Sultaniye Garden

 
Catalogue
Ottoman Gardens
City
Istanbul
Country
Turkey
Dates
early 16th century ca. 19th century
Authors
Nurhan Atasoy;
Seyit Ali Kahraman

Description

Evliya Çelebi (Seyahatnâmesi, 1:139b) relates that Bayezid II built Sultaniye Garden, as well as a village with houses and gardens for eight hundred families, a mosque, and a hamam, a short distance from Beykoz along the seashore. The garden, which was overseen by a master gardener and seventy gardeners, had very tall cypress trees and at the time of Sultan Bayezid contained an elegantly decorated building.

According to many other sources, this was built by Süleyman I. Gülru Necipoğlu (“Suburban Landscape,” 59) shows, in agreement with many travelers’ memoirs, that the lacquered wooden window shutters on which scenes of battles are pictured were souvenirs of the Victory of Çaldıran in 1514, when they were brought back from Tabriz. It is thought that they were placed in this palace in the year following the death of Selim I, when Süleyman I had the garden completely renovated. The account books of 1528 and 1529 provide proof, according to Necipoğlu, that Sultaniye Garden was renovated at that time, including the imperial rooms and reception chamber, the room of the daughters, the room with silk brocade, the framework of the köşk-i cedid, the imperial hamam, the imperial kitchen, temporary repairs to the rooms of the imperial pages and gardeners, the head gardener's room, the hall, the terrace, the fountain, and the water system. A small mosque is also mentioned in an account book on repairs, dated 1564–1565, from Süleyman I’s reign.

It was here that Süleyman I received Venetian diplomats and the Persian ambassador. The latter was shown the window shutters, taken as spoils of war, as a subtle reminder of the victory the Ottomans had won over his country.

Eremya Çelebi (XVII. asırda İstanbul, 46) writes that Süleyman I was very fond of this place where he would come to hunt. İnciciyan describes this garden, which he calls Burun Bahçesi: Sultaniye comes after Beykoz. By the sea there is an extensive wooded area of level ground. The bay is wide but was once shallow and marshy with a small islet. Süleyman I had this filled in to create a level area. It faces the northeast. There is a beautiful fountain and pool there and vegetable gardens in the vicinity. Here on this level ground Süleyman I had a pavilion and a beautiful garden made. From a tree opposite this oozes a perfumed oil to be smeared on the hands and face. Here on the hill is a small pool made in earlier times from which water better than any medicine gushes (XVIII. asırda İstanbul, 101–2).

In his memoirs written in 1673, Galland relates his visit with the French ambassador to a place called İncirliköy on the Asian side of the Bosphorus: Here as a result of a strange whim of the Emperor Süleyman, a beautiful pavilion had been built in the sea on columns placed three by three one on top of the other with a space in the center. The pavilion was covered within and without with beautiful tiles, some of which were missing as the building was old. . . . A small vestibule adorned with columns of marble, granite and porphyry gave a pleasing air to the pavilion. There was a gardener whose duty it was to guard the pavilion. He showed His Excellence a tree which diffused its sweet scent all over the garden. Although its bark resembled that of the oak, its leaves were triple-lobed (İstanbul'a ait günlük hâtıralar, 88–89).

Among the pictures painted by Cornelius Loos between 1710 and 1711 is one of Sultaniye Garden. It is a general view of the pavilion in a garden sloping down toward the sea, as well as an inset showing just the pavilion.

 


The text for this entry is adapted from Nurhan Atasoy, Garden for the Sultan, 328–29.

 


 

Source

  • Travel Account, 17th century