Before the Ciragan Palace was constructed, there had previously stood a wooden sea-side mansion built by Selim III during the early 1800s. By demolishing this mansion, the famous Ciragan Palace was built on the order of Sultan Abdülaziz by Sarkis Balyan in its place. The Beşiktaş Mevlevi House was also demolished for the construction of Ciragan Palace. The palace is made of marble and spans an area of more than 80,000 square meters.
Besides the main building of the palace, there are three partitions in total, including the harem and the sections for ağas [similar to seigneur]. Abdülaziz and his family were imprisoned in this palace after being dethrowned and were mysteriously found dead one morning. Furthermore, Sultan Murat V was also held in custody for 29 years with his family after he was dethroned. Having being used as the Assembly Hall after the Declaration of Second Mesrutiyet [Constitutional Monarchy] in 1908, the Palace was burnt down in a fire due to the ignition of an electric circuit in January of 1910. After its incineration, the empty field between the walls of Ciragan Palace was allocated to Beşiktaş Sports Club and was used as an honorary stadium for Beşiktaş. Towards the 1990s, the palace went through heavy restoration and is currently used as a luxury hotel.
Translated by Mr. Irfan KOKSAL