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Yildiz Chalet in Yildiz Park Istanbul

Yildiz Chalet in Yildiz Park Istanbul
This elegant two-storey chalet was built in three different stages, with the oldest part designed as an official guesthouse dating back to the 1870s and was completely separated from the complex by a high wall. In 1889 Sarkis Balyan expanded it for a state visit by Kaiser Wilhelm II, the first ever such visit to be hosted by a sultan.  

The third section was added in 1898 when the Kaiser returned to the city, which was the design of Raimondo d’Aronco. Many other famous and important people stayed here including Sir Winston Churchill, the British prime minister, the French president Charles de Gaulle and Nicolae Ceaucescu the Romanian dictator.  

The chalet has a total of 60 rooms and the most impressive is the Ceremonial Hall which houses the largest Hereke carpet ever woven and placed in its 30 x 15 metre space. 60 carpet weavers worked the single piece of floor covering that spreads out over 400 square metres.

The hall was used as a grand casino at the start of the Republic and in 1999 the then U.S. president Bill Clinton was a guest of honour at a party held here.

The very elegant Banqueting Hall (also known as the Mother-of-Pearl Room or Sedefli Salon) is even more ornately decorated and has Moorish ceilings and doors inlaid with mother-of-pearl that were taken from Ciragan Palace .

Abdulhamid ended up living in the Chalet guesthouse rather than the State Apartments, as did Mehmed VI, the final Ottoman ruler, who secretly escaped to Malta with his family in 1922, and was buried in Syria after his death.

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