Dolmabahce Palace Karabet Balyan, the court architect of Sultan Abdulmecid, oversaw the construction of the Dolmabahce Palace between 1843-1856. The palace is a magnificent example of European architectural styles, and is widely considered to be one of the most impressive buildings in Istanbul. While the Topkapi Palace was the most significant residence in Istanbul and the Ottoman empire, the completion of the Dolmabahce Palace marked a shift in the importance of the palaces in Istanbul. The Dolmabahce Palace spans three stories and features 285 rooms, 43 halls, and a 600 meter-long quay along the sea. The entrance section of the palace was used for receptions and meetings of the sultans, while the harem was located behind it. The palace retains its original decorations, furniture, and silk carpets, and is adorned with paintings by famous artists of the era. The walls and ceilings are decorated with 40 tons of gold, and the furnishings in important rooms are all different shades of a single color. Each room features ornate wooden floors with unique designs, and they’re lined with Hereke carpets, some of Turkey's finest examples of artistry. The largest ballroom in the world is located in the palace, featuring a 4.5 ton crystal chandelier and 36 meter-high domed ceilings. This space was used for important political meetings, receptions, and balls, and was previously heated by an oven-like system under the floor. During the Republican era, Ataturk often resided at the palace when he visited Istanbul. In fact, he died at the palace in 1938, and his body lay in state here before being taken to Ankara, with members of the public paying their respects.