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Aynalikavak Pavilion Istanbul

Aynalikavak Pavilion Istanbul


Sultan Ahmed III built this beautiful small hunting lodge, Aynalikavak Pavilion in Haskoy , in the wide spread grounds on the north shore of the Golden Horn .

The Museum

Today its remains house a small museum of Turkish musical instruments’.


Originally on this site was the wooden Tersane (Shipyard) Palace that was built for Sultan Ahmed I (1603-1617), who as an enthusiastic archer came to practice here. During the Tulip Age and reign of Sultan Ahmed III (1703-1730) the palace was extended and became a popular place with the sultans’ to hold their tulip parties. The last surviving remains of Ahmed’s palace is the small and dainty Aynalıkavak Kasrı (the Pavilion of the Mirrored Poplars) with its many windows and inside has the only Tulip Age ceiling to have survived in Istanbul .  

The pavilion is believed to have acquired its name to commemorate tall and prominent Venetian mirrors that were presented to the Sultan. In 1748 the Treaty of Aynalikavak was signed here to accept the Russian occupation of the Crimea by the Ottoman .

Sultan Selim III (1789-1807) who was a poet and musician had the palace restored as he enjoyed spending much of his time here and would arrange concerts and perform his own compositions.  The palace was restored again by Sultan Mahmud II (1808-1839) who added the extensive gardens that you see today. The Museum of Musical Instruments has an imperial audience chamber (arz odası), a council chamber (divanhane), and a Composition Room where it’s believed Selim III worked, and there is also a room with a suite of furniture inlaid with beautiful mother of pearl. The lodge has undergone several years of restoration and is now open to the public.

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