Beylerbeyi Palace is the largest and most elegant Ottoman Palace on the Asian Shore of the Bosphorus. The palace is open everyday except Monday and Thurday from 9 am to 12.30 p.m, 1.30 pm to 5.00pm.
The palace and the neighbourhood was named for a beylerbey, a title which means “lord of the lords”, this was Mehmet Paşa, Governer of Rumelia. The first sultan who resided here was Mahmud II. It was constructed in 1861-65 by Sarkis Balyan, a famous Armenian architect. 5000 people from all over Anatolia including the best masters worked for the construction. It was mainly used as a summer residence, first famous visitor was French Impress Eugenie in 1869, later visitors were Franz Joseph of Austria, King Edward of England. The palace is now used as a museum.
The palace is divided into two sections as the other Ottoman Palaces, “selamlik” and “harem”. Selamlik was the section which was open to men and where the meetings, receptions took place. The building is a 3- storey one, the first one was for service departments, the upper two was for state rroms and imperial apartments, a total of 26 elegantly designed chambers, 6 grand halls. It is very elegant in general, with Hereke Carpets, Czech Bohemian Crystal Chandeliers, French Clocks, Chinese, Japanese and French Vases, furniture from Damascus and France, paintings from Russian Aivazovsky.