Ihlamur Pavilion (Ihlamur Kasrı) or the well-known Linden Palace is a summer palace and one of the most cherished palaces of Ottoman. It was named after the linden trees that adorn the ornamental gardens it’s located in. This smaller depiction of Dolmabahçe Palace is located in the Ihlamur Valley, situated between Beşiktaş, Yıldız and Nişantaşı.
The history of Ihlamur Kasrı dates back to 18th century, era when Ihlamur valley was called as “Hacı Hüseyin Bağları (vineyard)” after its owner, one of the superintendents of the navy yard, Hacı Hüseyin Ağa. Later, in the period of Sultan Ahmed III, the area became Has Bahçe, a court garden but it started being used for this purpose during the reigns of Sultan Ahdülhamid I (1774-1789) and Selim III (1789-1807). Despite the transformation of the area into a court garden it continued to be known by the same name of Hacı Hüseyin Bağları until the second half of the nineteenth century.
During the reign of Sultan Abdülmecid I the imperial palace of Ihlamur was constructed, 1849 and 1855, designed by one of the most renowned architects Nikogos Balyan. Built along the lines of Dolmabahçe you will find this palace containing two mansions, “Merasim Köşkü” (Ceremonial kiosk) and “Maiyet Köşkü” and together, the mansions are known as “Nüzhetiye” or “Ihlamur Pavilions”. Currently, the pavilions are under the support of Turkish Department of National Palaces and are open to public as a museum. Visiting the museum is quite an escape from the city where one can discover the actual spirit of 19th century palaces.
Ihlamur Kasrı beautifully portrays the work of Ottoman baroque. The mansions are not only enclosed by high surrounding walls but also by cast fences at some places. Merasim Köşk, bears a remarkable architect with a spiral baroque staircase framing its entrance while the rich décor surrounds the façade. The interior of the kiosk reflects the typical 19th century Turkish culture, ornamented in European styles which reflect the taste of the period; greatly westernized but eclectic. Maiyet Kiosk is much plainer and a little smaller than the other mansion since it was used by Sultan’s entourage and his harem. The walls are adorned with stucco in various colors, giving the impression of marbled walls. There is a big pool featuring the baroque style and ornamented with sculptures of lions. Maiyet kiosk has a café and small garden where private gathering can be arranged.
Moreover, children can join in for the courses of painting, drama and sculpture that are held in one of the buildings in the area. People can enjoy the view of delightful duck pond and freely roaming peacocks in the park that boasts various kinds of foreign and native trees, giving the visitors a peaceful sight of the nature.