Kucuksu Pavilion- Standing in Anadoluhisari

Kucuksu Pavilion- Standing in Anadoluhisari

Kucuksu Pavilion- Information

Kucuksu Pavilion or Goksu Pavilion is in this cool region of Istanbul called Anadoluhisari. And, it is between Kucuksu and Goksu rivers.

One thing is not a big surprise for us. Another splendid building, again Ottoman Sultan Abdulmecid and Balyan signature… These two important figures also constructed the Dolmabahce Palace. You can check our Dolmabahce Palace post to find out more.

This pavilion was used for daily purposes. It is the only pavilion directly (Mecidiye Pavilion is also close, however, it has a big garden and the pavilion itself is not directly on the shore. Aynalikavak Pavilion is also close to the shore, but it is around Halic.) on the shore of the Bosphorus. And, many important people visited this pavilion from different countries. You can visit this one and this pavilion is also available for weddings and national and international organizations.

Kucuksu Pavilion- Exterior
Kucuksu Pavilion Exterior

Kucuksu Pavilion Istanbul- History

In history, this green area has been used as a picnic area by the public. Moreover, Murad 4th ordered a proper area with trees till Kandilli and it was called the imperial garden (private garden of the Sultan) which is “hasbahce” in Turkish. So, this means that the sultan was aware of the beauty of this district.

The construction in this district started in the 18th century. There was a wooden building in Sultan 1st Mahmud period and restored in 3rd Selim. In the cafeteria area, you will also be seeing a fountain ordered by Sultan 3rd Selim (1789-1807) in memory of his mother.

The old lodge was used by Sultan 2nd Mahmud as well. You know, the collaboration of Sultan Abdulmecid and the Balyan family created the fantastic Dolmabahce Palace. And, the Sultan wanted a pavilion in this district and Nikogos Balyan was the architect of this monument. Then, the old one was demolished and the pavilion was constructed. As expected, the structure has similarities compared to Dolmabahce Palace and Ihlamur Pavilion.

The construction was completed in 1857 [1]. And, this is a baroque-style monument. Moreover, the pavilion is in a rectangular area of 15 x 27 meters. It has 3 floors including the basement which was used as a depot and accommodation for people working in the pavilion.

The pavilion was restored in the Sultan Abdulaziz period and added a Western-style small fountain and stairs at the entrance on the other side of the pavilion.

After the Turkish Republic foundation, it was converted into a guesthouse for a while. In 1992, there was a restoration to prevent the slip to the sea. And, in 1996, it was converted into a palace-museum.

What to See in Kucuksu Pavilion?

There is a total of 8 rooms opening to corridors. Additionally, 1 big saloon exists on the 1st floor. And, 4 rooms are at the seaside.

Please always remember that this pavilion was for daily usage, meetings, etc., so the interior design was made based on these purposes.

A couple of general info about the pavilion is as follows.

  • Mirrors mainly contain Sultan Abdulmecid’s signatures.
  • The clocks are mainly stopped at 9:05 a.m. representing the father of Turk- Ataturk’s time of death.
  • The ceilings are generally fantastic.
  • Carpets are mostly from Hereke which is very popular for its carpets.
Kucuksu Pavilion Interior
Kucuksu Pavilion Interior

Ground Floor

When you enter the pavilion, you will see two stairs connected to one going to the first floor. Their shapes represent lunate which is a very important sign for Ottomans and Turks. Before turning right or left, check out the ceiling. This is very inspiring and decorated with gold.

The rooms consist of well-designed ceilings. The motifs have skies explaining infinity and flowers and olive branches explaining the piece. Additionally, the rooms include fireplaces made of Italian marble, big chandeliers, French clocks, and mirrors. Moreover, the design of chandeliers is impressive, you can see a standard design or leaf-shaped.

Please also note that curtains and furniture fabrics are made of the sink and are very good.

First Floor

The first floor starts with a saloon. You will observe one painting and one photo which are about Kucuksu Pavilion.

You will also recognize stairs directly connected to the basement, but unfortunately, you can’t use them to go to the basement 🙂

Chandeliers on this floor are great as always like the ground floor and Dolmabahce Palace and Beylerbeyi Palace. But, our favorite is definitely the original room in this pavilion. The furniture is old and nobody renewed it to show the old designs. Moreover, the chandelier in this room is Italian. And, parquets are designed with stars.

There is one room that Ataturk was using as his study room. Because of its importance, we mostly feel emotional in this room. Ataturk often visited this pavilion which is called Father of Turks. You know, he and his colleagues founded the Turkish Republic. You will also see his statue around the Anatolian Fortress.

Kucuksu Pavilion Interior
Kucuksu Pavilion Interior

Kucuksu Pavilion- Need to know

Taking a photograph is forbidden in the building. The reason is as expected, harmful flashlights of the phones and cameras. However, this is not too strict like Dolmabahce Palace and Beylerbeyi Palace. So, you can capture a couple of photos but don’t exaggerate.

The tour is audio-guided. And, the guide will be triggered by your location in the building. However, you can also press the buttons and use the guide manually in the pavilion. Keep your guide safe because you should leave your ID card or passport.

Moreover, all items in the pavilion are very valuable, don’t touch and break anything. This can be big trouble 🙂

Kucuksu Pavilion- What to do around?

Promenade and Sea View

The promenade is very good where you can relax and enjoy the silence of the district.

