catch the attention of visitors in the inner part of the palace. Furthermore, the valide sultan room (used for Mother of the Sultan in power), dinning room, reception room, and blue hall are also worth seeing. There are a total of 26 rooms and 6 sitting rooms. It is said that the Marble Mansion and the Yellow Mansion were built by Sultan Mahmut II. The Yellow Mansion was restored during Sultan Abd?laziz?s period. The Ahir Mansion [Stable House], located on the side of the bridge, was built for the Sutan?s horses.

Abd?lhamit was kept in custody in this palace until his death in 1918, after he was dethrowned. After the foundation of the Turkish Republic, Atat?rk?s guests were hosted in this palace. It has since been transformed into a museum, and it is one of the important historical architectural buildings located on the Anatolian side of Istanbul.

Also some information from Wikipedia follows:

Beylerleyi Palace was commissioned by Sultan Abd?laziz (1830?1876) and built between 1861 and 1865 as a summer residence and a place to entertain visiting heads of state. Empress Eug?nie of France visited Beylerbeyi on her way to the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869 and had her face slapped by the sultan’s mother for daring to enter the palace on the arm of Abd?laziz. (Despite her initial reception, Empress Eug?nie of France was so delighted by the elegance of the palace that she had a copy of the window in the guest room made for her bedroom in Tuileries Palace, in Paris.) Other regal visitors to the palace included the Duke and Duchess of Windsor.

The palace was the last place of captivity of the deposed sultan Abdulhamid II from 1912 until his death there in 1918.

Designed in the Second Empire style by Sarkis Balyan, Beylerbeyi Palace seems fairly restrained compared to the excesses of the earlier Dolmabah?e or K???ksu palaces.

The palace looks its most attractive from the Bosphorus, from where its two bathing pavilions, one for the harem (women’s only) and the other for the selamlik (men’s only), can best be seen. One of the most attractive rooms is the reception hall, which has a pool and fountain. Running water was popular in Ottoman houses for its pleasant sound and cooling effect in the heat.

Egyptian reed matting is used on the floor as a form of insulation. The crystal chandeliers are mostly French Baccarat and the carpets are from Hereke.

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