If you cross the Bosporus Bridge to the Anatolian side of Istanbul, the Beylerbeyi Palace is one of the most striking buildings you will see. The palace was commissioned by Sultan Abdül Aziz (r 1861–76), and completed in 1865 by Sarkis Balyan, brother of Nikoğos Balyan (architect of Dolmabahçe Palace). The architecture of this summer palace in Ottoman style is a mixture of traditional Turkish residential architecture and classical baroque. The main building of the Beylerbeyi Palace with its gardens and pools was used both as a summer palace and as a host to important foreign and Ottoman dignitaries during the Ottoman Empire and the first years of the Republic of Turkey. If you wander around, you will really get a feeling for Sultan Abdül Aziz’s passion for the sea. Frescoes with rough sea and candles with maritime theme show how much he loved the open water. There are also rooms with Japanese and Chinese art.