15-03-2023 - Places

A Piece of Heaven at the Heart of the City: Ihlamur Pavilion

Istanbul has an amazingly rich history. There are many historical and natural wonders all around Istanbul, and Ihlamur Pavilion (Ihlamur Kasri) is one of them! Ihlamur means linden in Turkish. This is a place with a beautiful garden full of linden trees and it smells great, especially in Spring. So if you are in Istanbul in Spring, Ihlamur Kasri is a must-see and must-enjoy place. In this article, we are looking at closely this beautiful mansion, but before that let us share a great way to save time and money in your Istanbul journey.

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History of the Ihlamur Valley

Between the hills of Beşiktaş, Yildiz, and Nişantaşi, there was the Ihlamur Valley with all its beauty. According to historical sources, it was a popular destination for country outings from the 18th century until the early 20th century. The valley's Fulya stream was shaded by plane and linden trees.


Haci Hüseyin Agha, the imperial dockyard's administrator during Sultan Ahmed III's reign, owned the lower portion of the valley, which now contains the Ihlamur Pavilions. Subsequently, it came into state ownership and was designed as an imperial garden. Sultan Selim III and Sultan Mahmud II participated in shooting competitions with other archers close to the Yildiz area, according to some archery stones honoring distance shooting records in the upper portion of the valley. The distances, locations, and dates of the sultans' shoots at targets made up of water jugs are written on these stones. The third section of the valley was planted and terraced to create the "Conversation Garden" during Sultan Abdülmecid's rule.

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Ihlamur Pavilion and Nüzhetiye

Sultan Abdülmecid authorized Karabet Balyan, one of the most renowned architects of the time and the palace foreman, to construct the first buildings which later become Ihlamur Pavillions. German gardeners employed at the Dolmabahçe Palace completed the landscaping during the construction phase, which lasted from 1849 to 1855.


The name "Nüzhetiye," which means "freshness, gladness, and happiness," was thought by Sultan Abdülmecid to be appropriate for the area where the Ihlamur Pavilions are situated. Sultan Abdülmecid's official works and ceremonies take place at the Ceremony Pavilion, which is one of two buildings that make up the Ihlamur Pavilions. The Retinue Pavilion is used by Sultan's entourage and harem on occasion.

The Ceremony Pavilion is visually arresting and elaborate. The two-armed staircase in front of the house, the mansion's façade, the furnishings, and the decorations in the rooms on each side of the entrance hall all exhibit elements of baroque architecture. Today, it is possible to see the Ceremony Pavilion as a museum. It is bordered by cut stone and ornamented primarily with marble. Today as we mention these two buildings we only say Ihlamur Pavilion like it is only one building, so don’t be confused, we talk about the complex itself.


The French poet Lamartine stayed at Ihlamur Pavilions in 1846 as a guest of the Sultan. In his memoirs, he described Ihlamur and its environs as follows: “The building faces a garden with beautiful chestnut trees and big linden trees from which the valley took its name. In front of the three-stepped stairs of the pavilion, there is a small fountain shorter than the branches of jasmine whose water falls into the marble pool with a sweet gurgle. Ihlamur is Sultan’s favorite pavilion, where he rests and meditates.”

The imperial garden served as the site of numerous shows and wrestling events during Sultan Abdülaziz's rule. Subsequent sultans and their families continued to frequent this location.

Ihlamur Pavillion in the Republican Era

After the Turkish Republic was established in 1923, the Pavillion became state property and opened to the public. The Tanzimat (Reorganization) Museum was housed in the Ihlamur Pavilions, which the Turkish Grand National Assembly gave to the Istanbul Municipality in 1951.

After being given to National Palaces in 1966, the Ihlamur Pavilions underwent landscape work before being opened to the public as a museum in 1985 with its original furnishings. The buildings, which were opened to visitors as a museum palace in 1985, reached their present appearance when the restoration works were completed in 1987. Today it is right in the Besiktas and opens for visitors every day of the week except Mondays. It has a nice cafe inside, a beautiful pond and a great garden.

Buildings of Ihlamur Pavillion

There are two main buildings in Ihlamur Pavilion: Retaine and Ceremonial Pavilions. The Sultan's family and entourage were housed in the Retaine Pavilion, while the Ceremonial Pavilion served as his office and as a venue for banquets. The pavilions were mostly utilized by the sultans for day getaways and to host visiting dignitaries.


The Ceremony Pavilion is visually arresting and elaborate. The two-armed staircase in front of the house, the mansion's façade, the furnishings, and the decorations in the rooms on each side of the entrance hall all exhibit elements of baroque architecture. Today, it is possible to see the Ceremony Pavilion as a museum. It is bordered by cut stone and ornamented primarily with marble.

With its entry hall and two chambers on either side of the hall, the baroque-styled staircase at the façade, and its magnificent relief decoration, the Ceremonial Pavilion is a stunning piece of architecture. The pavilion's interior is decorated in a Western style, which was favored in Ottoman palaces throughout the 19th century. European furniture and decor in a variety of styles go well with the decoration.

On the other side, the Retinue Pavilion has a classic architecture with a space that resembles a hall and rooms at the corners. Its walls were covered in a variety of colors of stucco work that mimicked marble. The two-armed staircase in the Retinue Pavilion is comparable to the one in the Ceremony Pavilion, but it was created in a more straightforward and conventional manner. Four identically sized rooms circle the upstairs hall. These rooms' walls are covered in stucco of various colors. The Retinue Pavilion's garden now serves as a place to relax.


Visiting Ihlamur Pavilion

Ihlamur Pavilion is located in central Besiktas. You can reach the Pavilion after a 15-minute nice walk from Besiktas Ferry Station through the colorful and vibrant streets of Besiktas. Ihlamur Pavilion is open every day except Mondays from 9 AM to 6 PM. ıt is a great place to take a break from city life and enjoy a cup of Turkish coffee in its amazing garden.

FAQ

What is the story of the Ihlamur Pavilion?

Ihlamur was Sultan's favorite mansion; Here he rests and contemplates.” Instead of this modest vineyard mansion before here, Sultan Abdülmecid had two pavilions built between 1849 and 1855 and named the neighborhood "Nüzhetiye", which means "freshness, freshness, and joy".

Why was the Ihlamur Pavilion built?

The area where once the vineyards were located was preserved as the sultan's garden and a wooden pavilion was built there for the sultans to relax. It was a place to rest in nature for a long time for sultans and their guests.

Who lived in the Ihlamur Pavilion?

Ihlamur Pavilion was not a residential palace for sultans but instead a place to relax and host valued guests.

In which district is Ihlamur Pavilion?

Ihlamur Pavilion is in Besiktas.

How much is the Ihlamur Pavilion?

By 2023, the entrance is 60 TL to Ihlamur Pavilion. You can see the museum and enjoy the cafe inside.

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