Ciragan Palace (Turkish: Çiragan Sarayi), a former Ottoman palace in the past, is a five-star hotel of the Kempinski Hotels chain located on the European shore of Bosporus between Besiktas and Ortaköy in Istanbul, Turkey.
The palace, built by Sultan Abdülâziz, was designed by the palace architect Nigogayos Balyan and constructed by Sarkis and Hagop Balyan between 1863 and 1867. This was a period in which all Ottoman sultans used to build their own palaces rather than using those of their ancestors. Çiragan Palace is the last example of this period. The inner walls and the roof were made of wood, the outer walls of colorful marble. The palace was connected with a beautiful marble bridge to the Yildiz Palace on the hill behind. A very high garden wall protected the palace from the outer world.
The completion and the interior decoration of the palace continued until 1872. After settlement, Sultan Abdülâziz was however not able to live long in his magnificent palace. He was found dead in the palace on May 30, 1876, shortly after he was dethroned. His successor, his nephew Sultan Murad V, moved into Çiragan Palace, but reigned 93 days only. He, deposed also by his brother Abdülhamid II due to declared mental illness, lived here under house arrest until his death on August 29, 1904.
During the Second Constitutional Monarchy, Sultan Mehmet V Resat allowed the parliament to hold their meetings in this building. Only two months after, on January 19, 1910, a great fire destroyed the palace leaving the outer walls only intact. Called "Seref Stadi", the place served for many years as a football stadium for the club Besiktas J.K..
In 1991, the ruined palace was restored, and a modern hotel complex was built next to it in its garden. Today, the building serves as luxury suites for the hotel along with two restaurants that cater to guests.
The restoration of the Palace was considered a travesty by many, who criticised the government for allowing an independent company to restore a Turkish landmark at minimal cost and with absolutely no regard for the historical or architectural history of the building.
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