• 1836: Palace built by Sultan Abdülâziz with help of the architect Nigogayos Balyan. The inside was made in wood, the outside in colorfull marble.
• 1869 December 4: Emperess Eugenie of France (wife of Napoleon III) is visiting the Ciragan Palace. She was on her way from Egypt where she had just inaugurated the Suez Canal.
• 1872: Construction and decoration completed.
• 1877: The sucessor of the sultan, Sultan Murad V moved in.
• 1909: The Turkish parliament is allowed to hold meetings at the palace.
• 1910: The palace is destroyed by a big fire, only the outer walls remain.
• 1946: The Parliament gives the palace to the municipality of Istanbul. the ruined palace is used a a football stadium.
• 1989: Aquisition of the Ciragan Palace by a Japaneese investment consortium.
• 1999: Conversion into a Palace Hotel under the prestigeous Kempinski lable.
• 2007: New renovation of the Ciragan Palace.
• 2013: The Ciragan Palace receives the 5 Star Diamond Award.
Ownership and Management
• Ownership: Abu Dhabi Investment Authorithy (ADIA).
• Management: Kempinski.
History of the Kempinski Hotel Chain
Kempinski is Europe’s oldest Luxury Hotel Chain and has a fascinating history.
The company has brought back to life many iconic Grand Hotels with a legendary past.
Kempinski was founded in Berlin by Berthold Kempinski.
• 1872: Mr Kempinski started with a wine bar to which was soon added different restaurants. Berthold Kempinski’s son-in-law Richard Unger continued the business.
• 1897: Foundation of Berlin Hotel Betriebs AG.
• 1918: A Kempinski hotel dependency was established at Kurfürstendamm 27. Over the years the Kempinski family owned an impressive portfolio of Berlin restaurant and hotel properties.
• 1937: The Nazis stole all properties from the Jewish Kempinski family. The Kempinskies were either killed or they emigrated to the US. After the war Kempinski’s grandson Friedrich Unger Kempinski returned to Germany and rebuilt Hotel Bristol on Kurfürstendamm 27.
• 1953: Friedrich Unger sold the Hotel Bristol and the Kempinski name to Hotel Betriebs AG, an Aktiengesellschaft which started the International Hotel Business from West Berlin with the Bristol.
• 1957: Hotel Atlantic in Hamburg is aquired by Kempinski and becomes the second Kempinski Hotel.
• 1970: Kempinski buys parts of Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten in Munich (more shares are bought later) from the Walterspiel hotelier family. The Vierjahreszeiten becomes the third Kempinski Hotel.
• 1983: Lufthansa buys parts of Kempinski from Dresdner Bank and Commerzbank.
• 1992: Opening of Hotel Baltschug in Moscow.
• 1992: Lufthansa and others sold their shares to the King of Thailand via his Crown Property Bureau. Over the years the initially very German hotel company became more and more International, with the HQ moving to Geneva and hotels opening in multiple countries.
• 1995: Opening of the renovated and reconstructed Taschenberg Palais in Dresden.
• 1997: August 27, Opening of the reconstructed Hotel Adlon in Berlin.
• 1999: Opening of the renovated Ciragan Palace in Istanbul and the renovated Grand Hotel Falkenstein near Frankfurt.
• 2002: Opening of the renovated Grand Hotel des Bains in St Moritz.
Article by « Grand Hotels of the World & VB.com », written from « Cremerie de Paris ».