Where Does an Emperor Stop for Tea?
He can’t just dodge into a normal Turkish tea house and ask for a fresh glass açık. He’s gotta have someplace worthy of his dignity.
Voilà! The Ihlamur Kasrı, or Kiosk of the Linden Tree, set in a pretty wooded valley inland from Istanbul‘s Beşiktaş district.
Actually, besides his palaces of Topkapı, Dolmabahçe, Beylerbeyi, Çirağan and Yıldız (most of these on the Bosphorus) the sultan had several of these little kasrs (“pavilions,” or mini-palaces) dotted around the city just in case he should be in need of a glass of tea or cup of bracing Turkish coffee.
Besides the Ihlamur Kasrı, there’s the Küçüksu Kasrı farther up the Bosphorus and the Aynalıkavak Kasrı in the Hasköy district on the Golden Horn.
I shot this photo of the Ihlamur Kasrı many years ago.
I’ve even had tea in the kasr.
Did I feel like a sultan?
Did it feel good?