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[Ottoman Architecture] [Ottoman Architecture] [Late period]


SULTAN ABDULAZIZ PERIOD AND BUILDINGS (1861-1876)       


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Brought up under the super vision of Sultan Abdulmecit, his older brother, though lacking a systematical education unlike his brother, Sultan Abdulaziz (1861-1878) was known for his keenness on traditions and on painting. He was engaged in hunting, wrestling and javelin. During his reign, the walls of Dolmabahce and Beylerbeyi palaces were flooded with paintings of tens of foreign and domestic painters. Some of his reformative attempts, such as installing his sculpture in Beylerbeyi Palace and visiting Egypt and Europe, were interesting. The first Turkish fair, the Ottoman Public Exhibition (Sergi-i Umumii Osmani), was held in Sultanahmet in 1865. The sultan wanted to apply some reforms at the end of his three-month visit to Paris, London and Vienna. During his reign, the navy was modernized and new facilities of sea traveling, tramcar, railway and tunnel were established. Banking services, activities of exhibitions and publication were also initiated during this period. Post offices in some towns, Barracks of Tophane and Muzika, Macka Silahhanesi (Armor Storage), Ministry of War, Buildings of Schools of Pangaltı and Harbiye, Cıragan (Kempinski) and Beylerbeyi Palaces, Ayazaga Tokat Garden, Kiosks of Alemdag and Icadiye, Railway between Istanbul and Edirne and the Karakoy-Beyoglu Tunnel are examples of such buildings. Aksaray Pertevniyal Valide Sultan Mosque and Kagıthane Sadabad Mosque were built in this period. Reorganization of the town of Sadabad and construction of the Caglayan Mansion here indicate the sultan’s sticking to traditions.

During the second half of the 19th century, when the eclectic style prevailed, orientalist tendencies were also clear. The Ottoman Public Exhibition Hal Pertevniyal Valide Sultan Mosque, Beylerbeyi Palace and the Cıragan Palace (Kempinski) bear orientalist elements. Simultaneous with the Europe, this style entered the Ottoman art through Europe. On the buildings of the Abdulaziz period, besides the influences of Islam and Mamluk, the Magreb style, which emerged in the 14th century in the Elhamra Palace in Granada, and the influence of the 19th century Europe were dominant. The influences of the Far East were not applied, unlike western examples; however, Indian influence was clear on the onion domes and towers. This style was appreciated as it did not conflict with the traditional Ottoman elaboration and was abundantly applied during the reign of Abdulaziz and partly that of Abdulhamit II.


Fuat Pasa Tomb


The Tomb of Fuat Pasa, located in the yard of Fuat Pasa Mosque (1848) has an octagonal body. The date of construction is not precisely clear; it is indicated as 1869 in some sources. Yet, it is highly probable that it was built after the mosque. As it bears the traces of the style applied in the buildings of the Abdulaziz period, it is considered as one of them. The whole facade of the tomb is elaborated with compositions of rumi (Anatolian) and palmet motifs. It includes column heads called Moresque and horseshoe arches on the windows and doors.


Aksaray Pertevniyal Valide Sultan Mosque


: It was built by the architect Pietro Montari in 1871. The Ottoman elements of architecture and elaboration were applied in a neo-gothic arrangement. The high rim of the dome and the towers in the corners indicate the Indian influence, and the excessive elaboration on the facade demonstrates the influence of the eastern arts. The windows bear gothic elaborations.

Sadabad Mosque: It was built in 1862 on another mosque which existed on the point. The building has a square plan and a single dome. The sultan’s meeting room has two floors. The internal walls are decorated with oil paint. Eclectic style prevails in the general appearance of the building. The towers in the corners and the balconies of the minaret indicate orientalist features.


Sadabad Mosque


It was built in 1862 on another mosque which existed on the point. The building has a square plan and a single dome. The sultan’s meeting room has two floors. The internal walls are decorated with oil paint. Eclectic style prevails in the general appearance of the building. The towers in the corners and the balconies of the minaret indicate orientalist features.


Konya Aziziye Mosque


It was built in 1866. The square plan is covered with a flattened dome. The minaret has two balconies, which are surrounded with arches in orientalist style. The niche and the minbar of the mihrab bear baroque features, which also prevails in the general appearance of the building.


Macka Silahhanesi (Armor Storage)


It was built monumentally on a hill which views the whole city. Monumentality, plain style and high walls, which were applied here, were also the characteristics of the official buildings in Europe.


Maslak Mansions


Located on the right side of the road that connects the towns of Levent and Ayazaga, the mansions were built during the reign of Abdulaziz as a hunting kiosk. The buildings bear important examples of the Ottoman art of elaboration in the 19th century.


Beylerbeyi Palace


Beylerbeyi Palace, which was built as a summer palace during the reign of Sultan Abdulaziz, and the Cıragan Palace (Kempinski), which was built for constant dwelling, are different from Dolmabahce Palace with their orientalist themes. Always a popular place during the history of Istanbul, Beylerbeyi town was used as a royal garden in the Ottoman period and many buildings were constructed by the sultans in years.

Mahmut I built the Ferahfeza Mansion for his mother and later, the land outside the Beylerbeyi Mosque, muvakkithane (prayer timing hall) and Turkish bath was sold to public. The land was bought back when Mahmut II decided to have a palace built here and Kirkor Balyan built a wooden, yellow and two floored palace. As the fire during the reign of Sultan Abdulmecit destroyed the palace, it could not be preserved. The Mermer Kiosk and Tunnel were the only buildings preserved out of the Old Palace, which was replaced by Beylerbeyi Palace later.

