Dolmabahçe Palace was completed and opened in 1856, at the time of Sultan Abdulmecid. The Palace has a total area of 110,000 sqm and includes two main sections as Official Section (Selamlık) and Private or Family Section (Harem). Although in all, it is a fine example of 19. Century European eclectique style, combining Baroc, Rococo and Art Nouveau styles, functionally it is a very big example of Turkish House, resembling the traditional Ottoman Palace structure. There are 285 rooms, 44 halls, many of them functioning as sofa.
Right after the Medhal Salon, which is a protocol entrance hall to the Palace, you see the magnificent Crystal Staircase which is full of British Crystals including a fine example of British Chandeliers.
At the upper floor, the Envoys Hall, where visiting ambassadors were hosted and the Red Chamber where the Sultan received the, have been decorated and furnished in a style reflecting the historical splendor of the Empire. The Great Ceremonial (Muayede) Hall situated between the Selamlık and Harem sections is the highest and the most imposing part of the Palace. With an area of 2000 sqm, 56 columns, a dome of 36 m high, and a 4.5 ton British chandelier, this magnificent hall stands out from rest of the palace with its splendor.
The gateway gallery from Selamlık to Harem is being devoted to palace pictures. Two halls are devoted to an exhibition of valuable objects of various kinds and fine examples of historical Yıldız Porcelain Factory.
Abdülmecid Efendi Library in the Mabeyn is the other principal exhibition area at the palace. The Selamlık and Harem sections are open to public with separate guided tours. Apart from the palace building, you can visit the Clock Museum and Crystal Pavilion which are situated in the Harem gardens.
Dolmabahçe Palace is a Palace – Museum and not available for private receptions. Only high level official receptios or cocktails are held at the main palace garden or at the Medhal Hall.