The Hidiv Pavilion - romancing the Asian side

The Hidiv Pavilion

A city of two continents, it's often difficult to pick which side - Asian or European - is nicer. Turks have their own, very deep-rooted preferences and a person who has grown up on the Asian side will rarely ever want to move their home to the European side and vice versa. It's all about nostalgia, community and roots.

Yet, as travellers to Istanbul usually focus on the major sightseeing attractions of the European side, too often the more elegantly calmer Asian side can be overlooked by visitors. Full of little palaces and pavilions built as retreats for sultans and pashas, the green, lush hills and parks are just waiting to be discovered as the other, more romantic face of Istanbul.

The Hidiv Pavilion is a large mansion nestled in lush woods on the hills overlooking the Bosphorus. It was built by the Ottoman Governor of Eygpt, Abbas Pasha. Governors appointed by the Ottoman government to Eygpt were called 'Hidiv' (Khedive) and this particular handsome and Swiss-educated young Governor contracted the Italian architects, Antonio Lasciac and Delfo Seminati, to build a minor palace in 1907. The gardens were designed by his second wife, Hungarian Countess May Torok von Szendro, who also directed the building of the pavilion. Its tower houses one of the first steam elevators to be used in Istanbul.

The Pavilion was restored to it's exact former glory in the 1980's and is now operated by the Istanbul Municipality as a hotel, restaurant and tea garden. Many childhood summer vacations included five o'clock tea and cake in the gardens of the Pavilion and, although prices are very reasonable, the quiet and regal atmosphere is such that you are transported to the heady and luxurious Ottoman days.

Perhaps due to its endearing love story, the Hidiv Pavilion is also a beautiful and romantic setting for weddings and banquets. As someone who chose to be married in an equally beautiful historical building on the Asian side just opposite The Maiden's Tower, I would say Istanbul is the location for romance!

All Hidiv Pavilion Images: Beltur A.S.

Address: Çubuklu Korusu Çubuklu Yolu No:32 Beykoz/İSTANBUL
Tel: 0216 413 92 53 - 0216 413 96 64 - 0216 425 06 03 - 0216 425 06 04
Fax: 0216 413 96 99

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