Yıldız Palace is a vast complex of former imperial Ottoman pavilions and villas in Istanbul, built in the 19th and early 20th centuries. It was used as a residence by the Sultan and his court in the late 19th century.
Yıldız Palace, meaning “Star Palace”, was built in 1880 and was used by the Ottoman Empire Ottoman Sultan Abdülhamid II. The area of the palace was originally made of natural woodlands and became an imperial estate during the reign of Sultan Ahmed I (1603-1617). Various sultans after Ahmed I enjoyed vacationing on these lands and Sultans Abdülmecid I and Abdülaziz built mansions here.
In the late 19th century, Sultan Abdülhamid II left Dolmabahçe Palace because he feared a seaside attack on the palace, which is located at the shore of the Bosporus strait. He expanded the Yıldız Palace and ordered the renowned Italian architect Raimondo D’Aronco to build new buildings to the palace complex. When he moved there, the palace became the fourth seat of Ottoman government (the previous ones were the Old Palace in Edirne, and the Topkapı Palace and Dolmabahçe Palaces in Istanbul.
After the Ottoman Empire ended, the palace was used as a luxury casino before being converted into a guest house for visiting heads of state and royalty. Today it is a museum and its gardens can be used for private receptions, such as the Istanbul Antiques Fair at the Silahhane (Armoury) Hall, which usually takes place in November. The Istanbul office of the OIC is also located within the Yıldız Palace.
In our days, in the museum are organized ceramic or porcelain art exhibitions as Yildiz İbram’s ‘Ottoman Caftans’ ceramic exhibition organized between 1 November-1 December 2013 under the auspices of the 135 years of diplomatic relations between Romania and Turkey, creating a nice ambiance in a unique atmosphere and compatibility regarding the historical past of the palace.
The palace is in the Beşiktaş district of Istanbul. It is no longer open to the public and no longer a museum. It is now used by the president.