HISTORIC BEYLERBEYI PALACE TUNNEL REOPENS In order to ease the traffic between Üsküdar, Beylerbeyi and Çengelköy, Üsküdar Municipality will reopen the Beylerbeyi Palace Tunnel, which has been closed to traffic since the 1970s.

It has been estimated that, with the reopening of the tunnel to traffic, the travel time of the coastal route between Üsküdar and Çengelköy will be reduced to 15 minutes, which sometimes could exceed one hour, particularly in the evenings, where the traffic gets heavier.

The 230-meter-long tunnel passes beneath the gardens of Beylerbeyi Palace, which was commissioned by Sultan Abdulaziz, and finished in 1865. Designed by Sarkis Balyan, one of the most important and prolific architects of the 19thcentury Ottoman-era, whose works also include the iconic buildings such as Galatasaray High School, Dolmabahçe Clock Tower and Çırağan Palace; the Beylerbeyi Palace served for a long time as the summer palace of the Ottoman dynasty. Also, Sultan Abdulhamid II, who sat on the throne for 33 years, spent the last part of his exile in Beylerbeyi Palace, from 1912 to his death in 1918.

Commissioned by Sultan Mahmut II, the tunnel was opened in 1832, almost 30 years before the Beylerbeyi Palace. Having connected Üsküdar to Beylerbeyi until the 1970s, the Beylerbeyi Palace Tunnel also connects the main palace section to the palace gardens. Beginning from the 1970s until recently, the tunnel was used as a museum and exhibition hall. During the delicate process of reopening, the authenticity of the tunnel has been preserved.