Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Nestled between busy Beşiktaş and Nişantaşı, currently covered in snow, lies an area the sultans once used as vineyards, a recreation area, meeting places and a private garden.

Yesterday, I visited the Ihlamur Kasrı (Pavilion of the Linden Tree) so I could photograph the lovely snow in this park. I walk by this park at least once a week and often have admired the park's changing foliage, but never stopped. We've even several weddings taking place here on the warm weekends.
January 2012 snowfall in Istanbul's Ihlamur Kasrı.
The Ihlamur Pavilion, dating back to the early 1700s, sits in a small, wooded valley in Beşiktaş and just behind Nişantaşı. According to the signs, this area was a vineyard belonging to the superintendent of the Naval Arsenal Hacı Ağa during the reign of Sultan Ahmed III (1703-1730). Then, it was converted into a hasbahçe - a private garden for the Sultan.
It's hard to believe the Ihlamur Kasrı is preserved right here in the middle of Istanbul! 
During the reigns of Sultan Selim III (1789-1808) and Sultan Mahmud II (1808-1839), people practiced archery here. Later, Sultan Abdulmecid (1839-1861) came here frequently to host his guests in the pavilions, with the current two stone pavilions dating to the 1850s.

Back in the day, the Sultan had several of these little kasrs (pavilions or almost mini-palaces) dotted around the city just in case he needed to relax and get away from it all. Guess, the summer palaces located along the Bosphorus weren't enough back then!
I wonder what the pavilion looks like inside here.
Now, you can visit the Ihlamur Kasrı and Gardens during daytime hours for just 1 TL. You will find various trees such as ginko bilboa as well as bay, linden, magnolia trees and cypresses. There's also a cafe open during the weekends if you want to enjoy brunch or have a tea outside during warmer weather.

As you can see, the garden's roses are frozen in bloom and covered in snow. I certainly prefer to see the roses blooming when the sun is shining and the weather is a bit warmer.
Roses + snow = Wintertime in Istanbul

Maybe it will stop snowing in Istanbul tonight?

Guess these Turkish ducks don't mind the snow. =)
The rose reaches for the sun beneath a blanket of snow in Istanbul.

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Picnicfan said...

Thank you for sharing such beautiful photos, Joy.

jaz@octoberfarm said...

okay that is it!!! i am moving to turkey! because i am never going to get snow here! gorgeous photos!

Joy said...

@Picnicfan and @Jaz, thanks for the compliments! Well, looks like the snow is over for awhile. You'd have to head farther east in Turkey for more snow, but you're more than welcome to come visit! =)

Cuisine de Provence said...

How very beautiful! And thank you for discovering all those charming hidden little corners of Istanbul for us.

Joy said...

@ Barbara, thank you! I've practically made it my "job" to discover Istanbul as much as I can.

Aaron G Myers said...

We loved the snow in our neck of the woods too. Your photos are amazing! Great eye.

Joy said...

HI Aaron, thanks for kind words! Well, as much as I liked the snow, I do enjoy the sunshine here a bit more.

gezi said...

Beautiful Photos