The Dolmabahçe Sarayı in Istanbul, Turkey – translated as the palace of the filled garden – is to me the most beautiful palace of the city. It is located on the European side in Beşiktaş, directly at the Bosphorus. It has been built from 1843 on and is one of the younger palaces, created because Topkapı Sarayı couldn’t adhere to European standards requested by the Sultan.
After entering the gardens you’ll have to queue up for a guided tour that is really worth waiting. It is leading through different rooms with numerous mirrors and the biggest chandalier in the world – handed over as present from Queen Victoria and lighted by 750 lightbulbs.
Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of the Republic of Turkey used Dolmabahçe Sarayı as the seat of governance and his personal residenc. He died here in 1938 and as he died at 9:05 o’clock all clocks in the palace are always set to this time.