Saturday, June 24, 2017


Hasköy, Beyoğlu - Istanbul - Turkey

GPS : 41°02'17.0"N 28°57'19.1"E / 41.038051, 28.955318

Aynalikavak Pavilion And Music Museum photo aynalikavak_pavilion146.jpg


The Aynalıkavak Pavilion is located in the Hasköy neighborhood in Kasımpaşa, Istanbul. It is not exactly known as to when it was built, but Evliya Çelebi, the famous 17th century Ottoman traveler and writer, states that it was built during the period of Sultan Mehmed II. Another source says that the pavilion was been built by Admiral Halil Paşa in 1613.

After the Turkish conquest of Istanbul this attractive stretch of countryside stretching inland from the shores of the Golden Horn became an imperial park known as the Tersane Hasbahçe after the naval arsenal at nearby Kasımpaşa. The earliest known building here dates from the reign of Sultan Ahmed I (1603-1617), and his successors added new country lodges over the centuries, until the entire complex became so large that it was referred to as Tersane or Aynalıkavak Palace.


The building, which has been decorating the coast of the Golden Horn since 17th century and which is today known as Aynalikavak Pavilion, is the only remaining sample from the group of buildings known as “Aynalıkavak Palace” or “Tersane Palace” during the Ottoman Period. The historical references reveals that the territory was also a resting place belonging to emperors during the Byzantine period.

This big coppice, which attracted the interests of Ottoman sultans after the conquest of İstanbul by Fatih Sultan Mehmed (1444-1481), was started to be named as “Tersane Hasbahçe” owing to the Ottoman Shipyard constructed at the territory. The earliest buildings on the territory date back to the reign of Fatih Sultan Mehmed and the first pavilion, which is certainly known to be constructed, dates to the reign of Sultan Ahmed I (1603-1617). This group of buildings, which has developed with the pavilions constructed by sultans in the course of historical process and which was also called as “Tersane Palace”; has been named as “Aynalıkavak Palace” beginning from the 17th century.

Aynalıkavak Pavilion, which takes place within the body of palace and which is estimated to be constructed during the reign of Sultan Ahmed III (1703-1730) underwent an extensive restoration process during the reign of Sultan Selim III (1789-1807) and was rearranged and gained its today’s appearance. Aynalıkavak Pavilion, the only remaining building from the earlier periods among the National Palaces which mainly consist of palaces, kiosks and pavilions of 19th century is extremely privileged with its traditional architecture and decoration features.

Aynalıkavak Pavilion is one of these buildings, thought to date originally from the reign of Sultan Ahmed III (1703-1730), although extensive alterations under Sultan Selim III (1789-1807) transformed its appearance radically. The principal rooms are a reception room known as the Divanhane and the smaller Music Room. Bands of exquisite calligraphic decoration around the windows of these two rooms consist of verses by two famous poets, Şeyh Galib and Enderuni Fazıl, in praise of the pavilion and Sultan Selim III. These italic inscriptions were designed by the calligrapher Yesari.


The name, Aynalıkavak Pavilion, comes from the mirrors which were a gift to Sultan Ahmed III after the Treaty of Passarowitz was signed and during which the Republic of Venice was left the Mora Peninsula to the Turks. The pavillion was built on a slope and its garden was decorated with different kinds of trees. One enters the pavillon through the porch and then passes into a wide hall. There are couches covered with silk located at the three corners of the wide hall, and a poem written by Sultan Selim III in gold print is located on the blue painted wall.

On a frieze around the top of the windows of Divanhane and of Composition Room, the verses of the famous poets of the term, Şeyh Galib and Enderûni Fâzıl, praising the Pavilion and Sultan Selim III, were inscribed by the calligrapher Mehmed Esad El Yesari in talik script. The pavilion which is one of the last and outstanding buildings of classical Ottoman Structure with its two storey body, facing the sea and one storey body facing the land, also reflects the taste of its age in terms of decoration and it incorporates many elements of the culture of the period of the composer Sultan Selim III.

In terms of its architecture and decoration Aynalıkavak Pavilion is a rare and outstanding example of classical Ottoman architecture. This small building is only one storey, with a basement under the section facing the sea. The pavilion is of additional interest because of its strong associations with Sultan Selim III, a respected composer. The traditional fitted seats or sedir along the walls and settees resembling sedir, braziers, lamps and other contemporary furnishings reflect a way of life which has disappeared entirely today.

The land façade sits on two floors and the sea-side façade on three. The pavilion has a divan room and an audience hall (Arz Odası) decorated with several works of calligraphy, nice windows, and mirrors. Its ceiling is covered by a dome. As characteristics of the period, Its top windows covered with revzens, its roofs with large eaves, fitted sedirs within the interior decoration, braziers which were the traditional way of heating, all demonstrate appearances of a past lifestyle which has disappeared today.

In the beginning of the 19th century, the Aynalıkavak Pavilion was called the Has Bahçe. During the rule of Sultan Mahmut II it was restored by the architect Kirkor Balyan. It took its present shape during the Reign of Sultan Selim III. During the Tulip Era, (or Lâle Devri in Turkish), the pavilion hosted many entertainment venues. In addition, it hosted the Aynalıkavak Agreement signed by Sultan Abdülhamid I on January 9, 1784 between the Ottoman Empire and Russia.


The ground floor of Aynalılavak Pavilion, which was opened to visit on November 5th, 2010 upon completion of restoration and furnishing works, was refurnished as a museum in which historical Turkish musical instruments are exhibited in accordance with the artistic and musical personality of Sultan Selim III.

The late Gevheri Osmanoğlu who was one of the grand-chidren of Sultan Abdülhamid II (1876-1909) and his hairs, in 1984 donated their collections containg saz (musical instrument), musical note and stone gramophone records to Aynalıkavak Summer Palace to get them exhibited. Consequently, as Aynalıkavak Summer Palace was a place where Sultan Selim III: (1789-1807) lived and composed, a project about making a Turkish Musiki (music) center was established.

Following, some other collectioners and traditional turkish musicians (sazende) donated various instruments. Besides, as the musical instruments belonging to Istanbul Municipality Collection were added to the Aynalıkavak Summer Palace Collection, the general foundation of Aynalıkavak Sazları was formed, that will grow larger in the future The museum collection contains 65 musical instrument, over 200 stone record, many musical note and the press.

The gardens and cafeteria attract many visitors, as do the Aynalıkavak Concerts of classical Turkish art music. Private receptions can be held in the gardens.


WEB SITE : Department of National Palaces / Aynalıkavak Pavillion

E-Mail :
Phone : +90 212 236 9000
Fax : +90 212 259 3292

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