A Palace Named After the Linden Trees
The Ihlamur Pavilion, also known as the Linden Palace, is a beloved summer palace that was once cherished by the Ottoman Empire. It gets its name from the linden trees that decorate its ornamental gardens. This smaller version of the Dolmabahçe Palace is located in the Ihlamur Valley, nestled between Beşiktaş, Yıldız, and Nişantaşı.
A Historical Gem from the 18th Century
The history of the Ihlamur Pavilion dates back to the 18th century when the Ihlamur Valley was called “Hacı Hüseyin Bağları” after its owner, Hacı Hüseyin Ağa, who was one of the superintendents of the navy yard. During the reigns of Sultan Ahdülhamid I and Selim III, the area transformed into a court garden known as Has Bahçe. However, it continued to be called Hacı Hüseyin Bağları until the late 19th century.
The Construction of the Imperial Palace
During the reign of Sultan Abdülmecid I, the imperial palace of Ihlamur was built between 1849 and 1855. It was designed by the renowned architect Nikogos Balyan. The palace consists of two mansions, the “Merasim Köşkü” (Ceremonial Kiosk) and the “Maiyet Köşkü,” which together are known as the “Nüzhetiye” or “Ihlamur Pavilions.” Today, these pavilions are managed by the Turkish Department of National Palaces and are open to the public as a museum.
A Glimpse into Ottoman Baroque
The Ihlamur Pavilion beautifully showcases the Ottoman Baroque style. The mansions are surrounded by high walls and cast iron fences in some areas. The Merasim Köşkü features a stunning spiral baroque staircase at its entrance, while the façade is adorned with rich decorations. Inside the kiosk, you’ll find a blend of 19th-century Turkish and European styles, reflecting the period’s taste for Western influences. The Maiyet Köşkü, used by the Sultan’s entourage and harem, is slightly smaller and simpler. Its walls are adorned with colorful stucco, resembling marbled walls. The baroque-style pool, adorned with lion sculptures, adds to the grandeur. The Maiyet Köşkü also has a café and a small garden for private gatherings.
A Place for Art and Nature
In addition to its historical significance, the Ihlamur Pavilion offers various activities for children, such as painting, drama, and sculpture courses held in one of the buildings on the premises. Visitors can also enjoy the serene view of the duck pond and spot freely roaming peacocks in the park. The park is home to a variety of foreign and native trees, providing a peaceful and natural setting for all.