Yıldız Şale Köşkü ("Star
Chalet Kiosk") is a 60-room Ottoman
imperial palace of wood and stone built
at the top of a hill in Yıldız
Parkı overlooking the Bosphorus in the Beşiktaş district of Istanbul (map).
It is the residential part of a larger
palace complex that included administrative
offices and guards' barracks.
Begun on orders of Sultan
Abdul Hamid II in 1880, it reached its final form
in 1898 after several expansions.
Wilhelm II's Ceremonial Room, a
vast space with the largest silk
Hereke carpet in existence.
It was intended as a residence for
visiting royalty and heads of state,
and that it was, hosting Kaiser
Wilhelm II, its first and
principal intended guest, on several
occasions, and thereafter such luminaries
Charles de Gaulle, Iran's
Reza Shah Palavi, and even US President
Abdul Hamid himself, fearful of assassination
attempts, took up residence here later
in his reign and reigned over the vast
but crumbling Ottoman Empire from the
safety within its high walls and remote
Yıldız Palace - Chalet
Milli Saraylar Daire Başkanlığı,
(212) 236 90 00
Fax: +90 (212) 227 66
—by Tom Brosnahan