The palace overlooks the Istanbul Strait from its perch on a hill within a large grove covering about 270 acres (110 ha) above the Cubuklu neighborhood in the Beykoz district. Located on the Asian side of the Bosporus in Istanbul, Turkey, the Khedive Palace (Turkish: Hidiv Kasri) also goes by the names Cubuklu Palace, Cubuklu Summer Palace (Cubuklu Sarayi), and Hidiv Mansion. It was once the home of Khedive Abbas II of Egypt and Sudan. The Khedive Pavilion and the Khedive Mansion are both possible English translations for the name of the residence.
On the Asian side of Istanbul, in the Beykoz district, you’ll find the Hidiv Pavilion perched atop the hills of the Cubuklu neighborhood. In 1907, Italian architect Delfo Seminati constructed Hidiv Kasri (Hidiv Pavilion), the residence of Abbas Hilmi Pasha, the Khedive of Egypt. This 250-square-meter building is in the Hidiv Grove on the Anatolian side of the Bosphorus. It was designed and built in European style.
After an interview with Sultan Mehmet Resat V, the 35th Ottoman Sultan and the son of Sultan Abdülmecid, Abbas Hilmi Pasa (the khedive of Egypt), the last Ottoman governor of Egypt, was dismissed from his position as khedive. Abbas Hilmi Pasa moved his family to Istanbul, where they eventually made their home in the Hidiv Kasri.
Abbas II was the last Khedive of Egypt and Sudan, ruling from 1892 to 1914. Abbas II, in contrast to his forebears, sought cooperative relations with the Ottoman Empire, whose sovereignty over Egypt had been effectively rendered purely theoretical ever since Muhammad Ali’s seizure of power in 1805. Abbas hoped that this would be a way to undermine British rule in Egypt and Sudan.
Abbas made multiple trips to Istanbul, the Ottoman capital, to mend fences with the Ottoman Porte, and during one of these trips he commissioned Italian architect Antonio Lasciac (1856–1966), with the help of Delfo Seminati, to construct a summer residence on the Bosporus. The palace was finished in 1907. It was built in the Art Nouveau style, with most of its ideas coming from Renaissance-era Italian villas and some from neoclassical Ottoman architecture.
The Hidiv Pavillion Architecture
On the crest of the coppice forest in Cubuklu, Istanbul, Italian architect Delfo Seminati constructed the Hidiv (Khedive) Kasri in 1907. It measures a massive 1000 square meters and was designed in the “art nouveau” style. A marble fountain stands at the Hidiv Kasri’s main entrance. The interconnected rooms of the pavilion form a ring around the pool, interrupted only by the foyer. Stained glass was used to decorate the ceiling of Kasir.
The east front of the three-story building is square, while the south and northwest sides are both shaped like crescent moons. A tall tower is a distinguishing feature of the building. At the front of the building, a monumental fountain reaches the top of the building. Beautiful pools and fountains can be found all around the house. There is the largest rose garden in all of Istanbul at this residence.
A paneled wall separates the two spacious bedrooms, and on the ground level, you’ll find the bathrooms and toilets. People often stop to look at the fireplace and the hall that forms a circle on this floor. In addition, the pavilion has a watchtower from which sightseers can get a glimpse of the Bosphorus. The tower of the kiosk, which looks out over the Bosphorus, is its most famous feature. You can take the elevator up to the roof, or you can use the stairs.
The ground floor of the 11,000-square-foot palace consists of a series of interconnected rooms and halls that radiate out from a central hall. The main floor’s spacious lounge features a cozy fireplace. Two spacious bedrooms can be found in the second story. Even the building’s historic steam-operated elevator can get you up to the rooftop terrace. Stained glass covers the entire structure.
Interior design elements draw from neoclassical, neo-Islamic, and neo-Ottoman styles. European influences can be seen in the intricate embroidery on the marble capitals of the pillars, walls, and ceilings, depicting floral motifs, fruit, and hunting trophies. Gilded flower figures are covering the entire exterior gate of the building.
