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15.5.2018

DOLMABAHCE CLOCK TOWER

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There is no doubt that neighboring Turkey is a beautiful country dotted with numerous historical, cultural and architectural landmarks. The places worth visiting are countless, but amongst the mandatory stops in your program should be Istanbul, where is the palace complex Dolmabahce - a symbol of the former power of the Ottoman Empire.

The Dolmabahce palace clock tower is one of the most unique sights of Istanbul. Located in the modern Turkish quarter of Besiktas, the tower was erected at the end of the 19th century during the reign of Sultan Abdul-Hamid II.

The construction continues for 5 years (1890-1895), and the idea of building the emblematic facility comes from Turkish architect of Armenian origin, Sarkis Balayan, who was the favorite court architect of Sultan Abdul-Hamid II.

An interesting historical detail is that initially the construction of the tower at the sultan's will provoked a sharp reaction among the public. The clock on the tower beats every hour with the power of a church bell, and that was disturbing the citizens. Soon, however, the splendor of the tower sprang out stories throughout the empire that managed to turn public opinion.

The magnificent façade of the Dolmabahce clock tower is a striking example of the neo-Baroque architectural style. This is the reason the tower is so different from the rest of the city built in a typical Ottoman architectural style.

It is rectangular and consists of 4 floors with a total height of 27 meters. A stairway of 94 stairs leads to the top. Each of the Dolmabahce's floors is different in size, decoration and architecture.

The tower is decorated with exquisite columns, balustrades (parapets) and numerous relief details and compositions. Throughout its perimeter the facility is dotted with curved and rectangular windows, over which the eye enjoys gracefully shaped pediments. Among the most remarkable features of the facility are the calligraphic signs of Sultan Abdul-Hamid II depicted on both sides of the tower.

Dolmabahce tower clock is made in France and set by master craftsman Johan Meyer. A curious fact is that Meyer is actually one of the first watchmen to work for the world-famous brand Paul Garnier.

In 1979 the tower was rebuilt and during this process some of the details of the clock were replaced by electronic ones.

Nowadays the Dolmabahce Clock Tower is one of Turkey's most popular architectural monuments and annually draws the attention of thousands of tourists in Istanbul.

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