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New: Palace Collections Museum

Posted on 3 March 2011

Palace Collections Museum at Dolmabahc. Photo: Burak Akbulu, AA

How a kitchen became a museum. That’s the story of the new Palace Collections Museum. It is part of the Dolmabahçe complex but has a different entrance.

The kitchen was part of the baroque Dolmabahçe palace (1856) on the southern shore of the Bosporus. When the Turkish Republic was founded in 1922, all palaces, mansions and properties of the sultans were nationalized. Later they were turned into museums.

Nowadays, just like in the time of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, part of the huge Dolmabahçe complex is used by the Prime Minister when he is in Istanbul. To make the place suitable for modern administration, the buildings at the rear of the complex were reorganized and renovated. One of them is the former kitchen of the palace.

About 70,000 objects from the palaces were never on display because there was no space. Now the former kitchen has been remodelled as a museum. Visitors will be able to see about 40,000 objects; all of them were used in the daily life of the Ottoman sultans and their families. The last six sultans lived in the Dolmabahçe palace. The last of the imperial family to live here was Abdülmecid Efendi, the caliph-artist who was forced into exile in 1924.

Among the items on display in the new museum are children’s dresses, prayer rugs, writing tools, crystals, gold plated dinner sets, stoves, vases, embroidered tablecloths, moving picture cameras, iceboxes, drawing boards, and much more.

Open: daily 9 – 5

Except: Mondays and Thursdays

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