Mecidiye Pavilion Beykoz- A hidden gem in Istanbul

Mecidiye Pavilion Beykoz- A hidden gem in Istanbul

Introduction

Hello everyone! We are excited to share a hidden gem- Mecidiye Pavilion in Istanbul (ssshhh, this is a secret 🙂 Of course, it is not totally a secret. But, it is easy to say that people, especially locals still could not exactly explore this pavilion. So, this means that the pavilion is a great spot in Istanbul who wants to get away from the crowded attractions.

Mecidiye Pavilion has been recently restored, so it is in good shape. We really like the gardens and every detail about the pavilion. So, let’s start with some historical information but this post is not limited to history. We will also share what you can do in this place.

Before explaining its history, this pavilion is in Beykoz district. You can check its location below.

History

Before starting, it is good to point out that the Mecidiye Pavilion has been constructed before Beylerbeyi Palace and Dolmabahce Palace. We can understand that this is one of the first signatures of the Ottoman western face in Istanbul. And, the pavilion was used as a reception place after the personal usage by the Sultans. Sultan Abdulaziz frequently spent time in the pavilion especially as a retreat.

Mecidiye Pavilion- Construction

The construction of the pavilion began in 1845 to be presented to Sultan Abdulmecid by Kavalali Mehmed Ali Pasha who was the Governor of Egypt. However, the Governor died before the completion of the pavilion and the construction has been completed by his son Said Pasha. Basically, it can be said that it is dedicated to Sultan Abdulmecid.

Kavalali Mehmed Ali Pasha (also known as Muhammad Ali of Egypt) had too much power in the 1800s. Actually it can be said that he was a trouble for Ottomans, especially during the Sultan Mahmud period. Kavalali took control in Syria and even he was able to get inside of the Anatolia after defeating the Ottoman army. But, putting pressure over Mehmed Ali Pasha by other powerful countries/empires, Egypt has connected to the Ottomans again as a privileged Ottoman province [1]. Even, this can be considered how the Ottomans’ condition is bad and could not solve this problem without the help of other countries.

Mecidiye Pavilion- Importance

It is highly probable that Sultan Abdulmecid did not spend too much time here. However, his successor Sultan Abdulaziz spent much more time than his brother.

Prince Jerome Napoleon stayed in this pavilion and Sultan Abdulaziz visited him in 1854. And, Sultan Abdulaziz held an organization here in honor of French empress Eugenie.

After the Ottomans

After the Ottoman Empire collapsed and the Turkish Republic foundation, it was used as an orphanage and used for trachoma patients and also as Children’s Chest Diseases Hospital. In 1997, the pavilion was connected to National Palaces and 3 years ago, it was opened its doors as a museum serving for the public. We can say that it is a new museum and you will be seeing many before/after restoration photos and understand how the restoration is. Hopefully, you will find it successful 🙂

What to do in Mecidiye Pavilion?

Visiting the pavilion

The pavilion has two floors. As we mentioned, you will feel the same spirit in the building like Dolmabahce Palace, Beylerbeyi Palace, or Kucuksu Pavilion.

It is also important to note that the furniture does not belong to the pavilion itself.

We mentioned that but just a reminder…Before/after restoration photos are good and they show the success of the restoration.

Mecidiye Pavilion outside view

1st Floor

Starting with the first floor, the Medhal Saloon (entrance in English, Medhal in Ottoman Turkish) welcomes the visitors. The service rooms are on the first floor. The base is a rectangle and the ceiling height is around 7 meters. And, the parquets are made of oak. Moreover, brass candelabras seem very valuable and we like them a lot.

The chamberlain room is on the right and palace officers were using this room. Right after, you will see the oval room which belongs to high state officials. On the walls, there are hand-made calligraphies.

And then, there is a room that was being used by the top-level chamberlain. The other room was being used by servants such as coffeemaker (the best duty would be this one since we really like Turkish coffee and Turkish delight), cook, the person responsible from Sultan’s trips, and birdman. One more room close to the entrance was used by the highest level guard of the Sultan.

Location 7 (we hope they will not change this number in the future. Because this is our favorite spot in this pavilion) is the gate to the 2nd floor. And, the chandelier is fantastic. Two symmetrical stairs will lead you to the 2nd floor.