Cavidan Hanim (Lady Djavidan, or originally Hungarian May Countess Torok von Szendro), Abbas’ unofficial and secret second wife, claims in her memoir “Harem” that she made all decisions regarding the construction of the palace, down to the furnishings. She also planned the new location of the replanted trees, the rose garden, and the winding paths through the woods in the palace gardens.
Except for the lobby, the building’s layout forms a circle that encloses the pool. All of the guest rooms are located on higher floors. Most notably, the saloon’s fireplace and the two master bedrooms up above it both feature exquisite woodwork and private bathrooms.
The Hidiv Pavillion Today
The building is also notable for its tower, from which one can see as far as the Asian shore of the Bosphorus. The balcony and open terrace on the tower’s middle floor can be reached via the elevator or if you’re feeling brave, the stairs.
Upon the departure of the Egyptian Khedive from Istanbul in the 1930s, the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality acquired Hidiv Kasri. Though it was occasionally used as a film set, it saw very little actual use between 1937 and 1982. Unluckily, film crews were so careless that they broke the stained glass windows in the pavilion so they could get more light for their movies. This hurt the building for good.
Following two years of renovation, the Hidiv Kasri reopened in 1984 as a hotel, restaurant, and cafeteria. Cafes could be found in the residence’s marble hall and surrounding gardens, while the upper floors served as a hotel. The hotel has officially ended its operations. The residence has enough space for 1,000 people inside for a summer meeting and up to 1,500 for a cocktail party. During the colder months, it can seat 450 people for dinner and 700 for cocktails.
Q: What is the Hidiv Pavilion?
A: The Hidiv Pavilion is a historic building located in Istanbul, Turkey.
Q: Where is the Hidiv Pavilion located?
A: The Hidiv Pavilion is located in the Bahçeköy neighborhood of Istanbul, Turkey.
Q: What is the history of the Hidiv Pavilion?
A: The Hidiv Pavilion was built in 1909 as a summer residence for the Hidiv (Governor) of Egypt, Abbas Hilmi Pasha.
Q: What is the architecture of the Hidiv Pavilion like?
A: The Hidiv Pavilion is an example of Ottoman-style architecture, featuring a mix of traditional Ottoman and European elements.
Q: What kinds of events are held at the Hidiv Pavilion?
A: The Hidiv Pavilion is used for various events, including concerts, weddings, and cultural events.
Q: Is the Hidiv Pavilion open to the public?
A: The Hidiv Pavilion is open to the public for events, but access to the interior may be limited.
Q: How can one visit the Hidiv Pavilion?
A: Visitors can attend events or arrange private tours of the Hidiv Pavilion.
Q: Is there an entrance fee for the Hidiv Pavilion?
A: The entrance fee for the Hidiv Pavilion may vary depending on the event or tour being offered.
Q: What is the best time to visit the Hidiv Pavilion?
A: The best time to visit the Hidiv Pavilion depends on the event or tour being offered, but visiting during the spring or summer when the weather is mild is recommended.
Q: Are there any nearby attractions to the Hidiv Pavilion?
A: Yes, there are several nearby attractions to the Hidiv Pavilion, including the Bahçeköy Forest, the Bahçeköy Dam, and the Bahçeköy Lakes.
You can book an Istanbul city tour with our licensed tour guides. The links are below:
Private Guided Istanbul Tour I Private Guided Bosphorus Cruise Tour I 3 Days Private Guided Istanbul Tour Package I Istanbul Food Tour I Istanbul Asian Side Tour I Istanbul Layover Tour I Private Half-Day Guided Istanbul Old City Tour I Private Half-Day Guided Bosphorus Cruise I Private Half-Day Guided Istanbul Tour I Private Half-Day Guided Istanbul Historical Tour I Istanbul Islamic Heritages Tour I Istanbul Jewish Heritage Tour I Gallipoli Tour I Edirne Tour from Istanbul I Bursa Tour
Istanbul Tour Guide Baris I Istanbul Tour Guide Sanem I Istanbul Tour Guide Semih I Istanbul Tour Guide Ozgen I Istanbul Tour Guide Cem I Istanbul Tour Guide Hulya I Istanbul Tour Guide Murat I Istanbul Tour Guide Duygu
Map of Istiklal Street