The Dolmabahce Palace was built between the years 1843 and 1856, ordered by the Empire’s 31st Sultan, Abdulmecid I, at a cost of five million Ottoman gold pounds, the equivalent of 35 tonnes of gold. Haci Seid Aga was responsible for the construction works, while the project was relaised by architects Garabet Balyan, his son Nigogavos Balyan and Evanis Kalfa.
The Dolmabahce Palace was home to six sultans from 1856, when it was first inhabited, up until the abolition of the Caliphate in 1924: the last loyal to live here was caliph Abdulmecid Efendi. A law that went into effect in 1924 transferred the ownership of the palace to the national heritage of the new Turkish Republic of Turkey. Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder and first president of the Republic of Turkey, used the palace as a presidential residence during the summers and enacted some of his most important works here. Ataturk spent the last days of his medical treatment in this palace, where he died on November 10, 1938.