The Ihlamur Pavilion is located at the intersection of Nüzhetiye Street between Ihlamur and Tesvikiye and has an area of about 25,000 square meters. It is mentioned in some sources that in the middle of the 18th century, there had previously been a kiosk on the site that that belonged to Hüseyin Efendi. In other sources, it is mentioned that there was an imperial garden (Has Bahçe) where linden trees grew at the beginning of the 18th century. However, all the existing buildings were demolished and the present buildings were constructed by the Armenian-Turkish architect, Nikogos Balyan, between 1849-1855.
The Ihlamur Pavilion consists of two kiosks: the Maiyet and Merasim Kiosk. The Merasim Kiosk was reserved for the sultan’s personal use. The Maiyet Kiosk, the simpler of the two, was used by the sultan’s entourage and family members, and it currently serves as a beautiful cafeteria. The Merasim Kiosk has been garnished with Baroque style carvings. The ceiling of the kiosk is covered with landscape pictures. The porcelain ornaments decorating the fireplace are products of Yıdız Oven. The kiosk is decorated with crystal chandeliers, European-style furniture, Hereke carpets, and decorated vases.
Sultan Abdülaziz (1830-1876) organized cock and ram fights as well as the wrestling competitions in which he personally participated in the garden of the Maiyet Kiosk. Sultan Abdülmecid I (1823-1861) welcomed Lamartine, a famous French writer, poet, and politician, in this kiosk. Sultan Mehmet Resat V accepted the king of Bulgaria and Serbia here.
The pavilion was not used for a long time after the foundation of the Republic. The Merasim Kiosk was converted into “the Museum of Tanzimat,” and the Maiyet Kiosk into “the Historical Kiosks Museum.” Both Kiosks were completely restored during the 1980s. The pavilion was opened to visitors along with its garden in 1987.
Translated by Mr. Irfan KOKSAL