Silent Garden in the Pavilion

There are also very good spots around the fortress. You will see a couple of fishermen and the view including Rumeli Fortress and the Bosphorus is perfect. Check out the photo below.

Rumeli Fortress and the Bosphorus

The Fountain and the Cafeteria

Don’t forget to check the fountain close to the cafeteria. The construction of this fountain was ordered by Sultan 3rd Selim and dedicated to his mother. It is a rectangular shape and it is also an open-air prayer place. Additionally, the fountain has 3rd Selim’s signatures.

Kucuksu Pavilion- the Fountain
Kucuksu Pavilion- the Fountain

The pavilion’s cafeteria is average, but we like to drink Turkish coffee there.

Anatolian Fortress

It is for sure that you should check the Anatolian Fortress. It was built by Beyazit in 1395 and Fatih Sultan Mehmet added the outer walls. Rumeli Fortress is standing on the European side just opposite of Anatolian Fortress. These fortresses played an important role during the conquest of Istanbul by the Ottomans.

Anatolian Fortress
Anatolian Fortress and Goksu River

It may be hard to explore. And, you should be careful when you walk around and try to find it. Do you know that Anatolian Fortress has an open-air prayer place around it? This is a place surrounded by walls, including an altar on the kiblah wall and a pulpit. Beykoz Municipality restored the place in 1986 and you can see that it is very clean.

Open-air Prayer Place in Anadoluhisari
Open-air Prayer Place in Anadoluhisari

Mosque and Park

There is a big park just opposite the pavilion where you can relax. Besides, there is a historical mosque just opposite the pavilion. This is Mihrisah Valide Sultan Mosque but it is pretty modest. We think that it is not necessary to check inside the mosque but check the dress code below to be able to enter the mosque.

Goksu River

The cafes around the Goksu River are generally good. You can prefer to have a meal there and our favorites are Big Chefs and Goksu Cafe. If you plan for breakfast, don’t be too late. Especially, you may see a queue on the weekends to sit at the tables close to the river. By the way, if you sit at a table looking to Rumeli Fortress, that would be fantastic 🙂 Goksu Cafe’s garden has a different type of flowers like representing a small botanic area.

Goksu Cafe Garden
Goksu Cafe Garden

Finally, you can rent a boat to have a good tour of the river. Don’t forget to bargain with the captain 🙂

Goksu River
Goksu River

Kucuksu Pavilion Opening-Closing Days & Hours

The pavilion is open every day except Mondays. You can visit the pavilion between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m.

Kucuksu Pavilion Dress Code

There is no specific dress code for the pavilion. But, please consider the weather conditions. Check out this post to find out more about climates in Istanbul.

There is a small, but good mosque just opposite the pavilion. Checking the interior depends on you, we don’t think it is necessary. But, if you want to see it, you should wear a scarf. So don’t forget to carry one. And you should be good to go according to the figures in the Blue Mosque, the Suleymaniye Mosque and Yavuz Sultan Selim Mosque posts.

Where is Kucuksu Pavilion?

Please check the map below to understand the pavilion’s location.

Address: Goksu, Kucuksu Cd., 34815 Beykoz/Istanbul

How to Reach Kucuksu Pavilion?

It is a little bit challenging to come here from top tourist attraction places other than Uskudar. If you go by bus, try to focus on Sevda Tepesi. Or, you can directly prefer to catch a taxi to come here.

Unfortunately, there is no metro line around this district.

From Kadikoy

14M, 14R, and 15F can be good options. Or, you can first try to come to Uskudar, and then try to go to Anadoluhisari.

From Besiktas- Dolmabahce Palace

You can first reach Uskudar by ferry and follow the steps below.

From Uskudar

15, 15E, 15P and 15SN can be good options.

There are also some ferries from Kucuksu Pier. You can try these lines to go to Istinye and Besiktas. But, they are very rare.

Kucuksu Pavilion- How Much Time?

1 or 2 hours is enough for the pavilion. There is a big promenade where you can relax and enjoy the sea view. There are very good cafes around the pavilion where you can also enjoy the fortress views. So, you can enjoy breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

We would recommend a half-day in this district.

Kucuksu Pavilion- Ticket Price

Tickets are cheap, especially compared to the top monuments in Istanbul.

Turkish citizens: Student: 20 TL, Adult: 40 TL

Non-Turkish: 130 TL


Anadoluhisari is a cool neighbor in Istanbul. It is not very big, but you can definitely enjoy the river, the sea, and the fortress views.

Kucuksu Pavilion is not as big as Topkapi Palace, Dolmabahce Palace, or Beylerbeyi Palace, but this was used for daily purposes. So, as expected, it is very modest.

We like the original room in this pavilion. And, the fountain is worth seeing. We can say that the pavilion is Western-style, but it has signs of East as well. Additionally, we really like to combine the pavilion with a meal including this great ambiance.

We can’t directly say that visiting this pavilion is a “must-do” activity in Istanbul if Dolmabahce, Topkapi or Beylerbeyi Palaces are on your list.

However, feeling this district is fantastic. It is like a journey in time. So, you can start this journey from the 1400s with the fortress and feel the 1800s with this pavilion. Moreover, the environment is very relaxing.

Finally, you can take a lot of great photos in this district. Think twice when you visit Istanbul and try to include Anadoluhisari on your list 🙂


[1] https://www.millisaraylar.gov.tr/saray-kosk-ve-kasirlar/kucuksu-kasri

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