You are sailing along the Bosphorus and suddenly you can’t believe your eyes – a castle as if cut out of a fairy tale with thousands of ornaments, reliefs, hand-decorated crystal chandeliers shining from the open windows, and hundreds of hours of work by the most skilled Istanbul craftsmen can be seen on every object. This is Küçüksu Pavilion.

This summer pavilion was used by the Ottoman sultans for short stays during country trips and hunting trips.

The pavilion was built by Sultan Abd-ul-Mejid I and designed by architects GarabetAmiraBalyan and his son NigoğayosBalyan in a neo-baroque style. The building, which was completed in 1857, replaced a two-story wooden palace built during the reign of Mahmud I (1730-1754) by his grand vizier DivittarMehmedPasha.

It was repaired and used during the reign of Selim III. (1789-1807) and Mehmet II. (1808-1839). (1808-1839).

The building consists of two main floors and a basement with a floor plan of 15 x 27 m. Unlike other high-walled pavilion gardens, this one is surrounded by a cast-iron railing with one gate on each of the four sides.

Murat IV loved this garden very much, who called her “silver Cyprus”.

The basement is equipped with a kitchen, pantry, and servants’ quarters, while the floors above reflect the design of a traditional Turkish house – four corner rooms surrounding a central hall.

The waterfront rooms have two fireplaces, while the others have one each, all made of colorful Italian marble.

The rooms boast crystal chandeliers from Bohemia with curtains, upholstered furniture, and carpets woven in Hereka. Paintings and art objects are displayed in the halls and rooms; interior decoration was entrusted to Charles Séchan, scenic designer of the Vienna State Opera.

During the reign of Sultan Abd-ul-Aziz, more elaborate decoration was added to the facade; some of the original garden extensions were then demolished. At the beginning of the Republican era, the site was used as a state boarding house for several years. Since the thorough reconstruction in 1944, the palace has been open to the public as a museum.

The building has survived to this day with regular repairs, although the old palace and several annexes were demolished. The side of the palace facing the sea is embossed and lively. There is a small pool with an inclined fountain and the stairs are decorated with various western motifs. Küçüksu is a unique art museum, beautiful inside and out, from water and land. If you are going to visit Istanbul – don’t miss this gem!