Dolmabahce Palace Istanbul

The Muayede which is situated between Harem and Mabeyn-i Humayun, is the highest and the most magnificent section of Dolmabahce Palace as a large square hall of monumental proportions, over 2.000 square meters of area and 36 meters high ceiling and also this hall is distinguished from other part of the Palace with 56 columns.

It is decorated with a 4,5 tons of crystal chandelier which was sent by Queen Victoria and a huge Hereke carpet. Important state and religious ceremonies were held in this Grand Hall which entered primarily from the Bosphorus side where a sea gate has been placed to allow guests to arrive by water. Women weren't allowed in these ceremonies so they watched ceremonies from the windows of a long corridor connecting the Selamlik with the Harem, passing just above the Ceremonial Hall. 

Upper galleries were used by foreign ambassadors who invited to the religious ceremonies but also by the orchestra at special occasions. During the winter period, the Ceremonial hall was heated with the hot air blown from the heating system at the bottom of 56 tall columns (central heating system blowing warm air from the foot of the columns providing comfortable temperature even in coldest days); it took them about 3 days to heat the hall properly before any ceremony. The golden throne used to be brought in to the hall and Sultan received notables and diplomatic corps on this throne during the traditional holy days celebrations. 

The galleries had been allotted to diplomatic staff, female and male guests and to the Palace orchestra.