Monday, August 7, 2017


Yıldız, Beşiktaş - Istanbul - Turkey

GPS : 41°02'57.2"N 29°00'40.6"E / 41.049219, 29.011284



Yıldız Palace Museum
The building, which was opened as a museum on April 8th 1994, consists of a large gallery in 90 meters length. It is understood that the building was used as a museum as indicated by the photos of the reign of Sultan Abdülhamid II (1876-1909) and the valuable objects were exhibited in this residence. Art works, exhibited in the museum belongs to the palace; some of them were taken over while they were in Topkapı Palace. Art works included belongings of Sultan Abdülhamid II, his carpenter tools, gifts given to him and the products of Yıldız Porcelain Factory then.

Performing Arts Museum
Gedikli Concubines Apartment that is located near the theatre was arranged as Performing Arts Museum. In the museum, there are ethnographic materials belonging to the Turkish theatre history which was developed under the influence of traditional and Western theatres, archve documents and belongings of some of the artists.

Located in between Beşiktaş and Ortaköy, in the Yıldız Park, the Yıldız Palace is a complex which extends 500,000 square meters and consists of several pavilions (köşk), palace buildings (kasır), and other service and management buildings. The name of this complex comes from the pavilion built by Sultan Mahmud II (1808-1839) in the large gardens that make up the Yıldız Park.

The Yıldız Palace Museum and the Municipal Museum of Istanbul are also in this complex. The Palace Museum was founded in 1994 and it occupies the former carpentry workshops. Carved and painted wooden artifacts, thrones, porcelain produced in the palace workshops, and other objects from the palace are exhibited here, while in the Municipal Museum next to it glass and porcelain wares, silverware, paintings depicting Istanbul and a rare 16th century oil lamp are on display.

Yıldız Palace, one of the four imperial centres where the Ottoman Empire was dominated, is worth to see not only for its history but also for its elegant architecture and unique garden. In Beşiktaş, behind Çırağan Palace, there is another palace on the hill: Yıldız Palace. Selim III built for the palace for his mother Sultan Mihrişah, but it was first used as a pavilion. Later, in the periods of Mahmud III, Sultan Abdülmecid and Sultan Abdülaziz, it was expanded by additional pavilions and summer palaces.

Yıldız Palace, which is the last architectural example of Turkish Ottoman palace, is located on the Yildiz hill in the district of Beşiktaş. Sultan Ahmed I was the first to build a pavilion, over this land registered at the time to the Private treasury of the Ottoman Sultan as a hunting place sultans beginning during the reign of Süleyman the Magnificent (1520-1566).

Yıldız Palace became the fourth seat of Ottoman government in Istanbul, after Eski Saray (the Old Palace) which stood where Istanbul University is today, Topkapı Palace and Dolmabahçe Palace. Yıldız Palace and park covered an area of 500.000 square meters on the hillside overlooking the Bosphorus between Beşiktaş, Ortaköy and Balmumcu. This area  of natural  woodland  became known as Kazancıoğlu Park after the Turkish conquest, and probably became an imperial estate during the reign of Sultan Ahmed I (1603-1617).

Sultan Murad IV. (1623-1640) is known to have enjoyed excursions here. At the end of the 18th century, Sultan Selim III built Yıldız Pavilion for his mother, Sultan Mihrişah and a fountain for his father. Sultan Abdülaziz, residing in Yıldız Kiosk in summers, built State Apartments. After that, he added Malta and Çadır Kiosks in the outer garden and Çit Pavilion to the main palace section.

Selim’s successor Sultan Mahmud II (1808-1839), Sultan Abdülmecid (1839-1861) and Sultan Abdülaziz (1861-1876) had new mansions and pavilions constructed in the park, and in the late l9th century Sultan Abdülhamid (1876-1909) abandoned Dolmabahçe to make this complex his home. He greatly expanded the palace with many new buildings during his reign.

During the reign of Sultan Abdülaziz (1861-76) the Malta, Çadır and Çit Pavilions were constructed, further enlarging this complex, but this complex saw most of its growth during Sultan Abdülhamid II reign (1876-1909). Abdülhamid made the Yıldız palace his main residence, despite the other Sultans' preference of the newly constructed Dolmabahçe Palace. In Sultan Abdülhamid II period, with the other additional buildings, it took its name, Yıldız Palace. The palace took its place in history after the Old Palace, Topkapı Palace and Dolmabahçe Palace, as a centre where the Ottoman Empire was governed.

The main construction in the palace started in the period of Sultan Abdülhamid II (1876-1909) and it was called Saray-ı Hümayun (Central palace). During this period the palace comprised of buildings for private use of the sultan as well as buildings, allocated for the officials, repair shops and carpentry like repairing shop, carpenter’s shop and the buildings of culture and art such as theater, museum and library. The palace has an inner garden which is called “Hasbahçe” with a pool inside resembling a natural creek. In different points of this garden there are small independent resort kiosks.

