Just north of the Istanbul city center in the municipality of Sarıyer, in a secluded little area off a busy highway, is Maslak Pavilion. According to the official website, “The pavilion was built during the reign of Sultan Mahmut II, the 30th Sultan of the Ottoman Empire, but its construction was finished, with the addition of another building during the reign of Sultan Abdülaziz (1861-76), the 32nd sultan. The Maslak Pavilion was used for hunting and as a resting place by Sultan Abdülhamit II who learned how to become the new sultan in this pavilion.” I decided to spend a few hours at this small palace, and Isaac came along to explore with me.
As we approached the gate, there was a sign for admission, but the guard let us in for free and gave us each a nice book about the pavilion. We walked down a flower-lined street shaded by tall trees to visit the Kasr-ı Hümâyûn (Imperial Kiosk). It’s a two story building with the bedroom and working room of Sultan Abdülhamit II inside, and an attic with a view of the sea. Unfortunately, there was nobody home to show us around (which is probably why we got in for free).
We walked to the back of the house to see some of the gardens and the Paşalar Dairesi (Paşa’s Apartment). It’s just a one story building with a Turkish hamam inside.
To the left of the Imperial Kiosk is the Limonluk (Lemon Mansion). It’s a greenhouse with several plants inside, including camelias, ferns, and banana trees.
Attached to the Limonluk is a small building, the Mâbeyn-i Hümâyûn (Imperial Court). It was the private flat of the Sultan. On the inside are paintings on the ceiling supposedly done by the Sultan himself.
Finally, at the very back of the property is the Çadır Köşkü. It is an octagon shaped building that now serves as a small cafe. We sat and drank çay for a couple hours before heading back to Taksim.
Maslak Pavilion can be reached by metro. It’s across from the Atatürk Oto Sanayı stop.