Istanbul Travel Guide

The Sultan Rowing Boats

  • it is not allowed to make faster boats than the barges because of the security reasons

  • The barge approaching to Dolmabahce Palace for the preparation of ceremony.

  • Sultan Rowing Boats

The Sultan rowing boats were used by the Sultan, and were used for special occasions such as the greeting rituals on Friday, daily trips, sword shows, hunting, Ramadan parties, visits by the harem women etc., and thus had an important function.

An Example of Glory and Magnificence
The Sultan rowing boats are the example of outstanding of ship builder art. Glory and magnificence were expressed with most simple wording. Boats with kiosk was built 10 meter height. There was a private kiosk for emperor backside of boat. Fore was convoluted and long. Ornamentation of back and fore side was made with gilded carving. There were wooden or argentine eagles and waterfowls figures on the fore and lighthouses are silver for these boats. Pennants were drew on the corner of kiosk. These boats were double sails. Boat kiosks reached jazzy beauty in the later 16th century and 17th century. Pearl and precious stones were used on kiosks.

The boats were symbolized the power of the Empire
The boats were decorated in such a way that they symbolized the power of the Empire.The boats tended to be 30-32 meters long, and 2.5 to 3 meters high. The most beautiful part of the boat was the little watchtower, which represented the sultanate. On the front side of the boat there were eagles and sea birds made of wood and silver. In the watchtowers, which had the shape of a small castle, a throne or sofa could be found, which was intented for the sultan.