Ihlamur Pavilions was constructed by Nigoğus Balyan during the reign of Sultan Abdülmecid I (1839-1861) as a summer palace between 1849 and 1855 in the Ihlamur Valley, located between Beşiktaş, Yıldız and Nişantaşı. In the 18th century, the area of Ihlamur Valley was known “Haci Hüseyin Bağları (vineyard)”, because it belonged to Haci Hüseyin Ağa, who was one of superintendents of the navy yard. The area was called “Haci Hüseyin Bağları” until the second half of the 19th century, even though it became a court garden (Has Bahçe) during the reign of Sultan Ahmed III (1703-1730). The area began being used as a court garden in the periods of Sultan Ahdülhamid I (1774-1789) and Selim III (1789-1807). After the construction of the Ihlamur Pavilions, Sultan Abdülmecid I took retreats at the palace and hosted guests, such as the famous French poet Lamartine. In 1910, Sultan Mehmed Reşad (1909-1918) hosted a Bulgarian King and a Serbian King, who visited Istanbul, in the Ihramur Palace.
The pavilions were called “Nüzhetiye” or “Ihlamur Pavilions”, and contained two buildings, “Merasim Köşkü” (Ceremonial kiosk) and “Maiyet Köşkü”. They are located in 24,724 square meters of woodland, and bordered by high surrounding walls in patches and by cast fences in other places. The Ceremonial Kiosk, which is the main building decorated with dynamic reliefs, has impressive architecture at the front face with its staircase featuring Baroque characteristics, which reflects the taste of the period. Inside the kiosk, there are beautiful furniture and interior furnishings, which are decorated in various European styles. Less ornamented Maiyet Kiosk was used by the sultan’s entourage and his harem. The walls of the Kiosk are covered with stucco, which looks like marble, in different colors.
The Ihlamur pavilions were restored in the 1980s. Currently, the Pavilions are open to the public as a museum, belong to the Turkish Department of National Palaces.
Some selected examples (please click on pictures to enlarge):