Mecidiye Pavilion, also known as Beykoz Palace, is one of the oldest pavilions of Istanbul and is located in the region of Beykoz Pier. The construction of the pavilion, which was started in 1845 by the Egyptian Governor Mehmed Ali Pasha as a gift to Sultan Abdülmecid, was continued after his death in 1849 by his son, the Governor of Egypt Said Pasha,, and the building was completed in 1854.
It is known that Sultan Abdulaziz frequently visited Mecidiye Pavilion, whereas Sultan Abdulmecid did not show appreciation for it. The pavilion, which was used as a boarding pavilion in the first years of its construction, began to be used for daily accommodation and official receptions in the following periods. Historical records indicate that Sultan Abdulaziz organized wrestling games in the Beykoz meadow during his stay in Mecidiye Pavilion and went hunting in the close hunting grove in Tokatköy. On October 15, 1869, the Sultan hosted the French Empress Eugenie at the pavilion, where he watched the army’s parade with his guest.
Architectural Features of Mecidiye Pavilion The building has a symmetrical square plan and two floors. The upper floor of the building has and a mezzanine attached to the ceiling of the middle hall, enabling more light in the structure. The outer walls of the pavilion are made of stone, whereas the inner walls were built with brick, wooden carcass and stone. The colored stones used on the walls of some halls and on the exterior of the Mecidiye Pavilion distinguish it from other pavilions, mansions and palace structures.
The large rectangular hall on the ground floor of the pavilion is accessed through the marble columned porticoes at the edges. The ceiling of this hall, which has a room in each corner, is decorated with pencil work on bagdadi plaster. One of the most impressive parts of the building is the monumental sultanate stairs with double arms up to the top floor. The first floor of Mecidiye Pavilion, which consists of a series of rooms around a large hall just like the ground floor, is decorated more spectacularly than the ground floor. The ceremonial and throne hall, which is used in the receptions of the state, attracts attention with its finely furnished parquets and meticulously selected furniture. The walls of the living room are covered with marble from Egypt and the ceilings are of wood. The living room opens to two balconies, one overlooking the sea and one facing the land.
Mecidiye Pavilion, which is located on a large land of approximately seventy thousand square meters, is surrounded by a spacious grove of magnolia, pine and linden trees. One of the first masonry buildings of the Bosphorus, the mansion is an elegant example of the Serdab mansions, constructed in a new style, and named after the word Serdab, meaning cooling spaces.
Mecidiye Pavilion in the 20th and 21st Centuries
During World War I, Mecidiye Pavilion served as a girls’ orphanage house (Daru’l-Eytam). During the 1920s the building was used for the treatment of patients with the eye ailment trachoma, and was granted to the Bosphorus Command shortly afterwards. The pavilion was placed under the auspices of the Ministry of Health and Social Aid in 1953. After the restoration works carried out by the Ministry, the building started to be used as a convalescent home for the higher education youth. The building was restored once more and the damaged ornaments of the building was restored to its former appearance by the Academy of Fine Arts students. Beykoz Pavilion, whose parquets, marble cladding and grove were reworked during the repairs, started to serve as Beykoz Children’s Chest Diseases Hospital in 1963. On December 23, 1997, the pavilion was connected to the National Palaces, with the transfer finalizing in 1999. The last restoration efforts that started in 2010 were completed in 2016, and the Mecidiye Pavilion was opened to visitors as a museum-palace in April 2017.