Friday, March 7, 2014

Kanlıca and Khedive's Villa (Hıdiv Kasrı) photo trek

This photo trek is dedicated to the Kanlıca and the Egyptian Summer-House: Khedive's Villa (Hıdiv Kasrı).  The best way to get to know this place is by walking and I highly recomend you to do it.  It will take only 20 min. to walk from Kanlıca to Çubuklu where you can find the Khedive's Villa. 
Boat service to Kanlıca.
Dominated today by the Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge, Kanlıca's great claim to fame is its yogurth which has been held in high regard since the 17th centrury whten the Ottoman travel sriter Evliya Çelebi spoke of it in mought-watering terms.  İf you get the longer Bosphorus cruise there is a stop in Kanlıca where you can come to taste yogurth and walk the suburb to inspect some of the finest surviving Bosphorus yalıs, none of the open to the public.

Kanlıca İskelesi.  Private boats to cross the Bosphorus.
Other ways to get to Kanlıca, there is a limited ferry service from Çengelköy, İstinye and points in between.  You can  also use a private boat service for 10 people costing 5 lires each (more or less) and cross the Bosphorus to Kanlica Iskelesi.  The other public transportation option is get the ferry to Üsküdar and from there take bus number 15.
Wooden Houses in Kanlıca.
Once you cet to Kanlıca the adventure begins by walking the hill and admiring the different views you have not only to the Bosphorus but also the Kanlıca Yalıs (houses) and the city of İstanbul.
View of Bosphorus from Mihrabat Woods park
On the hillside above Kanlıca a 200-acre wooded park with marked walking trails ( offers a pleasant place to drink a tea, smoke a nargile and gase over the Bosphorus and its bridges. There has been woodland here since the reigh of Suıltan Mahmud I (1696-1754( and the Grand Vizir Damat Ibrahim Paşa built a mansion here as gift for Sultan AHmed III (1703-30). The mansion may be long gone, but many writers and poets, including Yahya Kemal Beyatlı (1884-1958) and Özdemir Asaf (1923-81) used to come here to draw inspiration from the view.


Houses in Kanlıca Hill. View of Bosphorus and the European side of İstanbul.

Views of the skyline of Istanbul at European side from Çubuklu.
One of Istanbul's more easily overlooked delights is the Khedive's Villa (Hıdıv Kasrı) at Çubuklu near Kanlıca, chich is clearly visible from the ferries and from the grounds of the Sakıp Sabancı Musueum but which vanishes from sight once you get closer to it.

Map of the Khedive's Villa and park.
The Khedive's Villa (Hıdiv Kasrı) was intended as a summer home for the Egytian Khedive Abbas Hilmi Paşa whose mother commissioned the fabulous building used as the Egyptian Consulate across the water in Bebek.   Abbas Hilmi already owned a palace on two waterside plots of land in Çubuklu, but in 1907 he bought the slope behind them and began work on a property that was called the Çubuklu Summer Palace. 
View of Kedive's Villa from the back.
Hard though it is to believe that the architect of such a superb and prominent building could be unkown, there is no certainty about who created it, some list it as a work of Raimondo d'Aronco, others as the handiwork of the italian architect Delfo Seminati or the Austrian architech Antonio Lasciac. Beltur current operators of the property, favor Delfo Seminati as the creator.

Side entrance to Khedive's Ville.

The villa was designed in a style, which has been doubed neo-Renaissance, and its most striking feature is the lofty flat-roof tower, chich offers panoramic views across the Bosphorus.  İn the elaborate metalwork over the main entrance the Khedive's coat of armas can be seen, while the inside Art Nouveau glass doors open onto a circular lobby ringed with paired marble columns with a fountain playing in the center. 

Side entrance door with beautiful roof.
  İn its heyday a steam-powered elevator with padded velvet seats would whisk the favored to the top. A circular restaurant is wrapped around a lobby, but don't miss the door frame that leads into the main dinning room which is decorated with gilded bears, leaves thrown over ther shoulders like cloaks, happily plucking berries from the trees. Even the rest rooms merit a quick look as they still retain their orfiginal Art Nouveau tiles.
Main Entrance to Kadive's Villa Restaurant.
Marble columns and middle fountain inside the lobby.
The main entrance with the magnificent and monumental marble fountain in the middle.  İt rises until it reaches the ceiling and the roof is covered with stained-glass windows.  There are graceful fountains and pools in various places.  The building marble columns draw a circle around the pool. This apartment is only interrupted by the entrance hall.  Another noteworthy detail in this hall is the historic lift. There are private rooms on the upper floor.

Frame door that leads to the main dinning room.
The Khedive Villa now houses a state-run restaurant, chich means posh surrounding and Turkish-Ottoman cuisine at very reasonable prices, but no alcohol. Over the weekends open -buffet breakfast are available from 9:00 to 13:00 hrs.

View of the Restaurant with my group of friends 'Wednesday in İstanbul'.

The garden cafe offers teas, coffees and ligh snacks.
Main entrance door facing the garden's cafe.
Behind the Villa is a formal rose garden laid out in 1909, and a park shaded with pine trees and full of hydrangeas.  İt's at its fragant finest in spring when the lawns are planted with tulips and the sweet scent of hyacinths fills the air.
Walk along the Khedive's Villa.

Khedive's Villa gardens facing the Bosphorus.

The Khedive used the villa in summer right throuh until the 1930's during which Pierre Loti visited it and expressed a preference for the original waterside palace.  "The Khedive built himself a new palace ont he hill, but I adore greenery and preferred the old palace. I never like change" Journeys by Pierre Loti, 1910.
Eventually the Egyptian sold his retreat to the İstanbul authorities and departed for Switzerland where he died in Geneva in 1944.
 Park behind the Villa.
During weekdays you can also find people who come to the park  to excerise among this beautiful gardens. 

Elephant flowerpot decorating the gardens.

 Sidewalk to the Khedive's Villa.

 Cangoroo flowerpot decorating the gardens.

 Little turtle at Villa's Gardens.

Doves being feed in the garden.  
Eventough It was a winter morning it felt like a spring one with fresh air. It was certainly a lovely trek.  I hope you enjoyed the views!

Soreya Reyes

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