Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Palace is Burning

One of the best parts about having a home in Istanbul is being the occasional tour guide.  The beautiful architecture, paired with a very long and extravagant history can be overwhelming, so when someone visits me, I'm able to slow down and take in a few details.  Yesterday I spent some time with a friend and visited the Çırağan Palace and took a few snapshots with my phone camera. 

Built between 1863 and 1872, the palace was the last in a long tradition of sultans building their own palace instead of using one of their ancestors.  In 1910 a great fire destroyed most of the palace, and it wasn't until 1989 when it was bought by a Japanese company, which restored the structure to its days of glory and added a modern hotel next to it.  The scale of the palace is staggering: rooms with 8 meter tall ceilings and 5 meter tall windows.  When visiting, one can sense the life of the Sultans who lived here . . . the traffic of the boats on the Bosphorus, the opulant costumes and food, and the lush gardens that once surrounding this beauty of architecture. 


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