The palace that you see here is the second one. The current one is from the time of the huge palace building boom that created Dolmabahce and several other palaces along the Bosphorus and helped to bankrupt the Ottoman Empire. This palace was designed by Sarkis Baylan. This was the last home of Sultan Abdulhamid ll after 1912. The grounds are now much reduced from what they were at the time that this was an imperial palace but you can get an idea if you look down on the palace from the bridge above.
The palace has 26 rooms and was intended as a guest house for foreign dignitaries, visiting on official stays. The grounds are beautifully landscaped and quite a few of the original statuary are there. The bathing pavillions are reminiscent of the style of Brighton Pavillion in England although this is probably coincidental.
The rooms mostly have original furnishings and have faded and give a somewhat faded picture of life. The bathroom has the original fittings and was one of the first with running water and supplies of hot water (the Byzantines probably had running hot and cold water but that engineering was not passed on to the Ottomans, who had to wait until the 19th century to implement it).
You are confined to a tour group for the interior but this is leisurely and informative. Time your visit well and it won't be crowded which means that your tour will be more personal and less hurried.
We had a nice Turkish breakfast in the restaurant in the grounds as well and it was not expensive and this gave another perspective to our visit here.
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