Ciragan Palace

Ciragan Palace

Çırağan Palace, a former Ottoman palace now turned into a five-star hotel in the Kempinksi Hotels chain, is located on the European shore of the Bosporus coast and is in between Beşiktaş and Ortaköy near Istanbul.

Çırağan Palace was built by Sultan Abdülaziz and designed by the Armenian palace architect Nichoği Balyan in 1863. The inner walls and roof were made of wood, while outer walls were made out colorful marble. A bridge connects the Çırağan Palace to Yıldız Palace on top of a hill behind it. There is also a very high garden wall that protects the Palace from anything outside it.

Ciragan Palace

The construction and interior decoration of the palace continued until 1872. Sultan Abdulaziz lived in his magnificent palace for only a short time before he killed himself in 1876 after being dethroned. His successor, Sultan Murad V, moved into Çırağan Palace but reigned for only 93 days before he was also deposed by his brother Abdul Hamid II due to mental illness and locked up there.

On November 14 1909, Sultan Mehmed V of the Second Constitutional Monarchy allowed the Ottoman Parliament to hold their meetings at this particular building. Only two months later on January 19, 1910, when a great fire destroyed the Palace, only its outer walls were left intact. Called "Şeref Stadı," for many years after that it served as a football field for the club Beşiktaş JK in its garden.

In 1987, the former royal palace was bought by a corporation within Japan which restored the palace and added a modern hotel complex next to it in its garden. The modern hotel building was opened in 1990 and the restored palace building was opened in 1992. Today, it serves as luxury suites for Kempinski Hotel along with two restaurants that cater to guests. The Palace was renovated a second time during the first quarter of 2007; now it boasts an authentic baroque-style appearance with brighter colors.