The Yıldız Palace is one of the most attractive structures that had been built by the Ottoman Empire. The palace is one of these ”must see” out of the world buildings in Istanbul. Even though on the first built, it was served as a Yıldız Palace Museum. But during the reign of Sultan Selim III, it was expanded by him and he added a new garden with a fountain too. The date that it was made a palace goes to the Abdül-Hamid II, during the 1800th century. The palace was first used by Abdül-Hamid as a guesthouse for important foreigner guests.
The Yıldız was used as the last palace of the Imperial Family until the declaration of the Republic. After the republic founded by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the palace was used as a luxury casino and then turned into a guesthouse again. Nowadays, the palace is being used as a museum and a place for special receptions.
Inside of the palace, you can see many personal items of Sultan Abdül-Hamid II. Besides being a very valuable museum, it is also surrounded by a lush green and built on the Besiktas neighborhood. Inside of the Palace complex, you can see Büyük Mabeyn (State Apartments), Şale Pavilion, Çadır Pavilion, the Yıldız Theater, the Opera House, the Imperial Porcelain Factory and the Malta Pavilion. The Porcelain Factory may sound weird but Sultan Abdül-Hamid II had a special interest for the porcelain. According to some history books, He had enjoyed his last days in Istanbul in this porcelain factory to reduce the stress. Whoever was the Sultan during that time, he was staying in the Şale Pavilion.
Even though the palace is still in a good shape, it is not the original version. Yıldız Palace has been recently restored and painted and the government is planning to open more parts of the palace to the visitors. It is possible to find many limited edition (some of them are unique) pieces of furniture, antique items inside. Even though it is a little bit far from the Dolmabahce Palace, it is possible to get to the Çırağan Palace with a special bridge made for these two.
One of the best places inside of the palace is the Summer Garden. Actually, it was the initial purpose of building the palace but after the Dolmabahçe Palace was evacuated due to the fear that it could be bombed, they had no better choice than moving into the Yıldız Palace.