Built in 1856, the Çırağan palace, which differs from a number of older palaces, is one of the last buildings of the Ottoman period. It was designed by Nigoğos Balyan and built by Sarkis and Agop Balyan. The construction of the 80.000 square meters Çırağan palace took 4 years in total. The garden of the palace was severely damaged by fire in 1910. It was also decided to cut down the trees and transform the area into a Şeref stadium (Stadium of Honour). In 1980 the entire palace was restored and converted into a hotel. The palace consists of three sections – the main building, apartments and a harem. It is one of the masterpieces of the Balyan family of architects and still one of the most beautiful architectural pieces on the Bosphorus.