He best sites along the Bosphorus and the Golden Horn had been reserved for the palaces and mansions of the sultans or important personalities. Most of these, however, have disappeared in time. One of these, the large Çıragan Palace, burned down in 1910.
The palace, replacing an earlier wooden palace, had been built in 1871 for Sultan Abdülaziz by court architect Serkis Balyan. The construction took four years and cost four million gold pieces.
The ceilings and the interior partitions were made of wood, the walls were covered by marble. The columns were superior examples of stonemasonry. The palace was lavishly decorated with rare carpets, gilded pieces and furniture inlaid with mother-of-pearl.
Like other palaces on the shores of the Bosphorus, the Çıragan had been the venue of various important meetings. Its facades were decorated with colored marbles, it had monumental gates, and it was connected to the Yildiz Palace on the slopes behind it with a bridge.
On the landside it was surrounded by high walls.