The Pasha's Palace

The Pasha's Palace June 23, 2011

If you ask Muslims what’s the main reason to take a trip to far eastern Turkey in the vicinity of Mt. Ararat they will not immediately say— ‘let’s go find the ark’.   In fact, they may be far more likely to say, let’s go see the Pasha’s Palace which is in the same neighborhood. They have a passion for the Pasha, so to speak.   The Pasha’s Palace is an Ottoman palace which was still being constructed up to about 1738.  It is situated high above the city of  Dogubeyazit ( or as I prefer to call it Doggy Bites It) and is well worth the visit as you will now see.   Here is what our friend Wiki has to say about it—

“The Ishak Pasha palace is an Ottoman-period palace whose construction was started in 1685 by Colak Abdi Pasha, the bey of Beyazit province. According to the inscription on its door, the Harem Section of the palace was completed by his grandson Ishak (Isaac) Pasha in 1784. [1]

The Palace is more of a complex than a palace; it is the second administrative campus after the Topkapı Palace in Istanbul and the most famous of the palaces built in recent decades.

The palace is built on a hill at the side of a mountain 5 km (3 mi) east of Doğubeyazıt. It was the last large monumental structure in the Ottoman Empire from the “Lale Devri” period. It is one of the most distinguished and magnificent examples of the 18th century Ottoman architecture and is very valuable in terms of art history. According to the top of the door inscription at the Harem Section it was constructed in 1784 (1199 H.).

As the ground building sits on is a valley slope, it is rocky and hard. Despite the fact that it is at the center of the Old Beyazıt city its three sides (north, west, south) are steep and sloped. There is a suitable flat area only to the east. The entrance of the palace is on that side, and it is also its narrowest façade.

As the palace was built in an age when castles ceased to be special and firearms were developed and were abundantly available, its defense towards the hills on the east is weak. Its main gate is the weakest point in that respect. The structure of the main gate is no different than those seen in the palaces built in Istanbul and elsewhere in Anatolia and has a neat stone workmanship and carving.

The İshak Pasha Palace is a rare example of the historical Turkish palaces.

Reverse of the 100 new lira banknote (2005-2008)

The palace was depicted on the reverse of the Turkish 100 new lira banknote of 2005-2009.”

A few points should be made.  In fact the name of the builders of this palace and the Topkapi palace in Istanbul and a few others is not Ottoman.  That is the barbarized form of the name used by the British for this group of people.  They were in fact the Osmanlis.  So the next time your in your living room and about to prop up your feet,  pull up your Osmanli and you can do so.   Let’s look at some of the features of the Palace. 

Those Pashas, they sure knew how to live and build large.  But what we are dealing with here is already fading glory, for this Palace or better said Administrative Center with mosque included, comes from the end of the Ottoman Empire’s glory years.   And of course today, it is a monument to a bygone era and a tourist attraction.   The stones are impressive, but the Pasha has left the building, in fact, he has left the earth.

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