The current palace was built between 1861 and 1865 by the architect Sarkis Balyan on a request from Abdulaziz after the old palace was demolished. Nikogos, Sarkis and Agop Balyan, third generation of architects of the Balyan family, were sent for education to Paris by their father Garabet Balyan. Sarkis Balyan studied architecture at Ecole des Beaux Arts and actively worked at the constructions during the reign of Abdulaziz and Abdulhamit II. Awarded with the medal of Chief Architect of the State by Abdulhamit II, Sarkis Balyan achieved a synthesis of the east and the west, especially in palace architecture, due to his education abroad and his recognition of the Ottoman architecture and elaboration.

The present palace complex consists of the main palace building right behind the dock, Sea Kiosks located on the dock and the Sarı Kiosk, Mermer Kiosk and Ahır Kiosk, which are built separately on the third set gardens. The main building, constructed out of stone bricks, is an interpretation of the eclectic style, where the elements of renaissance and baroque architecture were applied together, as is the case in the palaces of the 19th century. The palace was arranged as a triple composition from outside and the banister, surrounding the facade, covers the roof. Planned in three floors with the cellar, the palace has a baroque staircase in a circular form at the entrance. The stairs to the women’s section is less gallant as compared with those at the other two entrances. The facade is brisk with embedded columns and half-circle arches and the plastic setting is balanced with symmetry. Behind the palace, a wall separates the state offices and the women’s apartments, which was applied in almost all of the palaces of the 19th century. With this feature, it reflects a western life style when looked from the sea, yet a traditional one when looked from the land. The eclectic style, dominant on the outer face, is also felt in the internal space and most of the rooms are elaborated with traditional Ottoman motifs among western forms and the Magreb style prevails.

The entrance (men’s apartment) reminds of the ancient Turkish houses with wooden bars around the stairs and geometrical elaborations on the ceiling. On the second floor of the men’s apartment, the big-cut composition with muqarnas, elaborations with baroque forms of palmet and rumi motifs on the corners, niches interpreted as mihrab in a wooden covered room (room 18) and column heads composed of pompon muqarnas filling are all interesting elements of elaboration. The Room with Pool, one of the spaces that separate the men’s and women’s apartments, includes a pool with barrister and sprout, which both ascribes the Ottoman traditional halls and reminds the baroque pools with oval forms and marble sculptures of dolphins that carry the sprouts. The ceiling of this room is elaborated with military figures such as sea and ships, flags, banners and swords, located within frames, as well as with stylized motifs in geometrical frames. The Kaptan Pasa Room, where all elaborations on the furniture, walls and ceiling are related with navigation, is the only room preserved in authentic look.

A baroque staircase leads from the Room with Pool to the Nacreous Room and to the Blue Room. This part of the palace and the rooms covered with wood (such as Reception of Abdulaziz, Ambassadorial Room and Deputies Meeting Room) resemble the renaissance palaces.

The Sarı Kiosk, which has two floors built out of stone bricks, is located on the fourth set. The internal space bears resemblance to the main palace with geometrical elaborations and the romantic view of the sea.

Ahır Kiosk, a trace of the Ottoman horse culture in 19th century, is located on the third set and resembles the architecture of the sea kiosks on the two sides of the dock. The entrance is polygonal like the body of the sea kiosks and the upper cover is like a tent. The doors and windows are elaborated with horseshoe arches. Most of the objects in the middle of the internal space are figures of horses.


Cıragan Palace (Kempinski)


It is located in Ortakoy on the Bosporus. The huge palace was burnt at a fire in 1910. It was built by Sarkis Balyan in 1871, over another palace that used to be here. It has an eclectic style, with orientalist elements as well. Costing four years and four million golden coins, the building had intermediary sections and ceiling of wood and walls of marble. It also had richly decorated rooms with columns, which were outstanding examples of stonework. The floors of the rooms were covered with rare carpets and the furniture was elaborated with golden gilding and nacre. Like the other palaces by the Bosporus, Cıragan Palace was an important meeting place. It has a facade elaborate with color marble and monumental gates and was connected with a bridge to the Yildiz Palace located on the other side of the hill. The side viewing the avenue was surrounded with high walls. The wreck of the palace was restored after many years and today, it has become a 5 star hotel with the buildings added later.


Yildiz Palace


Located on the Yildiz Hill in Besiktas, the palace is one of the latest examples of the Ottoman palace architecture. The land, registered for the Imperial Treasury, had been used as a hunting resort by the sultans since the time of Suleiman the Magnificent. The first mansion on the land was built by Sultan Ahmet I (1603-1617). Sultan Murat IV (1617-1640) used to rest here when hunting around.

In the late 18th century, Sultan Selim III (1789-1807) had a mansion built here for her mother Mihrisah Sultan and it was called the “Yildiz Mansion”. He also had a fountain in rococo style in the inner yard of the palace.

Succeeding Sultan Selim III, Sultan Mahmut II (1808-1839) also came here to watch the archers and wrestlers in the yard of the palace. He had a kiosk built here between 1834 and 1835 and had a garden arranged around the kiosk. Having abolished the Hearth of Janissaries in 1826, Sultan Mahmut II supervised here the training of the new army corps, called “Asakir-i Mansure-i Muhammediye”.

His son Sultan Abdulmecit (1839-1861) destroyed these kiosks and had the kiosk called Kasr-ı Dilkusa built for her mother Bezm-i Alem Sultan in 1842.

Sultan Abdulaziz (1861-1876), who came to Yildiz Kiosk to have a rest frequently in summer, had the Great Official Kiosk built by the architects of the Balyan family. Later on, he had the Malta and Cadır Kiosks built in the outer yard and the Cit Mansion in the main palace land.

Taking the throne after the takedown of Sultan Abdulaziz, Sultan Murat V (1876) stayed at the Yildiz Palace during his 92-day reign. The palace was the most frequently used during the reign of Abdulhamit II.