Kandilli Garden (MEGT)
Istanbul, Turkey
According to Evliya Çelebi (Seyahatnâmesi, 1:140b), there was a pavilion built by Murad III in this garden, which was first laid out under Süleyman I. According to some sources, Murad III had a terraced garden built from Akıntıburnu all the way up the hill at Kandilli. This garden, which was steep and rocky at the back, was looked after by a head gardener and one hundred gardeners. The terraces were planted with tulips and hyacinths. An account book from 1580 records Kandilli as being one of the gardens for which equipment was bought for repairs and new construction in that year. An imperial decree of Murad III dated 1584 shows that he had the garden renovated then. In Seyyid Lokman’s Şehinşahnâme (Topkapı Sarayı Müzesi TSM B200, 98v), the garden is depicted as a paradise with pools, cooling fountains, fruit trees, and planting beds full of roses, hyacinths, and jasmine.
Eremya Çelebi speaks briefly of this garden: Ahead was Kandilli. The sultan's garden here is worth noting (XVII. asırda İstanbul, 47). İnciciyan gives more information: Kandilli Burnu . . . here on a terrace is the place occupied formerly by an imperial palace. There is a wonderful view from the top of the hill. From here the Sea of Marmara, Sarıyer Mountains, and a large part of the snaky windings of the Bosphorus spread out in front of one's eyes as well as the picturesque Göksu Çayırı. It is said that one of the sultan's wives fell into the sea and drowned here (XVIII. asırda İstanbul, 129–30).
Following the destruction of Kağıthane during the Patrona Halil rebellion, Mahmud I often went to the Bosphorus. He was especially fond of Küçüksu and Kandilli and enjoyed relaxing there. Later, Kandilli was neglected and fell into decay. It was pulled down by Abdülhamit I and the grounds were divided up and sold.
In 1857, during the reign of Sultan Abdülmecid, a seaside house was built where the sea forms a bay from Kandilli Burnu toward Vaniköy, and a large wooden palace for Adile Sultan on the heights above the old Kandilli Palace. This palace, which had become a girls’ school, subsequently burned down. 
The text for this entry is adapted from Nurhan Atasoy, Garden for the Sultan, 318–20.


-Nurhan Atasoy, Seyit Ali Kahraman


Sources:

Evliya Çelebi Seyahatnâmesi: Topkapı Sarayı Bağdat 304 Yazmasının transkripsiyonu (Open in Zotero)

İstanbul tarihi: XVII. asırda İstanbul (Open in Zotero)

XVIII. asırda İstanbul (Open in Zotero)

A Garden for the Sultan: Gardens and Flowers in the Ottoman Culture (Open in Zotero)


Originally published at: Atasoy, Nurhan, and Seyit Ali Kahraman “Kandilli Garden.” Middle East Gardens Traditions. Dumbarton Oaks, December 1, 2014. https://www.doaks.org/resources/middle-east-garden-traditions/catalogue/C98. Archived at: https://perma.cc/5UDZ-R9BM.

Location
Istanbul, Turkey
Documents
Associated Names
Associated Collections
Events
Dates of attested life: 16th century- 19th century
Date of entry of information: August 2007
Style Periods
1299-1922
Variant Names
Kandilli Garden
Building Usages
landscape
Keywords