2nd Floor

Alright, we told that Location 7 is our favorite, but you know that was before going up 🙂 This floor is splendid, especially the Ceremony and Throne Saloon. This was used for disbursing bonuses from Sultan.

You will see a throne and paintings of Sultan Abdulaziz and Abdulmecid.

One of the first rooms was used for resting and having meals and ambassadors waited there before talking to Sultans. Right after, there is a private Sultan room for reading, resting, and eating.

Yellow Room which is totally yellow and it was used for high-level meetings. On the ceiling, you will see paintings about nature and the sea. And, the windows are colored which creates a good harmony in the room.

The red room was used by the Sultan and this was the presentation room of the head clerk. The Sultan was working here as well. And, finally, there is a private room and Sultan was using this room for family meetings.

Relaxing in the cafe

The cafe is good and the bridge view is perfect. Try to find a table close to the seaside. Don’t forget to order Turkish coffee. In addition, foods are not bad. The prices are relatively cheap considering Istanbul standards.

Relaxing in the garden

The total area is 70,000- meter squares which is simply huge. There are good spots having again great views. You can sit on the grass, take a look at this fantastic view. If it is summertime, you may see many boats on the shore and people enjoying the stable sea.

Mecidiye Pavilion, trees
Mecidiye Pavilion garden

In addition, there are some magnolia trees and these trees made the environment better.

Mecidiye Pavilion seaside
Boats on the shore of the pavilion

Need to know

Photography is not allowed inside the building. The security is always there, so would not recommend you capture any photos. We recommend you not to touch anything as well.

There is an audio-guide which is pretty good and explaining every single detail.

The pavilion is open except Mondays and you can visit from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The tour is available every 30 minutes, so you may have to wait a little bit.

You can park your car inside the facility. Unless you find a spot, there is an open parking area just close to the bazaar nearby pavilion. But, it is unlikely.

How to go to Mecidiye Pavilion?

Depending on your location, the distance may change. It is around 35 kilometers (20 miles) from Kadikoy or Sultanahmet.

If you want to go there by public transportation, you can target Uskudar first and then go to Beykoz by bus. However, please don’t forget it will take time. Going there by taxi would be the best option among all these transportations.

How much time for Mecidiye Pavilion?

A minimum of 3 hours or half-day would be sufficient for the entire facility. 30 minutes will be enough for the inside. And then you can start enjoying the fantastic Bosphorus view.

Seagull and boats
Great view from Mecidiye Pavilion

For relaxing, eating, or drinking with a good view, we would recommend you take a look at the cafe. If you can sit the closest location to the shore, you will feel lucky. No exaggeration, this view is one of the best views in Istanbul.

Before closing this section, please remember that Beykoz is a very good district to feel the green face of Istanbul. Additionally, Hz. Yusa Hill and Yoros castle are close to the pavilion. So, you may want to arrange more time like a day to see these hidden gems.

But, please also note that we are not saying that you may want to skip top tourist attractions such as Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace, Dolmabahce Palace, Blue Mosque, etc. But, we are saying that this is a good alternative that you can arrange a visit 🙂

Mecidiye Pavilion- Entrance Fee

If you want to spend time in the facility, you don’t have to pay for anything. But, you know it will not be so easy to go there. So, don’t go back w/o checking the pavilion. It is only 30 TL for a non-Turkish person and 15 TL for a Turkish person to see the pavilion. One more info worth mentioning… Museum Card is valid for Turkish people, however, Museum Pass is not valid for non-Turkish.

Conclusion

Basically, we really like the pavilion and the entire facility. We are used to the dynamic style of Istanbul and also spend time at the top tourist attractions. However, you know it is always good to find out these secrets, at least you can relax a little bit and get back the energy you need. The area around the pavilion is simply huge.

Additionally, the pavilion represents the Ottoman’s western face very well. The details in the pavilion are fantastic and worth visiting.

Moreover, Beykoz districts have many options and tourist attractions. You may want to increase your time in this district. And, we are sure you will not regret it.

In short, we can say that visiting the Beykoz Mecidiye Pavilion may be an alternative option for you if you want to spend some time except the top tourist attractions.

References

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Convention_of_London_(1840)#:~:text=The%20Convention%20of%20London%20of,Ottoman%20Empire%20on%20the%20other.
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