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Dolmabache Palace - Barely Mentioned in Lonely Planet

sunny 32 °C

The Tulip Guesthouse in Istanbul is a $10 a night backpacker's flophouse, and it rates 6 lines of praise in The Lonely Planet Guide. In contrast, this is the truly magnificent Dolmabache Palace on the banks of the Bosphorus...
Dolmbache_Palace.jpg
This gigantic one hundred thousand square foot palace was built by French and Italian architects in the 1840s for Sultan Abdulmecid and is one of largest and finest examples of super-snobbery to be found anywhere. In the 'mine's bigger than yours' world it boasts a Great Hall that seats a thousand, 285 opulently furnished staterooms and 44 reception halls. It also has dozens of glittering crystal chandeliers - the largest, made in London, weighing more than four and a half tons with 600 lamps.The vastness of the place is impossible to capture on film, but here's a look at the beautiful gardens...
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So - what has this to do with The Tulip Guesthouse? Nothing...other than the fact that there is barely a mention of this great Palace in the Lonely Planet guide to Turkey, (and no reference at all in the index), while The Tulip is clearly a place of great cultural significance! Go figure!

No visit to Istanbul would be complete without a cruise on the Bosphorus, the narrow waterway that joins the Sea of Marmara to The Black Sea. And so, after visiting the palace without the assistance of our guidebook, we took to the waves for a couple of hours and took in the sights...
Seagull_over_Istanbul.jpgCruising_t..sphorus.jpgBosphorus_chateau.jpg
Mosques and minarets are everywhere here, and although we're not subjected to in-your-face-Islam most of the time, every few hours the meuzzins fire up their five-thousand horsepower loudspeakers and battle it out in the air above us. The guy in the Blue Mosque usually wins - but just look at the size of his minaret!
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The iconic 15th century Blue Mosque is breathtakingly vast, with lofty domed roofs and a central prayer space the size of a football field.
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Pity this chap who has to vacuum it after each service...
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Next door to the Blue Mosque is the Aya Sofya (which apparently can be spelled a dozen ways). This was the greatest church in Christendom in the fifth century before the Muslims invaded and turned it into a mosque. For a 1,500 year old building it is in pretty good shape and is more spectacular than its more modern neighbour...
Inside_Aya_Sofya.jpg

Well - that's it for Istanbul. We've done all the sights including the Grand Bazaar, (the world's largest indoor market), and the Spice Bazaar and now we are flying off to Izmir to visit the ancient Roman city of Ephesus. Tesekkur ederim as they say here: Thank you Istanbul - you're great..

Posted by Hawkson 11:57 Archived in Turkey

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Comments

Hmm, these minarets are very impressive, and I now have a renewed appreciation of totem poles. If I win the lottery I think I'll put Istanbul on my bucket list.

by Janet

Declaim a poem or speech in the theatre in Ephesus for me, just to get a feel for the accoustic. Have fun.

by Abigail Gossage

Veddy, veddy impressive...and stunningly beautiful..
luv ya's

by Sharron

Great photos. Entertaining text as usual. I look forward to a description of flying in Turkey. Have the jets kept up with carpets I wonder? Reading a page from Antony's bio in the theatre at Ephesus might tickle him!

Tom

by Tom Whalley

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