Yildiz, one of the last residences of the Ottoman sultans, was completed by Abdulhamit II at the end of the 19th century in a large and well protected park which is scattered in an area of 500,000 square meters (123,5 acres) of grounds with several palaces and pavilions. The sultan used the palace as his official palace and harem.
The Şale (Chalet) is the largest and the most exquisite of the buildings existing in the complex, revealing the luxury in which the sultans lived. It is formed by two separate buildings; first one was built in 1889, and the second one is known as Merasim Kosku (ceremonial kiosk) which was built in 1898 by Italian architect Raimondo D'Aronco. The building has two main floors and a basement, and is built of both wood and stone. The main floors are connected by three elegant staircases; one of marble and the other two of wood. There is a 406 square meters (4370 square feet) of a single Hereke carpet which was custom made for the Ceremonial Hall. The Chalet rappresents a mixture of Rococo, Baroque, and Islamic styles.
The Yildiz palace is known as the fourth Ottoman palace built in Istanbul after the Conquest. Set in a very large park of flowers, tulips, plants and trees gathered from every part of the world, containing a pool and green houses, the palace grounds offer one of the most beautiful panoramic views of the Bosphorus. There are also a couple of small mosques in its grounds.
There is also Yildiz Porcelain Factory established in the grounds of Yildiz Palace in 1894. It was built to make traditional Turkish porcelains and protect them against porcelain industries of Europe. Today, it's a museum-factory which produces both modern design items and reproductions of the Ottoman period.
Note: Yildiz Palace is currently closed to visitors!
Please note that admission fees, opening times or days of closure of the museums might be changed without prior notice, or that museum or section might be closed for restorations. To be certain on the closure days or opening times, you can call the museum directly (country code for Turkey is +90) or contact me to double check. Most of the museums have longer opening hours during summer months.