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Since Byzantine times, Beylerbeyi and its vicinity has been a settled area. Today’s Beylerbeyi Palace was built in the time of Sultan Abdulaziz during the years 1861-1865. The palace was mostly used in the summer months. Sultan Abdulaziz lived his last six years and died in this palace in 1918.

Beylerbeyi is a special site on the Asian side of the Bosphorus and is distinctive among Ottoman palaces of its time for its garden, “the Terrace Garden”. The most interesting feature of Beylerbeyi Palace, built in a time of strengthening ties with the West, is the historic tunnel system under the Terrace Garden dating from the reign of Mahmud II. Perhaps the most important thing you should know about the palace, which is decorated with a mixture of East, West and Turkish motifs, is the fact that in its construction orchestras played music non-stop for four years to encourage the people working on the building.

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