Abdülhamid, who reigned as one of the most controversial Ottoman Sultans, preferred the secluded solitude of the Yıldız Palace over the exposed location of the Dolmabahçe Palace. Abdülhamid, like all Ottoman Sultans, busied himself with a trade, his being cabinet-making and porcelain production on the palace grounds, and the production of porcelain continues there to this day in the Yıldız Porcelain Factory.

After the fall of the Ottoman Empire this palace complex, which had once housed almost 10,000 people, was abandoned. The Yıldız Park is now open to the public and many of the pavilions have been restored by the Turkish Touring and Automobile Club.

Some of the buildings are used now for housing various non-profit organizations. The Arsenal is now an art gallery and shows are held in the restored theater. The Malta Pavilion, which was restored, is open to the public as a tourist attraction. Abdülhamid's former cabinet-making workshop now houses both the Istanbul City Museum and an art gallery.

The palace buildings that were left idle for a while in the aftermath of the Sultan Vahidettin’s reign, were allocated to the Staff Officer’s Academy. The palace which was left to War Academies in 1946 was handed over to the Ministry of Culture in 1978 and it begun to serve as a museum under the name of Directorate of the Museum of Yıldız Palace since 1993.

Chalet (Şale) Pavillion
The sultan’s residence was in the Şale Kiosk or pavilion. Chalet Kiosk, which is a part of Yıldız Palace and named as “chalet” meaning “mountain hostel” in French, is one of the most outstanding structures of 19th century Ottoman architecture. The kiosk consists of three adjacent sections built at different times in a garden surrounded with high walls.

It is in the grounds of the Yıldız Palace in Istanbul. It is the building where the German Emperor Wilheim II stayed during his three visits. It was built in three sections 1878-1880, 1889, 1898) upon the request of Abdülhamit II. The two story pavillion contains of 60 rooms, 9 bathrooms, two Turkish baths. Architects suc as Sarkis Balyan, Nikolai Kalfa and R. d'Aranco took part in its design.

The first section of the kiosk was constructed in 1880. With the additional building built by Sarkis Balyan in 1889 the kiosk was enlarged with rooms and halls. The third section known as Merasim Kiosk (Ceremonial Kiosk) and constructed by Italian Architect D’Aranco is known to be completed in 1898. Second and third sections were constructed for German Emperor Wilhelm II for his visits to İstanbul. The Chalet Pavillion has the characteristics of a “state guest house” within the group of Yıldız Palace structures. The kiosk which was built as three-storey with the basement, is made of wood and stone.

The Ottoman house plan tradition dividing the buildings as Harem and Selamlık is not observed at this building. The connection between the floors of the Chalet with seven doors and wooden louvered windows, is provided by three elegant staircases, one of which is made of marble and the other two are of wooden, connect the two main floors. There are in total 60 rooms and four halls where you will recognize the traces of Baroque and Islamic influences.

The most attractive place of the building is the magnificent Ceremonial Hall, with one piece Hereke carpet which is 406 square meters and with the ceiling decorated with gilded panels and large pier mirrors. It is known that the muayede ceremonies were performed at this hall during the reign of Sultan Abdülhamit II.

The Banqueting Room has a more oriental  atmosphere with doors intricately inlaid with mother-of-pearl, while the focal point of the Yellow Room is the landscapes which adorn the ceiling. The valuable furnishings imported from various European countries, the elegant porcelain stoves, magnificent vases, and splendidly carved bedroom suites bear witness to the sumptuous tastes of the period.

The informal air of a country house is deceptive, as both the scale of the building and the opulence of the interior show. Behind the façade we find not a modest pavilion but a small palace, whose grandiose reception rooms are decorated with mural landscapes, geometric moulding, and painted designs in a mixture of baroque, rococo and Islamic style.

The furniture of the dining hall, also known as “Sedefli Salon” due to the doors with mother of pearl inlay brought from Çırağan Palace, was made by Sultan Abdülhamid II at Imperial Workshop (Tamirhane-i Hümayun) within the body of Yıldız Palace. Except the dining hall reflecting the Ottoman taste, European style is dominant at the furnishing of the Kiosk. There are Sweden made big size Röstrand porcelain stoves among the outstanding elements of the decoration of the Chalet.

Among the group of buildings of Yıldız Palace, a part of the stables named as Istabl-ı Amire-i Ferhan and the maneage buildings gained new functionality after the completion of their restorations. Classical Turkish Arts Center is situated at one of the buildings. Maneage building was transformed into a conference hall which can be allocated to congresses and seminars.

