Beylerbeyi Palace is a palace in the Beylerbeyi district of the Üsküdar district of Istanbul, built by architect Sarkis Balyan by Sultan Abdülaziz in 1861-1865.
The place where the palace is located is a historical place and its use as a settlement area dates back to the Byzantine period. There was a grove in this region, known as the Crosswinds Gardens, during the Byzantine period. It is said that this region was called Istavroz (Stavroz) due to the great cross erected by Constantine II during the Byzantine period. Eremya Çelebi Kömürcüyan stated that the Byzantine church and a holy spring were still standing in the 2th century in this region.
The first building here from the Ottoman period is II. It is the palace of Gevher Sultan, the daughter of Selim. IV. Murad was born in this palace. Later, in the 17th century in this region, the Palace of Şevkabad by Ahmet I, III. During the reign of Ahmet, Ferahabad mansion was built, and Mahmud I built the Ferahfeza Pavilion for his mother. This region was also used as the garbage of the sultans. III. In Mustafa period, the buildings here were demolished and their land was sold to the public. II. Mahmud later took back these lands and built a wooden palace here in 1829. A part of this palace was burned as a result of a fire in 1851. The palace, which was burned at a time when Sultan Abdülmecid was also inside, was not used for a while considering it to be sinister. Later, the palace that was burned between 1861-1865 was replaced by Sultan Abdülaziz today's Beylerbeyi Palace. The architect of the palace is Sarkis Balyan and his brother is the architect of Agsa Balyan.
Beylerbeyi Palace is a palace complex and consists of Marble Pavilion, Yellow Pavilion, Stable Pavilion and two small sea pavilions in the large garden with the original palace (summer palace).
The summer palace, which is the main palace, was built by fusing Renaissance, Baroque and east-west styles. The palace, built on the dock by the sea, is a masonry building and a 2-storey building built on a high basement. Palace; It consists of Harem (northern part) and Mabeyn-i Hümayun (southern part) circles; It includes three entrances, six large halls, 24 rooms, 1 bath and 1 bathroom. The palace has a rectangular structure. The roof of the palace is hidden by a railing that goes around all the facades. The exterior of the palace is separated by a strongly marked molding that separates the ground floor from the upper floor. The middle sections of the sea and side facades of the palace are arranged in three sections protruding outward. The windows of the building are rectangular and decorated with arches. There are single and double columns between the windows and wall corners. The first floor is completely paved with marble and the second floor with marble-like stones.
The interior of the palace is decorated with items such as wood carving, gold embroidery, painting and writing. The plan of the two floors of the palace consists of rooms around a large hall in the middle. On the ground floor, there is a pool whose water is taken from the sea and covered with glass. On the ground floor, there are four rooms in the corners of the hall. From the ground floor to the upper floor, you can climb from a wide double-arm staircase or service ladder opposite the pool. The large hall on the upper floor is called the Reception Hall. On the second floor, there are two small halls outside the big hall and small rooms facing the sea and land front. Due to his passion for the sea, Sultan Abdülaziz paid special attention to the interior decoration of the palace and operated sea and ship themes in some frames and cartridges on the ceiling of the palace. Apart from this, there are verses written with lines of sulus and ta. The harem part of the palace is simpler. The palace has three entrances: Harem, Selamlık and seat doors.
Other structures of the palace complex, Marble and Yellow Kiosks, are part of the old palace built during the reign of Mahmud II. Since the facades of the Marble Kiosk are covered with large marble slabs, this name is taken. It is located at the back of the large pool in the garden. It is a single storey building built in empirical style. It consists of a large hall and two rooms. There is a large oval pool in its living room.
Yellow Pavilion, on the other hand, is a three-storey masonry structure with its basement. Each floor has a living room and two rooms. It is a plain structure consisting of three sections with a baroque staircase in its hall. There are pictures of the sea inside the mansion. There are three groups of semicircular arches on the front and back facades of the building.
The Barn House was built for the care of the sultan's horses. The palace land is located in the southern region. The doors and windows of the palace are with horseshoe arches. It has a pool and a barn with twenty compartments. This Pavilion is decorated with animal pictures and horse figures.
Beylerbeyi palace is located in a large garden that rises backwards from the sea in sets. The garden of the palace is decorated with bronze animal sculptures, all built in Paris, along with trees and pools. There is a large pool in the garden, which is 80 * 30 m tall, that can be visited by boat. The garden is surrounded by an ornate wall running parallel to the sea along the dock. Two doors were built on the wall in order to provide access to the palace from the sea. Apart from this, there are small sea kiosks on both sides of the wall. These kiosks have a hexagonal structure and their roofs are made in the form of tents. In both mansions there is a room and a toilet.
Besides the sultans, the palace has hosted many famous names until today. 2. Abdulhamid was taken from the Alatini Mansion in Thessaloniki for security reasons after the Balkan Wars and brought to Beylerbeyi Palace and spent the rest of his life in this palace. The first important foreign guest of the palace was Eugénie, wife of the 3rd Napoleon. Other important guests of the palace are the King of Montenegro Nikola, Gran Duke Nikola who came to Istanbul to sign the Iranian Shah Nasrüddin and the Ayastefanos Agreement and the Austro-Hungarian Emperor Franz Joseph. During the Republican period, the Iranian Shah Rıza Pehlevi, who came to Istanbul in 1934 as a guest of Atatürk, was hosted in this palace. In 1936, the Balkan Games Festival was held in this palace and Mustafa Kemal Atatürk spent that night in Beylerbeyi Palace.
Beylerbeyi Palace was repaired by architect Vedat Tek in 1909. In the Republican period, the necessary attention was not paid to the palace. The construction of the Bosphorus Bridge near the palace caused the integrity of the palace to deteriorate. In addition, some of the big garden of the palace was given to Highways and some to Naval Petty Officer School. Both the construction of the Bosphorus Bridge and the structures used by various institutions caused the authenticity of the palace to deteriorate. The palace today is a museum open to visitors, except Mondays and Thursdays.