Beylerbeyi Palace on the Bosphorus Beylerbeyi Palace, summer residence of the sultans, is located at Beylerbeyi neighborhood on the Asian shore of the Bosphorus. It was ordered by the sultan Abdulaziz and built between 1861-1865 by head architects Sarkis Balyan and Agop Balyan, imperial architects of Armenian origins, in French neo-baroque style with a traditional Ottoman house plan. Important foreign guests visiting the Ottoman Empire were accommodated in this palace during the summer months; Prince of Serbia, King Nicholas of Montenegro, Emperor Joseph of Austro-Hungary, Shah Nasireddin of Iran, Prince Oscar of Sweden, and Empress Eugenie of France were some of them. Sultan Abdulhamid II spent the last 6 years of his life and died here in 1918, meanwhile other sultans ruled in the Dolmabahce Palace during winter months and came here only for the summer for a nice climate.
The palace has a rectangular plan with the long side facing the Bosphorus. There are 6 large halls and 24 rooms on two floors raised on a service basement which was originally used as a kitchen and storage. The palace is divided into mens’ section (Selamlik) and womans’ section (Harem) having separate entrances for both. The Selamlik was used for State functions therefore was very ornate, meanwhile the Harem was reserved only to the ladies and with a simple decoration.