After the fall of the monarchy the Şale was for a time run as a high class casino, before being restored to its original function as a guest house for visiting heads of state and royalty. Among the famous names who have stayed here are Şah Rıza Pehlevi of Iran, King Faisal of Saudi Arabia, King Hüseyin of Jordan, President Sukarno of Indonesia, King Haile Selassie of Ethiopia, and Preiesident De Gaulle of France.  

Today the Şale Pavilion at Yıldız Palace is open to the public as a museum-palace, and private receptions are held in its gardens.

Çadır Pavillion
Built by Sultan Abdülhamid II in 1889, it has stars on its domed ceiling, a reference to the name of the Yıldız Palace, which means Star Palace. Because no one was allowed to have his back to the sultan, the positioning of the sultan’s balcony box meant that the first row seats were never used.

Malta Pavillion
The Malta Kiosk (Turkish: Malta Köşkü) is a historic imperial Ottoman residence located within the garden of the Yıldız Palace in Istanbul. The two-storey pavilion was commissioned by Sultan Abdülaziz (reigned 1861-1876) as a hunting lodge, designed by the architect Sarkis Balyan in the neo-baroque style and completed in 1870.

The pavilion, perched atop a steep hill, is one of the two lodges of its art within the Yıldız Park, the other one being the Çadır Pavilion (Turkish: Çadır Köşkü). It is located at the north side of the wall separating Yıldız Palace. There are also two watching and resting pavilions in the grove being the rear garden of Çırağan Palace from the Abdül Aziz I period. The origin of the name is not certain but it is thought that during the Ottoman era certain parts of palaces were called after the names of conquered places, so this name was probably given after the siege of Malta.

Malta Kiosk is an example of westernised architecture of the 19th century. The building was constructed by Sarkis Balyan and his brothers. During the Abdül Mecid I period, the architects have been influenced by the European architecture and motifs of nature, flowers, fruits and hunting animal figures have been widely used on the walls. Round marble columns, terraces, bedrooms, wooden and crystal halls have features like neo-classical, neo-Islamic and neo-Ottoman characteristics

The arches in S and C shapes originated from the Rococo style. Columns, palmets or sea shells have been added to the keystones of the arches. The baroque style of the 19th century has been reflected with oval windows, fluted cornices, flushed columns with small tower on ends. The vertical and horizontal elements have been balanced in the Empire style symbolising the Napoleonic period under the influence of Egyptian and Roman architecture.

The facades of the building on each side, painted in yellow and green, consists of three parts with a large center section flanked by two smaller. Main elements of the facades are triple, tall but narrow, round-arched windows. At the second floor on the side overlooking the Bosporus are also balconies. The building has four doors in total. The waterside entrance opens onto a large hall. On both sides of the entrance hall, two staircases rise to upper floor.

A large chandelier hangs from a dome-shaped ceiling, which is opulently decorated with curving branches and clusters of various flower motifs. The lower salon contains a big marble fountain and a marble pool in the center decorated with carved swan and fish figures. Between the hall and the salon, there are five-tier marble fountains again with carved swan figures. Two marble columns erects here to the ceiling.

The salon on the upper level is flanked with two large and one small-sized rooms. The large salons on both floors are equipped with a carved marble fireplace worked with colorful flowers. Oil paintings with landscape themes beautify the walls of the salons. Two rooms on the upper floor are decorated with flower motifs. There are balconies on the second floor facing the sea.

When Sultan Abdülaziz was dethroned in 1876, his nephew Sultan Murad V (reigned May 30-August 31, 1876) was elevated to the throne. However, he was in turn deposed only after 93 days on the grounds that he was mentally ill, and was replaced by his brother, Sultan Abdul Hamid II (reigned 1876-1909). Sultan Abdülhamid II detained Sultan Murad V in the Malta Pavilion.

Midhat Pasha, grand vizier and statesman, was ordered by Sultan Abdul Hamid II to be arrested the second time in 1881. Although escaped in the first instance, Midhat Pasha returned a short time later claiming a fair hearing. The trial was held in the nearby Çadır Pavilion, and lasted three days in June that year, during which he was tortured in the basement. The trial of Midhat Pasha took place in a tent behind the pavilion.

Following the foundation of the Turkish Republic, the Malta Pavilion, as many of Ottoman imperial buildings, stood unused and was neglected over a long period. In 1979, the Touring and Automobile Club of Turkey (TTOK) under its CEO Çelik Gülersoy signed an agreement with the City of Istanbul to restore and preserve specific imperial residences, and to run them as public premises. Malta Pavilion was the first restoration work accomplished.

The exterior walls were repainted green with white trim, and the interiors were restored to their former glory. Furnishings, chandeliers and paintings were collected to fit the style of the rich neo-baroque building.

Opened to the public in 1982, the Malta Pavilion was run as a cafeteria and restaurant by the TTOK until the lease license expired, and the Metropolitan Municipality of Istanbul did not renew it. From 1997 until 2003, it was operated by the tourism company Beltur of the Metropolitan Municipality. Today, the premise is being run by a private company. In the restaurant and cafeteria on two floors, up to 150 guests can be served.


State Apartments Kiosk
This is the most magnificent kiosk of the palace. It was commissioned by Sultan Abdülaziz in 1866 and built by the architects of Balyan Family.The exterior siding of the kiosk is decorated with fluted and composite capitals, columns, corbel and sectional architraves. The inner plan of the kiosk is based on the old architectural tradition. It is famous with the Divanhane with pool downstairs and the stairs with the crystal handrails to the second floor.

While the upper floor was used by the sultan, other sections were used by senior officials of the palace. Ghazi Osman Pasha, Commander of Plevne War served as Marshal of the Court in this building. Having served as the administration headquarters of the state during the reign of Sultan Abdülhamid II (1876-1909), the kiosk was used for important receptions and feasts both in the Ottoman.

Small State Kiosk
Small State Kiosk was built in 1901 as the studying and resting kiosks upon the order of Sultan Abdülhamid II. The Sultan was holding official meetings here and it was used for the same purpose by the subsequent sultans. The two storied building has also a garret known as Winter Garden. The kiosk is famous for its ceiling decorations, the handrails decorated with flower branches in the form of elegant Art Nouveau and leaded windows bearing Bonet's signature.

Sultan Abdülhamid II was informed about his dethronement in this kiosk. After his residence in Dolmabahçe Palace, Sultan Vahidettin settled in Yıldız Palace and made his interviews in this kiosk in the armistice period. Mustafa Kemal Atatürk also met Sultan Vahidettin for the last time on May 15th, 1919, in one of the room of this kiosk, before heading to Samsun with the title of 3rd

Island Kiosk
It is a residence that was built by Sultan Abdülhamid II for resting in Hasbahche. It is known that the mansion had been fenced around with wires, turned into a small zoo and the sultan used to watch the animals from there. The architectural structure of the kiosk represents Art Nouveau style and the design belongs to Architect, Raimondo D’Aronco.

Cihannüma Kiosk
The kiosk is overlooking Bosporus, Golden Horn and Marmara. Because of its panoramic view, it was called as Cihannüma and built as a residence and watching kiosk This is the most important building of the palace in terms of wooden tectonics and decoration figures. Sultan Abdülhamid II used the upper floor of the kiosk in order to view Istanbul and Bosporus with effective binoculars

Art Nouveau Section
The Art Nouveau movement that spread in European capitals in the last quarter of 19th century, revealed itself in the Palaces after Architect Raimondo D’Aronco was invited to İstanbul by Sultan Abdülhamid II. The drawings of several palace buildings belong to him. Art Nouveau decoration and lines were used not only in the buildings but also in various palace accessories and ornaments. The best examples to the Art Nouveau art works produced in Turkey are some of the vases manufactured in Yıldız Tile and Porcelain Factories. Some of them were produced based on the European models and some of them were produced as original designs.

Private Bath of Sultan Abdülhamid II
The bath that was connected to the Private Apartment of Sultan Abdülhamid II was also built under the project of Architect Raimondo D’Aronco. This bath was planned in accordance with Turkish and Western bath systems. Inside the bath, there is a washing division called “hot bath”, resting division called “warm bath” and a toilet that was connected to that section. In contrast to Traditional Turkish Baths, this bath is heated by central heating and the Hamidiye and Kağıthane spring water of that period were used.

Small Apartment Bath
Connected to the Small Apartment Kiosk through a gate, this bath was built to replace the Kaskat Kiosk that burnt down There are hot and warm baths and a resting chamber with a fireplace in the bath.

Yıldız Palace Theater
This is the only palace theater that can be seen today. It was built by the Sultan Abdülhamid II for the visit of German Imperial Kaiser Wilhem II, together with the Şale Kiosk in 1899. Three walls of the theatre hall, of a small rectangular plan, are surrounded by the boxes carried by columns. The box that faced the stage belonged to the sultan. The walls were decorated with hand-drawn and the ceiling was endowed with gold star patterns on the blue ground. Oil paintings are hung around the stage..

In addition to performer groups consisting of Italian and Turkish artists, foreign theater groups visiting Istanbul and some local artists were also occasionally allowed to the palace. Among them, there were French artists, Sarah Bernhardt and Coquelain Cadet and Russian singer Feodor Chaliapin, local artists Güllü Agop Efendi and Naşit Efendi. In the theatre the operas such as Barber of Sevil, Norma, Rigoletto, Traviata, Carmen and Aida were put on stage. The original wardrobes representing the period of use are exhibited in a section of the theatre.


WEB SITE : Yıldız Palace Museum Directorate

E-Mail :
Phone : +90 212 258 3080 / +90 212 260 8060
Fax : +90 212 258 3085

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